Thursday, February 26, 2015

BDPA Cincinnati Chapter Selects Its Future President - Na'Shawnda Peterson

Na'Shawnda Peterson
BDPA Cincinnati chapter, a nonprofit organization made up of racially diverse information technology professionals, announced a new member of its executive team. Na’Shawnda Peterson was named President-Elect and will become the chapter’s president in 2016-2017. Na’Shawnda is a business solutions manager at GE Aviation. She is responsible for maintaining IT infrastructure for a world-leading provider of jet and turboprop engines. Na’Shawnda attended both the College of Wooster and the University of Cincinnati.
"I am very excited to be a part of this wonderful organization and use my expertise to support its mission. I look forward to a great year and making a difference in our community," says Na’Shawnda Peterson.
In her new role, Na’Shawnda coordinates the activities of the chapter vice presidents with an emphasis on chapter operations, corporate sales and marketing. Also, she serves as the assistant vice-president of the finance business area.
We are very excited to have Na'Shawnda join the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter Board of Directors”, said BDPA chapter president Dalric Webb. “Na'Shawnda brings over 15 years of technical experience and professionalism to the team. Her engagement is a key pillar in our long-term strategy to advance the careers of technology professionals from the classroom to the boardroom.
BDPA Cincinnati chapter is the second-largest chapter in the nation. The chapter meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. In fact, the chapter meets next on Wednesday, March 18th to discuss ‘Innovation and Minority Entrepreneurs’ at Brown Mackie College (1011 Glendale Milford Road; Cincinnati OH 45215).

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter President

The motto of BDPA is 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. BDPA Atlanta’s motto is 'Learn, Grow, and Achieve'. Our local motto supports the educational cycle that we apply to our members and anyone we encounter. It most especially applies to our kids, the young men and women who join our programs seeking to grow in technology.

This past Saturday we again firmly committed ourselves to living up to our motto and forging a legacy of growth and innovation. BDPA Atlanta hosted it High School Computer Competition kickoff at Microsoft.  Microsoft is committed to supporting efforts at community uplift. They allowed us to use their meeting rooms. They supplied computers, surface tablets, and software that served as an introduction to computer programming.

Even my daughter found it incredibly exciting and had her first introduction to the world of coding. I’m getting her started early. When the time is right she will definitely be in Black Girls Code, BDPA, and in completing the cycle by joining the Information Technology Senior Management Forum as she journeys to the boardroom ... if she doesn’t decide to be veterinarian. She loves animals.

This weekend’s event was the result of a strong team, communication, engagement and the power I believe is truly inherent in us all when we come together to accomplish great things. And understand this is a GREAT thing. I firmly believe in building a network, leveraging a network, and creating an opportunity. Connections made during Saturday’s kickoff possible. Growing those relationships made it successful. Continuing to nurture these relationships will expand our efforts and positively impact the lives of more youth.

BDPA Atlanta will continue its tradition of educating students in IT, and will broaden that mission by working with partners like Microsoft. This is exciting and necessary work. However we cannot do it alone. If you think you can help us engage our youth in technology then please, join us.

The Aspiring Critical Thinker,
D.S. Brown, president
BDPA Atlanta

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Grant Declination: Nissan Foundation (Los Angeles)

BDPA Los Angeles chapter (president, David Malonson) and BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF)  learned that our $2,000 grant proposal to the Nissan Foundation has been turned down. The declination letter read as follows:

Mr. Hicks,

Thank you for submitting your grant application to Nissan Neighbors on behalf of BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. We regret that Nissan will be unable to fund your program in the fiscal 2014 grant year, which ends March 31, 2015. Nissan's educational funds are fully allocated to other programs in this fiscal year.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation provides a valuable service to the community. We wish you continued success in your endeavors.

Thank you again for your interest in Nissan Neighbors.

Nissan Neighbors

BETF will continue to seek out funding opportunities for our west coast chapter. We encourage you to help by making a secure online donation to the BDPA Los Angeles Scholarship Fund.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

HSCC Testimonial: Jonathan Hernandez (Philadelphia, 2003-2004, 2006)

Jonathan Hernandez is a three-time participant in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC). He and his teammates were trained by BDPA Philadelphia chapter. We asked him about his experiences and he wrote:
"During my time with the BDPA's HSCC program as a teenager, I earned deep skills in web, application, and database technologies which have served me to this day. The experience from my teens endowed me with an edge over my competition right out of college, allowing me to find more innovative, competitive, and empowering offers from the biggest players across industries. These skills allowed me to broaden my degree in Political Science, into an active position where I make equitable change on a daily basis to my clients and stakeholders as a technology consultant and project manager.

Jonathan (standing, 2nd-from left)
Additionally, the BDPA has empowered me with the ability to socially engage and manage cross-functional technical roles with a high level of effectiveness, building consensus and clarity across the organization, and in the direction of any goal. I would not be so fortunate without the help of the BDPA, and its most brilliant group of supporting members. Furthermore, as an adult within my career, the BDPA's dividends continue to provide me with access to mentors and leaders, who have given me invaluable advice in the direction of my dreams.
Jonathan graduated from Temple University and he's now working for Accenture as a data center migration consultant. He believes in the power of technology and the real social impacts it can make across organizations and borders. His work at Accenture allows him to provide technical project management services to businesses to realize best value and technical support. Jonathan has come back to serve as a volunteer with BDPA ... particularly with young people seeking to learn programming and professional skills before they ever enter a college lecture hall.

You can learn more about Jonathan from his website. You can support Jonathan's passion for BDPA by making a secure online donation for the BDPA Philadelphia HSCC Scholarship Fund.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Message from the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

Dalric Webb
Love is in the air...

February brings to mind all the excitement and joy of being close to those you love and care about, like your BDPA family! Within your BDPA family we have share a love and passion for seeing our youth gain traction in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. We get excited when our young people get the “bug” for learning and see college not as a challenge outside of their reach, but as a stepping stone to further their own aspirations for greatness. We feel a certain warmth when one of our peers or colleagues advances their career, receives that promotion, takes that new job, or completes a major milestone. The BDPA family love is undeniably in the air and it is a feeling we want to grow within our communities and circles of influence.

February brings us into week five of our computer camp at Cincinnati state! The 20 students in attendance are digging deep and staying focused as they enter their second month of Saturday instructions. We are excited to have three members of the GE Information Technology Leadership Program joining the team this year, Jarad Torrence, Bobby Richardson and Kadre Roberts bring additional technical, personal and professional skill-sets to the team and will be a part of the WINNING team we take to Washington DC this summer for the 37th Annual BDPA Technology Conference!

Our next program meeting is on February 19th and will feature our second roundtable with IT recruiters from Fifth Third Bank, L3-Communications and SmartIT. In case you missed the exceptional roundtable held last year, you do not want to miss this one. Be sure to bring several fresh copies of your resume. Opportunities present themselves at our meetings each month. The one that is right for you could be at this month’s meeting! Register today by clicking this link.

While our board of volunteers is strong and working well together, there are still volunteering opportunities that can use your support if you are still considering how you can help out. Won’t you step forward to join the team? Please take a look at the vacant positions listed on our chapter landing page. Additional, we have several volunteering opportunities within each of the board committees that might be more of a match for your particular interest in giving back. Send me an email and let’s chat about it.

2015 is off to a FANTASTIC start! Last year we grew membership by over 127%! We hope to continue that trend with the active engagement of our members. Remember, this is YOUR organization. What are you looking to get out of it? What are you putting into it to obtain those results? Are you engaged? Did you attend the last program meeting? The last social? The last computer camp session? The chapter is ACTIVE in our communities – we’d love to have you join us.

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events,

Dalric Webb, president
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Rest In Peace: Jim Cunningham (1946-2011)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter member James M. ("Jim") Cunningham lost his two-year battle with cancer on February 11, 2011. Jim represented BDPA on Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative when it was being crafted by the governor. Jim also served as a director of the BDPA Cincinnati Entrepreneur Special Interest Group and was moderator of the BDPA-Telecommunications YahooGroup.

Jim had a long career with Cincinnati Bell and served as the Information Technology department director at National College in Cincinnati. Jim's skills, knowledge and talents will be missed by BDPA and the IT industry in southwest Ohio.

Rest in peace Jim.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

BDPA Seeks Students for Mobile Application Showcase

BDPA is excited to announce that the 2nd annual Mobile Application Showcase sponsored by State Farm is expanding as a national student program! Last year's pilot of this program was a great success with over $19,000 in college scholarships being handed out!

BDPA needs your support to spread the word about this great program. Do you know any high school or undergrad college students with programming experience who can work independently and interested in developing native iOS and Android mobile applications. This program is completely virtual! However, BDPA will provide weekly training sessions and mentors for students during the application development portion of the showcase.
If you have questions or wish to discuss further, please reach out to National BDPA Mobile Application Showcase coordinator, Tonji Zimmerman, by email ( or by phone (301.584-3135).

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rest In Peace: Brandon Berry (1984-2008)

BDPA lost a young legend on February 3, 2008 when Brandon T. Berry died much too soon. Brandon was born March 20, 1984 in Viscenza, Italy. He traveled all around the world. He recently graduated from Ohio State University with a Computer Science degree. He was working on a Master Degree at the time of his death.

Brandon's dream was to become an entrepreneur with computer sales and internet services business. In fact, he demonstrated his entrepreneurial skills with a business that he started in high school and continued while in college.

I served as BDPA Cincinnati chapter president in 1999-2001. I knew young Brandon throughout my 3-year team as chapter president. I first met him in 1999 while he was attending Cincinnati's Hughes High School. He served as president of the 'Future Educators of America' in high school. However, his love of information technology led him to the BDPA Cincinnati chapter computer camp that we created in 1999. His talents were self-evident during the computer camp. In fact, Brandon ended up being a member of the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from Cincinnati in both 1999 and 2000.

His teammates in 1999 were Tiara Bonner, Jarelle Marshall, Kelly Robinson and Calvin Shaw, III.

His teammates chose Brandon to be their captain at the 2000 national competition held in Washington DC. The team confidently called themselves 'Team CHAOS (Cincinnati Holds All Opposition Speechless)'. Brandon and his teammates (Raven Chambers, Jarelle Marshall, Terris Poole and Stephanie Ross) in 2000 brought home the silver medal in the national competition. It remains the highest level of success for BDPA Cincinnati in over 20 years. Brandon used the Bemley Scholarship that he won in 2000 towards his educational expenses at Ohio State University.

Brandon loved C/C++ Programming and he came back in 2001 as a HSCC alumni to help coach the team that year. He served as a 'technical representative' for the Cincinnati HSCC team that traveled to the 2001 national competition held in Chicago.

Brandon Berry had an immeasurable impact on the members, supporters and sponsors of BDPA Cincinnati chapter.  He is part of our history and his impact as a role model can never be underestimated.

You can help us celebrate his life by making a donation to the Brandon Berry Memorial Scholarship Fund!
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Monday, February 2, 2015

Grant Proposal: Gannett Foundation (Milwaukee)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation worked in collaboration with BDPA Milwaukee chapter (president, Carmen Giles) to submit a $5,000 grant proposal to the Gannett Foundation. We requested funding to support the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) project. The chapter seeks to train 25 students in STEM-related curriculum over the course of the year. BDPA Milwaukee chapter has already won a $5,000 grant award from the Helen Bader Foundation.

BDPA Milwaukee Leadership Team
BDPA Milwaukee was recently named 'Comeback Chapter of the Year' for its accelerated growth and commitment to students, members and corporate sponsors. Last year, BDPA Milwaukee sponsored local high school students to compete in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition. Successful funding from the Gannett Foundation will allow them to bring another team to Washington DC later this year.

We encourage all BDPA chapters to reach out to us if they need funding support for the SITES program in their area. Our process is well documented. For now, let's all simply wish 'good luck' to BDPA Milwaukee chapter!