Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HSCC Testimonial: Okwudili Udeh (Hartford)

Very few BDPA students participate in the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) in multiple years. So it is a remarkable feat when one of our HSCC alumni compete in four (4) separate national conferences. I give you that background so that you will be sufficiently aware of the unique nature of Okwudili Udeh. Okwudili was a member of HSCC teams trained by BDPA Hartford chapter to compete nationally in 2005 (Detroit), 2006 (Los Angeles), 2007 (Washington DC) and 2008 (Atlanta).

Another reason that we are proud of Okwudili is that he is one of our Bemley Scholar! He earned $1,500 Bemley Scholarship from the BDPA Foundation. He is using those funds to earn a college degree from Ithaca College. Enough from me ... take a moment to check out his personal testimonial:

I am Okwudili Udeh, a member of the BDPA Hartford Chapter. Right now, I am a freshman at Ithaca College, majoring in Computer Science and Creative Writing. I plan on building applications to improve the comic book industry, like page layout design programs, new technology ideas and such, but currently, I’ve got my hands full with other work (college is no joke).

The HSCC program was my “summer camp”. For four years (five if you count the YTC), I’ve gone to different BDPA conferences around the United States, and learned new things about the IT industry, my teammates, and myself at each of them. In my opinion, those conferences provided knowledge and me the training I needed to be successful in college and high school. It taught me how to write a resume, network, how to utilize different software development strategies, teamwork, team management, new technology, and more. None of my high school classes covered those important topics!

My fondest memory throughout the five years was winning second place in Detroit. We did not win first place, but at that point, it sure felt like we did. I am usually not one to cry after something good happens, but I was close at that point. My high school caught word of it quickly, and for the first few weeks of school, a bunch of people were congratulating me, including my school’s principal, since I was the only one in my school that was on the Hartford Chapter’s HSCC team at the time. Even the Hartford Courant newspaper featured our team.

Although that is my fondest memory, the programming classes have influenced me the most. They were vigorous at times, but I always tried to attend each class because I felt so comfortable there. It was a place that I could hang out and talk about Information Technology with people that understood me. In addition, through these classes learned about things that actually fit my future career path, which is more towards computer programming.

I do not know what type of person I would have been without the HSCC program and BDPA in general, but I am sure he would not be as intelligent, or as happy, as I am. Through the BDPA, I gained a tighter bond with my family, new friends, a lot more knowledge about the Information Technology and business worlds, and a whole lot of self-confidence. In college, some of my friends wonder why I act so professional and methodical, and I give them all the same answer: it is because of what I learned through the BDPA.

It feels good knowing that BDPA is having such a positive impact on young folks like Okwudili. How do you feel about it?

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