Monday, December 28, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Veronica Taylor (Detroit)

Originally Posted: 12/28/2008

BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans from the classroom to the boardroom. It makes me smile when I see examples of BDPA living up to its mission and vision. It makes me work twice as hard to be successful at raising funds for the BDPA Foundation Endowment Fund so that we can impact on this mission for many decades to come.

Recently, I crossed paths with a young woman who competed in the national BDPA high school computer competition in 1999-2000. In fact, she and her teammates, trained by BDPA Detroit chapter, won the 2000 national HSCC championship held in Washington DC. Her name is Veronica Taylor. She began her BDPA odessey at the age of 14 ... winning the national championship when she was 16 ... and now she is a 24-year old international superstar living and working in Paris, France.

Take a moment to enjoy her HSCC testimonial:

After receiving an email from a member of BDPA asking for a short bio of what I have been up to, I could not help but take a spin down memory lane. Looking through old photos from the computer competitions that my team won (and lost -- I will never forget Chicago!), I really began to realize the impact that the years I spent working with BDPA had on my life. My participation in the program was more for me than just a way to develop my understanding of technology – and the role that minorities can and should play.

After my BDPA High School Computer Competition days were over, I went on to study Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy at Michigan State University, with a second specialization in the French language. Though I did not intend to follow the IT track, I did manage to work throughout college in IT (mainly networking) to help pay my way through.

During my 3rd year at MSU, I decided that I wanted to immerse myself in the language, so I moved to France for a year to study French history and literature. As it often goes with Paris, I fell in love with it. So, I finished my 4th year at MSU, then moved back to Paris to teach English to inner-city (most newly-arrived African immigrants) kids for a year.

Once the teaching program ended, my new life in Paris was just getting started! So, I began to think of ways to stay and make a living. I called on my training received whilst with BDPA, and the professional experience gained throughout college. And here I am, working in the IT department (mainly in support & testing/development) at the New York Stock Exchange/Euronext Paris office.

BDPA is a valuable experience for young people for many reasons. We learned how to work hard towards an objective in a team-oriented environment. In the training leading up to all of our competitions, we learned to be resourceful, and use what skills we had available. So, this is what I’ve been up to – using many of the skills that I’ve acquired during my experience with BDPA.

PS – I will be happy to show you guys around should you decide to have the National Conference in my neighborhood someday.

Veronica Taylor
Graduate, Michigan State University (Class of 2006)
BDPA HSCC Alumni (Class of 1999-2000)

Did any of you attend the 1999 BDPA conference (Chicago) or 2000 BDPA conference (Washington DC)? Are you a current or former BDPA Detroit chapter member? Do you have thoughts on how we can reach out to more students with scholarships or youth education programs?

I hope that those of you reading this testimonial will take a moment to share your thoughts via the COMMENTS link below.

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