Friday, November 13, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Emery Jordan (NW Indiana, 1993-1996)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) provides funding for the annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC). We do so in order to provide a positive alternative to the violence that we see in public schools around the nation. Our efforts support the training of over 800 students each year. Here is the testimonial from one of those impacted students -- HSCC alumni Emery Jordan, BDPA Northwest Indiana Chapter (1993-1996).

It’s really funny to think that I am writing a testimonial for an activity that I joined to get to go to a conference and hang out with people older than me. However, that is definitely the case. And while I thought that I was just going to get a free vacation, the memories, skills, and friendships that I made during my four years of competing have lasted me a life time.

My name is Emery Jordan. I was a member of the BDPA Northwest Indiana Computer Competition Team from 1993-1996. During that time, I served as a captain twice, and attended several conferences. I really got started in the computer competition because my dad was a trainer for the Chicago teams, before he started a chapter in Northwest Indiana.

For our chapter, we trained every Saturday morning at a nearby college campus. It was typical that we trained for a while, and then given homework to complete during the week. It was always interesting because most of the people on the team, when we started, had very little exposure to computer programming languages or concepts. So, there was a lot of time that we spent building our respective foundations to learn the necessary information to be successful.

The conferences were a ton of fun. First, you would get the opportunity to meet other people your age from all over the country. In addition, during my time on the teams, there were several fun events planned around the competitions during the conference. These times gave us a great opportunity to hang out and make friends away from the computer stuff. I actually made a couple of lifelong friends from my time on the team.

As for my career choices, my time on the team, as well as the skills I learned, led me to major in Computer Engineering in college. In addition, it helped me secure several internships for Fortune 500 companies during my collegiate career. I worked at such companies as MCI WorldCom (before the collapse), Fannie Mae, and Caterpillar, among others. After completing my Computer Science degree, I realized that computers were much more fun for me when they weren’t my job. Based upon this new revelation, I pursued and achieved a Master’s in Education, which I used to build a career in Higher Education. I am currently working at Indiana University – Bloomington helping to develop college students through their experiences living on campus. I still do a lot of stuff with computers, and have found that my skills – both technical and analytical – have been very useful in this career. Furthermore, I will be starting an MBA program here at Indiana University this fall. And the foundation for all of those skills came
from my time on the BDPA computer competition team.

BETF could do so much more with donor participation from you. Won't you help create opportunities, visions and memories for our students in 2010 and beyond? Click here to make a secure online donation today!


DNLee said...

I’m hoping you’d share some of your BETF notes for the upcoming edition of the Diversity in Science Carnival - all about STEM college and pipeline programs (or the people who have matriculated). Any of your past posts about BETF scholars or your foundations funding of scholars can be submitted to the carnival, too.

Villager said...

Danielle - I'm sorry that I missed the last blog carnival. However, I've already made my submission for the one that begins in December!