Friday, December 25, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Lisa Minott (1996-1997)

President Obama issued a challenge for improved science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training in America. BDPA has a powerful STEM training program that engages upwards of 800 young people each year. We've been doing this STEM training for a quarter-century.

One aspect of the program is the annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC). I'm pleased to introduce you to one of our HSCC alumni -- Lisa Minott. Lisa represented her chapter on the national team in 1996 and 1997. Her team won the national HSCC championship in 1997. She went on to graduate with a degree from the University of Connecticut in Management Information Systems.

Here is her testimonial:

I believe the greatest gifts you can give children are to believe in them, and to expose them to life’s infinite possibilities. I attended an informational about BDPA Hartford’s training program while only in the seventh grade, but it set me on a path that changed the course of my life. Over the next five years, I went from having a cursory knowledge of computers, to understanding core programming constructs, and developed better problem solving, and presentation skills. I built a level of confidence that blossomed from the attention and encouragement of the Hartford chapter’s mentors. Young professionals themselves at the time, they spent countless hours patiently teaching us and took a personal interest in each of our lives.

I was a member of the program for two years before I was old enough to compete and attended my first national competition in 1996. Although we finished 16th the opportunity to network with the other youth chapters, attend workshops, and be in the general atmosphere of dynamic IT professionals from my background unlocked a sense of the life’s potential. My teammates and I attended the Houston competition with a renewed sense of purpose, and a small chapter from Hartford, CT took home the championship in 1997.

Now five years into my IT career at a Fortune 500 company, I still look to my mentor’s from the BDPA program for guidance and advice, and thankfully, they are always only a phone call or email away. I met some of my closest friends through the program, and even built friendships with members of other teams, all across the country, that still thrive today. My success as a young professional has a direct path back to the discipline, determination, and support gained through my years of involvement with BDPA. The program is invaluable to me, and so I offer a humble thank you to everyone who continues to contribute to its growth.

We say it all the time ... 'classroom to the boardroom' ... and here is a real-life example. Do you think that BDPA is doing a good job? If so, we need your help to continue growing our SITES program. Please consider making a secure online donation right now. Do it on behalf of Lisa!

1 comment:

Black Education said...

I like Lisa Minott's approach towards the children that I like her thought she believe the greatest gifts you can give children are to believe in them, and to expose them to life’s infinite possibilities.