Thursday, September 2, 2010

HSCC Testimonial * Khadijah Celestine (New York, 2007)

Khadijah Celestine is one of the brightest stars in the BDPA universe. I saw her in Philadelphia last month. She participated in the college division of the BDPA IT Showcase. What I didn't realize was that Khadijah was also an alumni of our High School Computer Competition (HSCC). It turns out that little sister was part of the HSCC team trained by BDPA New York chapter to compete in the 2007 national championships.

I asked Khadijah to share her HSCC testimonial with us ... I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:

I am currently a student at New York City College of Technology (CUNY’s City Tech), pursuing my passion, computers and technology. This fall I will be a sophomore and by the time I graduate in June 2013, will have obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems and an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science.

My studies include designing web sites using HTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Javascript and Actionscript. In a continuous effort to better myself, I am also pursuing a professional certificate in Web Design and improving secondary interests in graphic design and video game design. I am an active member in City Tech’s Computer Science Club.

During high school, I was introduced to Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). What started out as a high school extracurricular activity has become a very important part of my life.

My first year with BDPA, I represented the New York Chapter and took part in the National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) in Washington, D.C. I interacted with other students from around the country and was impressed and in awe of their interests in computer programming and development. With the help of my computer science teacher, Mr. Destine; BDPA-NY Education Director, Ms. Denise Hamilton and BDPA-NY President Mrs. Judaea Lane, I received an opportunity to learn how to compete and increase my technical knowledge of computers to another level. Also I received the opportunity to network with other African Americans who are taking a more active role in this.

In addition to my computer and technology pursuits, I gain significant satisfaction from tutoring and improving others lives. On Saturdays, I tutor adults in reading at the Flatbush Avenue Public Library. This opportunity opened up a whole new for me as I ignorantly believed that every adult could read. Being able to help someone do something as simple as read makes me understand what I can contribute to others. Furthermore, my life plans changed for the better when I had the honor of tutoring a woman who had grown up in foster care. When I found that children in foster care are in need of something more than the ability to read, I couldn’t pass up the chance to get involved. I am currently working on my certification as a Mentor.

My passion for dance rounds out my academic and volunteer efforts. I started to dance as a sophomore in high school and was quickly elevated from a “back line” dancer to a “front line” dancer. This was no easy task, since I had no prior training and was very shy. Nevertheless, my passion for dance as an art, permeated through each and every pore, every time music touches my soul. There isn’t a piece of music that passes by without an accompanied movement from me.

Sometimes people question why I'm so persistent in my efforts to find funding for BDPA's youth education program. It's simple ... I do it for Khadijah and the other young brothers and sisters out there who are touched by the work of BDPA.

No comments: