Monday, December 20, 2010

BDPA Teaches Technology to Teens in Baton Rouge

BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) published the following article in their internal newsletter:

BCBSLA employees and sisters Glenda Chappell (Senior Programmer Analyst, Actuarial Systems) and Billie Davis-Lomas (Senior Business Engineering Analyst, IT-Medical Management/Managed Care) spend their Saturday mornings preparing local teens for their futures in higher education and the workforce.
Billie Davis-Lomas, far left, and her sister and Blue Cross coworker Glenda Chappell, far right, pose with some of the teens they mentor through Black Data Processing Associates.
Chappell and Davis-Lomas work with an organization called BDPA Baton Rouge (BDPA-BR). Chappell is one of the chapter’s charter members. Both sisters have been involved in the organization for decades, serving in cities across the nation.

BDPA-BR provides hands-on computer training and skill-building exercises for local students. With an emphasis on team building, presentation skills and professional etiquette, each BDPA class is led by local volunteer mentors like Chappell and Davis-Lomas. Students are guided by their mentors to compete for scholarships at regional and national conferences, which are often attended by top-level executives from companies like Microsoft and QVC.

We don’t just teach them computer skills. We teach them how to conduct themselves in a professional setting, which is something they can always use,” says Davis-Lomas.

The students are very enthusiastic and eager to start creating projects,” Chappell adds. “It’s very rewarding to see them succeed.”

BDPA-BR is open to all middle- and high-school students, and the Baton Rouge chapter targets those considered “at-risk” because of socioeconomic factors.
BDPA-BR is a professional organization for information technology professionals, providing community service and professional development opportunities for its members. The group is open to those working in the IT field and other technology-focused careers.

If you are interested in supporting BDPA-BR, the organization is looking for members, volunteer instructors and financial support for supplies and conference fees. BDPA-BR is on Blue Cross’ list of qualified non-profit organizations for which the company will match financial gifts beginning at $100 (up to $1,500 annually).

To learn more about BDPA, visit their website or follow the group on Facebook or Twitter. You may also contact them by e-mail.

I have known Glenda and Billie for many years. BDPA Baton Rouge is lucky to have both of them as chapter leaders. I look for great things to come from Louisiana in the coming months and years!

No comments: