Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grant Award: CIGNA Foundation ($2,500)

We are pleased to announce that CIGNA Foundation recently awarded a $2,500 grant to the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). The grant funds will be used for the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Philadelphia, PA. BDPA Philadelphia will train 24 students in this program. Many of these students will be taken to the 2011 BDPA Youth Technology Camp in Chicago, IL. In the end, the top five students are selected to represent Philadelphia in the 26th annual National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) to be held August 3-6, 2011.
"BDPA is convinced that our youth should be encouraged to pursue science, technology, engineering or math studies at an early age," said BETF executive director Wayne Hicks. "We are excited to work with CIGNA Foundation to expand our SITES program so that more Philadelphia-area high school students are positioned to do this."
BETF served over 800 young people across the nation in the 2010 SITES program. BETF works with BDPA to provide college scholarships, college internships, workshops, seminars, certifications and the annual IT Showcase to drive more African Americans into STEM-based curriculum in college ... and ultimately to increase the number of technically-skilled employees available to Corporate America.
"I am pleased to award this CIGNA Foundation grant to BETF in support of the Philadelphia SITES program," said executive director Gianna Jackson. "The CIGNA Foundation is committed to enhancing the well-being of the communities where we live and work. We do this, in part, through our financial support of creative and responsive programs and services being provided by organizations like BETF."
According to a recent study by the Schott Foundation for Public Education, only 47% of Black males graduate from high school. Black females do better with a 60% high school graduation rate, but the low combined graduation rate of Black students lags far behind that of white students. Programs like this one being funded in Philadelphia are critical if we hope to turn these statistics in a more positive direction.

Please join us in congratulating BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Hayward West and his team for their efforts in this successful grant-writing effort.

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