Friday, September 2, 2011

BDPA Philadelphia Supports Pennsylvania MESA Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

BDPA seeks to advance the careers of African Americans in the Information Technology (IT) industry from the classroom to the boardroom. An important element of that process is ensuring that our young people have exposure and experience to as many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs as possible.

As such, it was a no-brainer for our BDPA Philadelphia chapter leadership to attend the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the nationally-recognized Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) initiative in Pennsylvania. MESA is an academic preparation program for K-12, community college and university-level students that was originally created in 1970. The program provides academic support to students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds throughout the education pathway so they will excel in math and science and ultimately attain four-year degrees in STEM fields. The program has successfully been replicated in over a dozen other states.

BDPA Philadelphia chapter president Eileen Gadsden and chapter vice president Charles Ireland attended the ribbon cutting ceremony held on August 27th at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. There are over 50 students enrolled in MESA ... and our hope is that some of them will find their way to BDPA over the coming weeks and months. We also want to ensure that BDPA students are fully aware of MESA as an option for their consideration in the future.
"It was a truly awesome event to see so many students committed to studying medicine, engineering and technology," said BDPA president Gadsden.
A number of other dignitaries were at the event, including Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter, past BDPA conference keynoter and current chief of Naval operations Admiral Gary Roughead, special assistant to the CNO for diversity Dr. Cynthia Macri and Temple University's Dr. Jamie Bracey.

Admiral Roughead spoke about the Navy's ability to have a global impact due to a strong educational foundation and its continued efforts to stay on the forefront of technological advances.

Our BDPA leaders at the event were able to cultivate some strategic relationships that will result in an expansion of the chapter's 2012 Student IT Education and Scholarship (SITES) program to include cyber-security and healthcare components.

This blog encourages BDPA chapters in California and Maryland to follow the lead of BDPA Philadelphia. Make a connection with California MESA or Maryland MESA. Once you've made the connection ... follow the lead of BDPA Philadelphia chapter and find a way to get engaged with MESA. It is a wonderful opportunity for a STEM-based strategic alliance!

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