Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter SITES Director

What can I say other than thank you? Thank you to everyone in BDPA for all the great things you have done for me.

It is bittersweet, but, effective August 5, 2012 I will retire as Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) Director for BDPA Atlanta chapter. After 11 great years of working with the student program, BDPA has transformed me from a boy into a man.

I started with the student program as a high school student (BDPA Memphis), up to undergrad (BDPA Chattanooga), straight through grad school, and finally as an IT professional (BDPA Atlanta). I AM "from the classroom to the boardroom" because of what BDPA has done and is doing for me.

As I reflect on retiring, I think of BDPA as a girlfriend and I recall that Gladys Knight and the Pips song, “Neither One Of Us”.
I keep wondering, what I'm gonna do without you, And I guess you must be wondering that same thing too...Everytime I find the nerve to say I'm leaving, Memories, those old memories get in my way… When it comes to saying goodbye, That's a simple word that I just cannot say...There can be no way, there can be no way, This can have a happy ending, no no, So we just go on hurting and pretending, And convincing ourselves to give it just one more try.
You all know I’m ol’ school!

I know I may get in trouble for calling names, so let me say I truly appreciate everyone and what they have done for me and my family. If you are on this email, I thank you. There are, however, some people who were very influential in pivotal stages in my career with BDPA.

I have to thank my mother and father for making me be in the program and giving me the life lessons to be able to last this long. To my brothers for always supporting me by kind words, coming to the banquet, and for teaching and talking to my kids.

To my wife and daughter, we got a lot time to make up, but thank you for allowing me the time to do something I am extremely passionate about.

My Pops (Joseph Taylor) and Todd Green started it all for me. They took a chance by selecting me to be on the national championship High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Memphis chapter in 2001. That opportunity single-handedly changed my life and helped put me in the position I am in today. Words can't express what you two mean to me and how much I appreciate your help and guidance throughout the past 11 years.

My Ma (Teresa Williams) for being crazy enough to adopt me as her only begotten son. LOL. Because they crucified me. LOL. Thanks for having my back and pushing me for greatness. It is very comforting to be able to have a mother away from home.

To the greatest hype man in the world, Mr. Wayne Hicks. You challenged me back in 2003 to not just accept the Memphis wins and do nothing else, but to continue to educate high school students and help take BDPA to the next level. I accepted that challenge and I hope I met your expectations. You are one of the shoulders BDPA rests on. Thank you for supporting me and letting the world know who I am through the BETF-Blog, CNN, BDPA iRadio Show and Diversity Careers Magazine (see page 18).

For Felicia making the company think I was greater than what I am. It got me in the door, what more can I ask for. LOL. Thanks for believing in me.

To Maurice for being my greatest competitor, competition, and big brother. There would not be a Coach Wes in Atlanta had you not been by my side the whole time helping and mentoring me. I learned a lot from you and I can’t say thank you enough.

Thank you to the BDPA Atlanta Leadership Board, for all the support and mentoring you all have given me.

To the greatest volunteers in all of BDPA that I have worked with: Dre, Dawn, Keke, Wayne Bowling, Cynthia, DaWaisha, Maurice, Sharnecia, Lanita, Cornell. Thank you all. When times got crazy, you all were there through it all. You all are the reason why BDPA Chattanooga and BDPA Atlanta have performed well enough to be honored at past national award galas.

Thank you to all my kids and parents. The success of my students completes me. They have worked so hard throughout the years in the program. I'm proud to say my kids go off to college or either join the military to serve our country. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the reason why we do this and the reason why I stuck around for 11 years. I hope you all learned something and got something from the program that will help you out in life.

As I close, I wanted to take my time with this because I am truly, truly, truly grateful for BDPA and the people in it that have changed my life. So I end this the same way I started back in 01. I got to borrow a passage from the artist Jay-Z , “What More Can I Say” ,with some slight modifications. Maurice (he is a BIG Jay-Z fan) this is for you. LOL

Pound for pound I'm the best to ever come around here
Excluding nobody
Look what I embody
The mind of a genius, I wanted to be the best I could be
The ACE program was mine
That marketing plan was me
And no I’m not saying this because I want to be slick
And as a coordinator I wasn't always the first round pick
And I’m not animated as like say a Wayne Hicks
But the realness you get when you break down my lines
Add that to the fact I won 1st a bunch of times
Times that by my influence
On the program’s culture
I’m supposed to be number one on everybody's list
It’s hard to say but this is it…………………....….for now ;)

Thank you,
Wesley Williams, SITES Director
BDPA Atlanta Chapter

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