We asked Malik to share his thoughts about his BDPA experience. Here is what he had to say:
My name is Malik Swanson and I am a member of the BDPA Chicago Chapter. I graduated in 2010 from Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center. Currently, I am a student at Chicago State University, majoring in Computer Science. I originally attended Northern Michigan University, but transferred to CSU in the summer of 2012. Also, I am a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, which is a community service organization. In addition, I am employed as a Webmaster for High Infidelity Media and an IT Support Assistant at CSU.
My most memorable High School Computer Competition (HSCC) moment is when the BDPA Chicago HSCC team won third place at the 2010 National BDPA HSCC Championship in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The BDPA Chicago HSCC team took eighth place in the previous year. I did not make that team. However, I made the team in 2010 as a high school senior. My teammates (Desmond Jones, Bernard Dickens, Ismail Zeyneli and Byron Wooden) and I went to the 2010 HSCC championship determined to win first place. Unfortunately, my team took third place.
I’m now in college and completing my undergraduate education is my primary goal and objective. I am always trying to find ways to network, and find the right mentors to assist me in my goals. I continue to connect with the right mentors and network with IT professionals as I pursue upon my undergraduate degree. This accomplishment will ensure that I can live a better life and have a bright future. I will be one step closer in reaching my ultimate professional goals as becoming a chief information officer of a fortune 500 company once I graduate from Chicago State University with a degree in computer science.
I am looking forward to the upcoming academic school year in college. I have a full load on my plate in life right now as I juggle a full time school work load and two part time jobs. However, I am blessed because I have the full support of family and they are always encouraging me to be successful. I realize that there are many college students today who are much less fortunate than me.
Upon graduation, I am looking forward to taking my developed skills in IT to a corporate environment. The reason why I want to work for a corporation is because this experience will develop more as a young IT professional and make me more marketable in the IT industry as I move forward. This is an exciting time in my life!
I want to thank the BETF for providing me with a college scholarship. Also, I want to thank BDPA for expanding my knowledge of information technology and exposing me to the many great and amazing people. Finally, I want to give special thanks to Gibran McDuffie, Pamela Norfleet, Bryan Moore, Eric Dortch, Yvette Graham and the other BDPA members and volunteers that helped to shape me into the young man that I am today.
I look forward to following the college and professional career of this young squire over the coming years. Malik is the embodiment of the efforts of BDPA to advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry 'from the classroom to the boardroom'. My hope is that BDPA can continue to create a pipeline of these young men and women so that our nation might 'win the future' in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. You can help. We want to give out larger scholarships next year ... can you help us do so?