Thursday, December 27, 2012

Message From the National BDPA President

Seasons Greetings,

The past year was filled with historic moments:

Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States was re-elected for a second term. For the first time in its 37-year history, chapters were run under the guidance of 4 regional vice presidents. Finally, BDPA entered the ranks of the "debt free” by paying off all outstanding debt.

Monique Berry
As we celebrated these historic events, we also kept our eyes on the BDPA mission. In fact, far from content with our organization’s previous growth, the leadership laid the foundation to take BDPA to the next level. Two of the challenges plaguing Blacks in technology have been retention of Black students in college computer science programs and exposure of young Blacks to STEM fields. Many already are aware of our efforts to expose children to technology through our Student Information Technology Education and Scholarships (SITES), High School Computer Competition (HSCC) and IT Showcase programs.

This year we also had an additional focus: Growing the number of collegiate members on college campuses across this country. Of the thousands of Black freshmen in the U.S. who say they want a computer science degree, only 30% are successful in obtaining one six years later. We are confident that with your continued support, we shall dramatically improve that metric!

We also made progress on our commitment to deepen member engagement. This was accomplished in three ways: face to face, philanthropic donations, and social network interactions. Half of all members were engaged in at least one of those ways.

Other highlights for 2012 include:
  • The launch of one of BDPA’s most exciting programs in years, the Career Triage, our monthly live webinar series
  • The launch of a redesigned National Website
  • Awarded over $50,000 in scholarships to BDPA student members
  • The launch of CISSP and Security+ certification classes
  • Introduction for Education Grants for unemployed members seeking certification
  • Complimentary conference registrations for unemployed members
  • The launch of our NEW BDPA job board -- IT Diversity Careers
  • HBCU panel during the conference
  • Networking cocktail hour during the career fair
  • Participated in the White House HBCU Summit in Washington, D.C.
  • Developed partnerships with NCWIT, NOBCChE and the Coalition of Minority Technical Organizations
  • Increased visibility for the organization through media

As we prepare to move into 2013, we sincerely thank you for helping us inspire our present membership, as well as our future generations of young, talented, Black technology professionals.

Happy holidays,
Monique Berry, president
National BDPA

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