Thursday, May 31, 2012

Where Are They Now: 2002 BDPA Los Angeles Conference Registrants

This is a photo taken at the 2002 National BDPA Technology Conference held in Orlando FL. There are 14 people in this photo. I wonder if they are still active members of our BDPA Los Angeles chapter? Anyhow, can you name all, or some, of the 14 folks in this photo?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Grant Declination: Northern Trust Centennial Fund (BDPA Chicago)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with BDPA Chicago chapter president Pamela Sexton to submit a $7,500 grant proposal to the Northern Trust Centennial Fund. We made it to the final level of consideration, including a site visit. However, we learned that our funding request was not approved.

The declination letter read as follows:

Dear Pamela,

Thank you for submitting a grant proposal to the Northern Trust Centennial Fund for the Education of Children, a group-advised fund of The Chicago Community Trust. Your proposal for funding from BDPA Education and Technology Foundation was carefully reviewed by the Centennial Fund Committee. We regret to inform you that your program was not selected to receive a grant this year.

As is the case every year, the number of proposals and amount of funding sought by organizations such as yours far exceeded available resources. The Centennial Fund was not able to fund every deserving proposal.

On behalf of the Chicago Community Trust, Northern Trust and the Centennial Fund Committee, thank you for your efforts to improve the well-being of our community. We wish you success in your continued fundraising endeavors.

Kathy Pope
Assistant Director of Donor Services

BDPA Chicago is one of the best-run chapters in the nation. I'm confident that they will continue to find success in fundraising for its programs, scholarships and services. You can help by making a donation to the BDPA Chicago HSCC Scholarship Fund.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Fifth Third Foundation

Despite a challenging economic environment, the Fifth Third Foundation kept flying last year, working hard to provide uplifting support to charitable entities throughout Fifth Third’s market areas. Led by Vice President Heidi B. Jark, the Fifth Third Foundation’s resources were leveraged to provide the maximum impact for the organizations that needed them most.

The Fifth Third Foundation made over 200 grants last year to deserving organizations which work constantly to give hope to the people they serve. The grants represented nearly $3.4 million in community support of education, health and human services, community development and arts and culture.

In addition to providing crucial grant funding, the Fifth Third Foundation Office also advises not-for-profit organizations on ways to accomplish their missions in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Through site visits, grant writing assistance and suggestions for additional funding sources, the Foundation works behind the scenes to make a positive difference.

Company operations in Florida; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Michigan; Missouri; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Tennessee; West Virginia where we have BDPA chapters co-located in Central Illinois, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Detroit, Gr Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Lexington, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Orlando, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, South Florida and St. Louis.

BETF received a $2,500 grant from Fifth Third Foundation in 2008 for SITES program in Columbus OH.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grant Declination: PNC Bank (BDPA Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) works hard to find the funds that support the BDPA programs, scholarships and services around the nation. We're not always successful ... but, we are persistent and transparent. If we win a grant ... we'll tell you! And if we lost out on a grant ... we'll tell you. Today we're disappointed to report that PNC Bank didn't approve our $2,500 grant proposal seeking support for BDPA Cincinnati chapter youth education programs such as the BDPA TECHie Camp program that graduated over 20 students last week at Taft STEM Elementary School.

Anyhow, the PNC declination letter read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks,

We have reviewed your request for sponsorship from the PNC and due to the substantial number of requests that we have received, among other things, we are not in a position to provide you with funding.

As I am sure you can understand, we are approached by a substantial number of worthy causes, such as yours, each year, and because of our limited resources, as well as our focus, we are not in a position to fund all of them.

We appreciate your interest in the PNC and we wish you the best of luck and success in your endeavor.

Robie K. Suggs, vice president
Community Development Banking

Although we were unsuccessful in bringing home this grant ... we are still working with PNC Bank to support their efforts to recruit diverse information technology talent.

Blacks In Technology Podcast: Chuks Onwuneme (Personify)

I've been a member of BDPA for many years. I stay connected with this organization because I believe that it is doing important work for the Black community. BDPA seeks to 'win the future' by advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology (IT) industry from the classroom to the boardroom. As such, I am very pleased to see the continued evolution of the Blacks In Technology (BIT) movement co-founded by BDPA Cincinnati chapter member Greg Greenlee. It is a growing community of nubians from all over the nation who have agreed to network and support each other.

One of the great features available to the BIT crew is a regular podcast featuring a prominent person of African descent in the IT industry. In this episode of the Blacks In Technology podcast Greg chats with Software Engineer and entrepreneur, Chuks Onwuneme. Chuks is the founder of the Personify website. Chuks describes Personify as an app whose purpose is to discover the social good around you. Chuks is a native of Nigeria who made his way to America to study computer science at the University of Texas in Arlington. After graduating with honors Chuks went on to work for Nokia. Chuks helped to develop the Symbian OS for the Nokia line of smart phones during his nine years at the company. Chuks has since left Nokia and embarked on making the world a better place for humanity through Personify.

Listen now:

I encourage you to follow Chuks on Twitter: @ChuksOnwuneme ... and you can click here to listen to other podcasts from the Blacks In Technology crew!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation is a private, independent grantmaking organization based in Milwaukee. Its grants support research and educational projects, programs, and other activities that effectively further the Bradley brothers' philanthropic intent and honor their legacy.

Two steps are required in the application process. First, the applicant should prepare a brief letter of inquiry to the Grant Program, describing the applying organization and its intended project. If the Foundation determines the project to be within the current program interests as determined by its Board of Directors, the applicant will be invited to submit a formal proposal.

Second, if invited to submit a formal proposal, the applicant should submit another letter. It should include a more-thorough, yet still concise description of the project, its objectives and significance, and the qualifications of the groups and individuals involved in it. It should also include a project budget, the specific amount being sought from Bradley, and a list of its other sources of support, philanthropic or otherwise.

The applicant should complete and submit the Grantee Tax-Exempt Status Information form with the proposal, as well, along with a copy of the Internal Revenue Service letter confirming the applying entity’s tax-exempt and public-support status under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a), respectively, of the Internal Revenue Code.

Should the Foundation’s program staff find it necessary or desirable, it may arrange a meeting with the applicant after the receipt of a full proposal. After the staff comprehensively reviews proposals, the Board acts on them. All grantmaking authority rests with the Board.

The Board of Directors meets four times a year. To be considered, full proposals should be submitted by February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1. In most cases, staff is able to complete its reviews of proposals in time for the next scheduled Board meeting. Occasionally, it is not, or Board consideration is deferred to a later meeting.

BETF feels that this proposal is best targeted to programs and services hosted by our BDPA Milwaukee chapter.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

George Gund Foundation

The George Gund Foundation encourages inquiries about the application of their funding guidelines to specific ideas in advance of the submission of formal proposals. Foundation staff welcome the opportunity to provide guidance, suggest alternatives and recommend partners.

Proposals should be addressed to:

The George Gund Foundation
1845 Guildhall Building
45 Prospect Avenue West
Cleveland, Ohio 44115
Telephone: (216) 241-3114

Proposals are considered by the Foundation’s Trustees in March, June, September and December. Deadlines for submitting proposals for consideration at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Trustees are July 16, November 15 and March 15. Proposals are due the next business day if a deadline falls on a weekend.

All proposals must include a climate change statement, a brief explanation of what the organization is doing or considering to reduce or to eliminate its impact on climate change. The Foundation’s website includes resources to assist grantees with this task. In this same spirit, they ask that organizations do not submit proposals in notebooks, binders or plastic folders and print proposals on both sides of each sheet of paper.

All proposals are screened and evaluated by the staff before presentation at Trustee Meetings. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged by mail.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation funds a number of education grants each year. In most cases, they identify and evaluate prospective grantees through the issuance of Requests for Proposals or other careful screening processes. While they believe this approach strengthens the effectiveness of their investments, it also means that unsolicited proposals are rarely funded.

Nevertheless, organizations wishing to send a one- to two-page letter of inquiry (please do not send videotapes or e-mail inquiries) describing the project, your organization, the estimated total for the project and the portion requiring funding, should write to:

The Wallace Foundation
General Management
5 Penn Plaza, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10001

The mission of the Wallace Foundation is to support and share effective ideas and practices that enable institutions to expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. To achieve this, they are focusing exclusively on three major areas:
  1. Strengthening educational leadership in ways that significantly improve student achievement.
  2. Helping selected cities make high-quality out-of-school learning opportunities available to many more children.
  3. Making the arts a part of many more people's lives by working with arts organizations, schools and other providers of arts education and experience to build both present and future arts audiences.
In each of these areas, their approach is to select and invest in innovation sites willing to test promising new approaches, while commissioning and sharing independent research that could benefit the work in those sites as well as many others who are interested in pursuing similar changes but who may never receive our direct funding. The specific strategies they are using in each of these three areas are described in the Grants and Programs section of their website, as well as in the Knowledge Center.

Please take a close look at this funding source and let us know if you are interested in pursuing it to support your youth education program.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eckerd Family Foundation

The Eckerd Family Foundation is committed to promoting meaningful and lasting change to transform the lives of vulnerable youth and their families.

America is the richest of all nations. Yet there are millions of children and families who most likely will not share in the educational, economic and social opportunities all should enjoy. They are not connected to the networks and opportunities that are critical for improving life choices.

The Eckerd Family Foundation's mission provides leadership and support for innovative educational, preventative, therapeutic and rehabilitative programs for children, youth and their families.

Their focus is on vulnerable youth. Although there are as many definitions of vulnerable youth as there are organizations serving them, we prefer a very simple definition. Vulnerable youth face a questionable and uncertain future because they are ill prepared or incapable in their present circumstances of reaching their full potential.

The foundation seeks to support educational and nontraditional opportunities for youth and families. Currently such support is in the following areas: The foundation explores educational opportunities for youth and families through its Scholarship Initiative so that through a combination of guidance and self-determination, grantees are given the ability to enable their participants to take advantage of the full spectrum of possibilities that spring from education. Regular contact with grantees affords the foundation the nimble flexibility needed to adjust to changing needs. The definition of “education” shall be flexible and currently includes:
  • Scholarships
  • Out-of-school activities
  • Vocational education
  • Alternative education/dropout prevention
The needs of America's youth are tremendous. And since the Foundation is committed to granting the full extent of their resources within a decade, the opportunities and potential are both unique and compelling. Eckerd Foundation welcomes partnership with those who share their goals, as well as those who are inspired to try new ideas to make America a better place for all children and families.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grant Award: BlueCross BlueShield of Texas (BDPA Dallas)

Most would say that the success of BDPA over the years has been its ability to generate passion and results from volunteers. As such, it is always a joy to find corporations that support the volunteer efforts of its workforce. One such corporation is BlueCross BlueShield of Texas (BCBSTX), A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, who has a wonderful volunteer grant program known as the Blue Corps Employee Volunteer Program.

The program coordinator wrote the following:

BlueCross and BlueShield of Texas is pleased to enclose a contribution in the amount of $160 to BDPA Education and Technology Foundation as a valued community partner in our Blue Corps Volunteer Program.

The contribution is a matching gift for the number of hours that BCBSTX employees supported BDPA Dallas chapter in 2011.

Since our founding more than 75 years ago as the only statewide member-owned health insurer, we have sought to remain a vital part of the communities where we were born. We are committed to partnering with local organizations to improve the well-being of the communities where we live and work, and we are honored to support your efforts.

We appreciate the work being done by your organization and wish you continued success.

Debbie Cox
Community Affairs Representative

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sprint Foundation

The Sprint Foundation's charitable giving program emphasizes the support of local and regional organizations in those communities in which the corporation has a major presence. Currently, those areas include Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City (metro area), Orlando, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Support of national organizations with a broad sphere of interests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Foundation's geographic focus is primarily domestic.

The Foundation's emphasis on education is targeted to math, science and technology programs relative to telecommunication careers. Support of elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education is focused principally in the Employee Matching Gift Program. Few grant awards are made to individual schools. Unsolicited scholarship requests will not be considered for funding.

The Foundation's support of youth organizations will be targeted to drug and alcohol education, minority youth endeavors, broad-scale community youth activities focused on building leadership and social skills, and to programs that promote business and economic education for youth.

The Sprint Foundation reviews unsolicited proposals on a continuous basis. Applicants will typically receive a response within four to six weeks. If a proposal is accepted for further consideration, the organization will be contacted. Directors meet quarterly to consider qualifying grant applications.

There are eleven (11) BDPA chapters eligible for funding support from the Sprint Foundation. BETF is interested in submitting a grant proposal to the Sprint Foundation from any of those eleven chapters.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Geeks Gone Great: Steve Pemberton (Walgreen Company)

by Sheila Marionneaux
Blacks Gone Geek

Steve Pemberton is Chief Diversity Officer and Divisional Vice-President for Walgreens, the first such person to hold that responsibility in the company's 110 year history. One of America's most inspiring executives, Steve's journey to corporate America has been all but traditional. He has become recognized as one of the nation's leaders on matters of diversity and inclusion and its importance to the growth of the American industrial complex. In 2006, Fortune named Steve Pemberton one of the Top 20 Chief Diversity Officers in corporate America. In 2007, Steve was called to Capitol Hill to provide expert testimony on best practices in diversity recruiting and in 2008 he was named by Savoy as one of The Top 100 most influential African-Americans in corporate America. Steve currently serves on several boards including The Home for Little Wanderers and UCAN to provide guidance and inspiration to children in need. The Pemberton Fund For The Future has been established at The Home For Little Wanderers to assist children aging out of the foster care system.

A ward of the state for much of his childhood, Steve has made opportunity, access and equality pillars of his personal and professional life. His memoir, A Chance in the World, was published by Thomas Nelson in January of 2012. A Chance In The World: An Orphan Boy, a Mysterious Past, and How He Found a Place Called Home is his riveting autobiography that chronicles Steve's difficult path through foster care and determined search for his family. It is an inspirational story that crosses generations and cultures, but specifically whispers to those who have had the odds stacked against them. Steve's relentless journey to overcome, find his biological family, and right the wrongs of his parents' past, is a model for all families to follow. It is a true testament of faith, fortitude and forgiveness. A Chance In The World achieved a favorable Kirkus review, was recently featured in People Magazine earning 3.5/4.0 stars, and Amazon reviews give A Chance In The World 5 stars!

Steve is a graduate of Boston College. He is married and has three children.

Read the full Blacks Gone Geek interview.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Annenberg Foundation

Established in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, the Annenberg Foundation provides funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally through its headquarters in Radnor, Pennsylvania and offices in Los Angeles, California. Its major program areas are education and youth development; arts, culture and humanities; civic and community; health and human services; and animal services and the environment.

In addition, the Foundation operates a number of initiatives which expand and complement these program areas. The Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge.

In order to determine your eligibility for funding, please read the funding restrictions carefully. Also, review the grants database to gain familiarity with the types of programs that have received funding. A letter of inquiry should be submitted only if your project falls within one of the Annenberg Foundation's funding areas.

The Annenberg Foundation accepts letters of inquiry at all times during the year and there are no deadlines. After review of the inquiry by Foundation staff, the applicant will be contacted within 6 to 8 weeks as to the status of the request.

Contact BETF executive director if your chapter wants to submit a letter of inquiry to this funding source.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Raytheon Charitable Foundation

Raytheon Company is a diversified technology-based company engaged in the business areas of electronics, aircraft products, major appliances, energy services, and textbook publishing. Raytheon believes it has a responsibility to be an active member of its communities, so high priority is given to projects that serve the geographic areas where company facilities are located, including New Mexico. The Raytheon Charitable Foundation is strategically focused on math and science education, access and opportunity, and environmental stewardship.

Eligibility Requirements: Organizations must be tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are not made to individuals, operating support for organizations affiliated with the United Way, religious, fraternal, political or athletic organizations, health and disease-specific organizations, basic research projects, sponsorships of local groups or individuals to participate in regional, national or international competitions, conferences or events, private foundations, in-kind contributions, private elementary and secondary schools, and organizations whose activities are primarily national or international in scope.

Application information is listed on the website. Applicants must complete an online application to be able to apply. There are no deadlines ... applications are accepted at any time.

Janet Taylor, Manager
Corporate Contributions
Raytheon Charitable Foundation
870 Winter St.
Waltham, MA 02451-1449
Phone: (781) 522-3000

Friday, May 18, 2012

The William Penn Foundation

The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Philadelphia region through efforts that foster rich cultural expression, strengthen children’s futures, and deepen connections to nature and community. In partnership with others, the Foundation works to advance a vital, just, and caring community. This Foundation seeks to build systems to support beyond-school-hours opportunities. They seek programs that advocate for a more coordinated approach to the public policies affecting beyond-school-hours programs in Greater Philadelphia, including Camden.

The Foundation employs a two-step application process. First, prospective applicants should approach the Foundation by submitting a letter of inquiry. Then, if the letter of inquiry indicates a potential fit with the Foundation’s criteria, applicants will be invited to submit a more formal proposal.

Letters of inquiry can be submitted at any time during the year. They should be sent via the Foundation's web-based, on-line inquiry form. Inquiries will also be accepted as an email attachment or through the US Mail. Letters of inquiry are not accepted by fax. All letters of inquiry are reviewed by Foundation staff on a regular basis. They usually able to notify you of our decision to invite or decline to invite a proposal within 60 days.

Grants are made to organizations located in and serving constituents in the five-county Greater Philadelphia region -- Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County, and in the City of Camden, New Jersey.

Let us know if your chapter wants to partner with BETF to submit a letter of inquiry.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students (Deadline: July 1, 2012)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announce opening of the application period for the 2012 Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students. The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding students of color, with an interest in Information Technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

This year we will offer one $2,500 college scholarship at the national level and one $2,500 college scholarship in the Eli Lilly corporate headquarters city of Indianapolis. The eligibility requirements and application for this college scholarship opportunity can be found in the document shown below.

The deadline for application is July 1, 2012.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

HSCC Testimonial: Quenice Simms (BDPA Washington DC, 2008)

My name is Quenice Simms and I am extremely proud to have participated as a member of the 2008 High School Computer Competition (HSCC) national team trained by BDPA Washington DC chapter. I remember my first interview with my BDPA instructors Mr. Lou Shack, Mr. Ed Yeldell and Mr. Edwards. They were committed and dedicated to the program, students, and parents. Their expectations for the students were well above what we expected for ourselves coming into the program.

Our BDPA instructors were knowledgeable, thorough, and most of all, patient. Mr. Shack, Mr. Yeldell, and Mr. Edwards were the greatest instructors a student could ask for. They made the learning process much easier. We were able to focus on the content of what was being taught. Computer programming can be difficult, but with the right instructors it can be accomplished. My instructors knew that I had potential to be one of the brightest students in the class. I was selected to compete in the national competition during my first year. Our team came in 2nd place during the 2008 national BDPA HSCC championship. That was a very rewarding and memorable experience that I’ll never forget. I will always have a love for technology thanks to the BDPA Washington DC Chapter.

BDPA was a life-changing experience for me. I learned the true meaning of teamwork. We all set out to tackle and accomplish the same goal. We worked in sync, and spent endless hours preparing for competitions. The notes and quizzes helped me to become more structured in my daily life, and the wealth of knowledge learned will carry on in aspects of my educational and career goals. This generation is highly dependent on technology, and without BDPA I would not be where I am today.

My educational and career goals are to attend Hampton University in order to obtain my Bachelors in kinesiology.  Masters in Bio-kinesiology and my Ph.D in physical therapy sports medicine. I am mesmerized at how exercise, therapy, and an open mind can repair the human body. My plan is to open a not-for-profit Physical Therapy Center that service high school students with sports-related injuries. The center would be open seven days a week, assisting those with financial need. For some student athletes, dreams are all that they have. I would like to help them mentally and physically, so their dreams can become their reality.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cybersecurity Czar Dr. Ernest McDuffie is Keynote Speaker for BDPA Conference Awards Gala

The excitement continues to build for the 34th annual National BDPA Technology Conference and Career Expo to be held at the Downtown Hilton in Baltimore, Maryland on August 1-4, 2012. The theme for the conference is 'Transforming the IT Professional'. BDPA recently announced that the Awards Gala keynote speaker will be Dr. Ernest McDuffie.

In early 2010 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was selected as the lead agency for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education and Dr. McDuffie was appointed as the Lead for this effort. In his previous position he had been appointed the Associate Director of the National Coordination Office (NCO) for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development in February 2008. From early September 2009 until early November 2009 he served as Acting Director of the NCO. His appointment as the Associate Director of the NCO comes after joining the NIST as a Computer Scientist in their Information Technology Laboratory, Office of Federal and Industrial Relations. In August 2006, Dr. McDuffie joined the NCO where he served as the Technical Coordinator for the Cyber Security and Information Assurance Inter-agency Working Group, Federal Agency Administration of Science and Technology Education and Research Committee of Practice, and the Software Design and Productivity Coordination Group.

Prior to joining the NCO, Dr. McDuffie served as the Deputy Director of the Office of Naval Research – Science and Technology for America’s Readiness Initiative. He served as the Lead Program Director for the Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service Program at the National Science Foundation.

He served as an Assistant Professor at Florida State University in the Department of Computer Science where he taught both graduate and undergraduate courses in CS for seven years. Dr. McDuffie has participated in software engineering projects for the U.S. Air Force, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the Federal Aviation Administration, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the National Security Agency.

Dr. McDuffie received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. Dr. McDuffie will address IT industry executives and IT, Cyber, and STEM professionals in front of a distinguished audience of national High School Computer Competition and IT Showcase finalists.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Where Are They Now? Packard Bell

I never had much dealing with Packard Bell. Do any of you have any memories of Packard Bell?

What it was: A PC manufacturer (named after a venerable but defunct radio company) that dominated the retail home PC market in the early 1990s.

What happened: Numerous products fell on hard times in part because of crummy business decisions by their owners, but no other one did itself in so quickly and so self-destructively as Packard Bell. Its computers were cheap in part because they were terrible, and backed by subpar customer support. When rivals such as Compaq started selling reasonable computers at reasonable prices through retail stores, Packard Bell started to founder. The decision by NEC to take a controlling interest in Packard Bell in 1995 seemed bizarre even at the time; in 2000, the last Packard Bells disappeared from U.S. store shelves.

Current whereabouts: Lots of places -- just not stateside. The brand name never died in Europe, and after a couple of further changes of ownership, it ended up as an arm of Taiwanese PC giant Acer in 2008. It now makes laptops, desktops, displays, MP3 players and desktops. And if it ever returns to the U.S. market, it’ll be a more impressive comeback than anything Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens has managed.

SOURCE: 'Where Are They Now? 25 Computer Products That Refuse to Die' by Harry McCracken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Growing Roots for More STEM

by Marjorie Censer
Washington Post

Local technology companies, concerned by a growing pool of jobs and an inadequate number of qualified employees, have increasingly focused on initiatives to improve what they call STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The focus is partly out of necessity. Many companies, such as defense contractors who need employees with security clearances, simply can’t find enough people to fill their jobs.

Many are beginning to broaden their approach from a focus on university programs and newly minted graduates.
Companies have been diversifying their investments,” from looking beyond college students to kids in middle and high schools", said James Brown, executive director of the STEM Education Coalition, whose membership includes associations and businesses. “To the extent that you’re really trying to look at the big picture ... [companies are betting] that if we make the pipeline stronger there, it will have ripple effects upwards.”
There are multiple ways to address STEM education; here is a look at how local businesses are spending their time and dollars:

Read the rest of this Washington Post article.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

BDPA Leaders: George Brooks & Jimm Middleton

George Brooks (l) and Jimm Middleton (r) posed for this photo at the National BDPA Board of Directors meeting held in Cleveland on May 2005.

George is a long-time BDPA member with ties to our chapters in Chicago, Detroit and Columbus. He served as president of the BDPA Columbus chapter from 2004-2005.

Jimm is a long-time BDPA member with ties to our chapter in Washington DC and Orlando. He served as a chapter president in both chapters ... and in fact, is the founder of the BDPA Orlando chapter. Jimm met his soul-mate in BDPA. They are now married and living the good life in Orlando!

Monday, May 7, 2012

BDPA iRadio Show - May 8, 2012

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. Our Internet Radio Show has been up and running for nine months with over 80 guests. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog.

Episodes of the BDPA iRadio Show are now available for immediate and FREE download from the iTunes Store.

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio

The guests on the May 8th show:

Kendall Norris - chapter president, BDPA Middle Tennessee - Kendall joined Deloitte Services, Information Technology Services’ Program Management Office as the U.S. Leader accountable for the successful delivery of information technology projects.  Kendall is a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum.  Earlier this year Kendall accepted leadership role as president of BDPA Middle Tennessee Chapter.  The chapter is fortunate to have a man with executive leadership experience in the presidency. We look forward to hearing what he and his chapter leadership team envision in 2012 for BDPA stakeholders in the greater Nashville area.

Dr. Donna Grant - assistant computer information systems professor, North Carolina Central University - Dr. Donna Grant earned her Ph.D. in computer science from DePaul University. She is currently an assistant professor at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She recently earned the NCCU Awards for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Grant learned about BDPA during her time in Chicago. She introduced a number of DePaul students to BDPA programs. There are very few African American Ph.D. graduates in the computer science field every year. We want to know what Dr. Grant thinks about the death of Blacks advancing to the highest academic levels in STEM-centric curriculum. How can BDPA ‘make a difference’ in this area as we look to win the future? In addition, Dr. Grant has done some outstanding research about the low number of Black girls that are advancing in the STEM-related fields. Our audience would like to learn more about this research as well.

Coram Rimes - director, BDPA Northeast Region - Coram has over 35 years of corporate work experience with various roles in marketing & sales, technology, auditing, physical security and information technology for the past 20 years. During his career, he served with increased responsibility from supervisory level, middle management and corporate officer. For the past decade he has been a director. His past employers have been major corporations including, AT&T, Verizon, Bank of New York, and Federal Reserve Bank of New York, TIAA-CREF and Prudential. Coram also has a remarkable history with BDPA. Coram is one of a handful of BDPAers in history to be elected to public office. He was elected to serve on the Orange (NJ) City Council in 2000-2008. Coram is also a business owner. He has operated a tax preparation business since 1985. We look forward to learning the vision and plans that Coram has for the newly-created BDPA Northeast Region.

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests.  Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Taking Time Out to Revitalize STEM

by Keith Peden, SVP

For years, the United States has been losing ground to other countries in the race for qualified workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics; the so-called STEM fields. It's not that American kids start out any less curious about the world than kids abroad. But they are clearly not getting the kind of motivation they need.

National Volunteer Week, which took place in late April, provided a perfect opportunity for local scientists, tech professionals and business leaders to share their enthusiasm with the next generation of researchers.

The basic numbers are clear enough: On international tests, U.S students are ranked 31st in the world in math. In 2009, when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked countries based on how many of their young workers had STEM degrees, America came in 23rd, well below the OECD average and trailing Spain, Portugal, and Turkey.

The problem shows up throughout the educational pipeline. By the time they reach 12th grade, only 17 percent of students are both interested in a STEM career and considered "proficient" in math. That's not good enough.

The demographic gaps are also troubling. One-quarter of African American 12th graders are interested in STEM but not proficient in math, and only 20 percent of engineering students are female.

Read the rest of this Gainesville Sun article.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

PepsiCo Foundation

As PepsiCo's philanthropic anchor, PepsiCo Foundation is responsible for providing charitable contributions to eligible non-profit organizations. The Foundation is committed to developing sustainable partnerships and programs in under-served regions that provide opportunities for improved health, environment, and education.

All requests for funding must be submitted through PepsiCo Foundation's new “Letter of Interest” (LOI) process.

Requests are evaluated on a rolling basis. Consideration regularly takes several months during peak times. Once a decision has been made, applicant organizations will be contacted and may be invited to submit a proposal if their program is a fit.

Do not mail requests directly to PepsiCo Foundation. Only LOI requests submitted to the correct email will be eligible for consideration.

Only programs that meet specific guidelines and further strategic goals and objectives within The PepsiCo Foundation's focus areas will be considered for funding. Please be sure to read the Foundation's Focus Areas and Grant Guidelines to check your eligibility before submitting an application.

The Foundation's key focus areas and priorities include:
  1. Health: Food security; Improved and optimum nutrition; Energy balance
  2. Environment: Water security; Sustainable agriculture; and Adaptive approaches to our changing climate
  3. Education: Access to education and training for the underserved; Women's empowerment
In evaluating funding requests, the Foundation will consider only those proposals which meet the following criteria:
  1. The extent to which the request addresses specific goals, methodologies and approaches.
  2. The degree to which the request advances or fulfills The PepsiCo Foundation stated goals and priorities.
  3. Evidence of proven success in the field or scope of work specific to the request.
  4. A method by which to measure and track impact and progress.
If you are seeking a grant, you must first submit a brief letter of interest that answers the questions in the attached document. Please submit this letter via email only to

Requests should align with PepsiCo Foundation's focus areas and objectives. Please keep in mind their goal of reaching and providing support to underserved regions across the globe.

You will be contacted and invited to submit a proposal only if your program is a fit with The PepsiCo Foundation. If you are invited to submit a formal proposal, please understand that there is no guarantee that your request will be funded. Your proposal will be evaluated along with other invited proposals within the budget available.

BETF operates on a first-come, first-served basis. The first eligible BDPA chapter to express interest in approaching this funding source is who we will be worked.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Message from the National BDPA President

by Monique Berry
National BDPA President

 Why You Should Attend the BDPA Technology Conference

As strange as this may sound it has never occurred to most members to go to the BDPA Technology Conference. They know about it - they've been getting emails since joining letting them know about it, but it has never even come up as something to do.

This is how I felt when I joined. The conference was is in Dallas, Texas and I lived hundreds of miles away, and I already had my own summer plans.

As it turned out, my plans changed, I had some free time so I went to the 2004 conference in Dallas. I can honestly say it was the single best thing I'd experienced with my BDPA membership since I joined in 2001.

There were a number of reasons the conference was fantastic - any one of them alone made it worth going:
  1. I was not a minority among attendees. Do you know what it's like to attend a conference where there may be one or two (.5%) other people who look like you?
  2. I networked with members of Chapters from around the country. I sat next to them in seminars, ate with them at the plenary luncheons and socialized with them during the corporate receptions.
  3. We talked about our careers, issues, challenges, opportunities, the companies we worked for and companies that we wanted to work for.
  4. We talked about our chapters; what we've done that was successful; mistakes we've made; and new ideas for how our chapters could move forward.
I walked away from the conference with a notepad full of action items for my personal development as well as ideas for the Chapter (enough to keep us busy the whole year if we wanted); a pocket full of business cards of peers, recruiters and decision makers; and a stronger feeling of optimism for my Chapter and what we could accomplish than I would have ever imagined.

Perhaps the most important thing I got from the conference was competency. I was amazed at how much tangible, real-world advice was given. There were talks on how to use technology, chapter building, closing the digital divide, leadership skills, team building, and much more. In short, I received a lot of information on developing oneself and everything necessary to know how to run a successful Chapter. I've attended dozens of conferences and this was by far one of the most tangible and beneficial.

So within a two-week span, I went from never attending a program meeting to showing up in Dallas not knowing anyone or what to expect, to meeting two new BFFs (Allstate employees: Marvie Barton and Kimberly Vaughn), falling in love with BDPA and the conference.

When I later became president of the Philadelphia chapter, the conference was at the top of our budget. Every year, we were going to send several of our members and students to the conference. We would take full advantage of BDPA Education and Technology Foundation grant awards or disbursements, but whether we get those or not, conference, airfare, and lodging fees, would be covered for that year. Our goal was to win the Chapter of the Year Award to cover some of the registration fees.

So if you haven't attended a Technology conference where you are one of the 99.5% and not the 0.5%, this is the conference for you. This is my personal invitation to you. I would love to meet you in Baltimore!

Warm regards,

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HSCC Testimonial: Frederick Watson, Jr. (BDPA Chattanooga, 2007-2009)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) has awarded more than $377,000 in college scholarships over the past 13 years. We are very proud of the hundreds of young people we helped get into college. These are the young people that BDPA sends out to win the future. Of course we can't do it without the assistance of our donors.

We heard from one of our Bemley Scholars this week. He wants to use his Bemley Scholarship to support his education at Middle Tennessee State University. Take a moment to read his testimonial:

My name is Frederick Antonio Watson, Jr. I am a Business Management student at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. For three years, I participated in BDPA Chattanooga Chapter’s High School Computer Competition Program. In preparation for the National BDPA competition our team attended weekly computer training sessions, which also included problem solving, team building and project and time management. Our team represented Chattanooga and was one of the winning teams in the 2007 national HSCC championship.

The HSCC experience and exposure to this program has been very beneficial. As a team, we received mentoring from our instructors and established a bonding friendship; all of us from the 2008 team currently attend MTSU. I am grateful I was afforded the opportunity to participate in it; I gained computer skills that I used on my job as a high school CAD Operator to complete assignments and projects and I actually continue to use those acquired skills today.

Each year, I looked forward to attending the National BDPA Conference. I enjoyed the competitiveness of the competition, listening to the enlightening speakers, meeting so many different and unique people from all over the country, and observing the professionalism exemplified by the organization as a whole. I’m also very thankful for the doors BDPA opened for me and other youths and commends the organization on its outstanding student programs.

Thank You BDPA Chattanooga Chapter!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Take Five: Kai Dupé (BDPA Dallas)

Kai Dupé is a brother who has been advocating for Blacks in technology via his articles, blogs, presentations and online radio shows. Kai agreed to participate in our recurring 'Take Five' interview series.

  1. How did you get involved with BDPA? - I actually do not remember how I got involved with BDPA. I know that my first interaction with BDPA was via BDPA Dallas vice president of member services Donna Tyler. She sent out a request for speakers. She told me that she received my name from you (Wayne Hicks) as a result of my presentation done at the National Conference that year. I think that may have been 2007 when the conference was in Washington DC. Once I connected with BDPA and you that was it for me. BDPA for Life!
  2. What do you see as the biggest benefit of BDPA membership? - In my mind the biggest benefit of BDPA is the community. One of the main challenges our people face when choosing a career in Information Technology whether it be in corporate America or on the college campus is isolation. As as software developer for over 25 years, I have always been the only Black software developer on the team and it has been no different on most of my corporate positions since college. This problems persists today. The ability to connect with a community of Black IT professionals, and take advantage of the wealth of knowledge and experience of those who have taken the same journey is is the biggest benefit in my opinion.
  3. What future evolution or change would you like to see in BDPA? - I would like to see a move toward publishing. BDPA publishing. :-) The same way BETF initiated the BDPA iRadio program, I would like to see information products based on the years of learning from the programs related to encouraging African Americans to embrace technology and technology careers.
  4. What would you like the Black community to know about BDPA? - I would like MORE of the Black community to be AWARE that BDPA exists. I am baffled by this. But as I speak, mentor and connect with our people and direct them to connect with BDPA more times than not, they are not aware of BDPA. This is unfortunate. I work very hard to make sure that our people who are interested in careers in technology locate their local chapter and take advantage of all of the good work that BDPA is doing.
  5. Any advice for people considering a donation to BETF? - My advice would be to donate. We have many problems and issues in the Black community for sure. But I consider the digital divide to be our generation's civil rights issue. We must close this gap. Technology gives us access to the economic engine of this country and we cannot continue to lag. No organization is more equipped and more dedicated to closing this gap than BDPA. My advice would be to give and give often.

Share some love with Kai in the COMMENTS section!