Thursday, February 28, 2013

Congressional Competition for STEM Education

I must admit that I'm skeptical about anything that comes from the mouth of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). However, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt as it relates to his recent remarks about the Congressional Academic Competition for STEM Education. Take a moment to hear or read what he had to say earlier this week ... and think on impact that this competition may have on BDPA.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of the House’s efforts to promote entrepreneurship and innovation through a new nationwide Congressional Academic Competition focused on science, technology, engineering and math.

“From Robert Noyce to Sergey Brin, America has long been at the forefront of the digital revolution. Yet, the United States faces an increasing challenge in terms of competitiveness and the opportunities available to future generations.

“This competition will provide a unique opportunity for America’s high school and college students, in each Congressional District, to showcase their capabilities and creativity and build a framework for American success.

“Each year, this competition will bring communities together with their Member of Congress to recognize the importance of innovation and motivate students to pursue their ideas, take risks and put forward innovative solutions.

“By challenging students to explore the importance of computer science in their everyday lives, we hope that this competition will help empower them to use their creativity to code for a more prosperous and innovative community.

“This competition will initially focus on developing applications for mobile, tablet, and computer platforms; reviewed by community leaders and entrepreneurs in these fields. However, given that technology rapidly changes over time, the competition has been designed with the ability to evolve for the future.

“Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Chairman Miller, ranking Member Brady, and their staffs for their hard work in making this program possible. It will be exciting to see the kinds of advancements and breakthroughs students will come up with across the country.

“I look forward to the success of the Congressional Academic Competition for years to come and encourage my colleagues to support this effort to inspire the next generation of American innovators.”
What do you think? Can you see BDPA students participating in this congressional competition in the future?

Friday, February 22, 2013

BDPA Dallas Presents 'Networking to Increase Your Net Worth'

Debbie Young
There are currently 45 BDPA chapters around the nation. That means there are up to 45 different opportunities for African American IT professionals to gather to share information at one of the chapter program meetings.

BDPA Dallas did so last night ... and the guest speaker, Debbie Sayles Young, provided some excellent tips on how these networking opportunities can be leveraged to improve relationships, knowledge and business. Her presentation was entitled, 'Networking to Increase Your Net Worth'.

Based on what you saw in this 19-page PowerPoint deck ... do you have any questions, insights or learnings that you care to share with us?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

BDPA's Hadiya Harrigan Wins NCWIT Ohio Award for Aspirations in Computing

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation congratulates Hadiya Harrigan for being selected as a 2012-2013 winner of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing Ohio Affiliate. Hadiya competed in the 2011 and 2012 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships as a member of the team trained by BDPA Cincinnati chapter.  She is currently a senior at Seven Hills Upper School in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations recognized Hadiya for her computing-related aspirations and for her demonstrated, outstanding aptitude and interest in information technology/computing; solid leadership ability; good academic history; and plans for post-secondary education.  Not only did Hadiya win the award for the state of Ohio ... she was also named a National Award runner-up.

BDPA Cincinnati HSCC coordinator Frank Hill wrote,
"I have watched Hadiya grow rapidly from beginner to high proficiency in both Information Technology and leadership. Hadiya demonstrated exceptional technology skills during 2012 by first completing an 32-week advanced IT training course and then serving as the project manager and lead developer for the Cincinnati HSCC team that finished in 7th place (out of 45 eligible BDPA chapters).

Hadiya has developed technical skills in database design; JavaScript programming; ASP.NET Programming; Visual Basic Programming; HTML; SQL; Web Application Design and User Interface Layout. Haydia used her skills to teach and coach fellow students.

Hadiya has a bright future in technology and any other endeavor that she undertakes."
The Ohio NCWIT Affiliate will make the official presentation to Hadiya and her family at an award ceremony on Saturday, May 11, 2013. In the meantime, I encourage all of BDPA-Nation to tip our caps to Hadiya Harrigan. We're very proud of her for winning this award!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Brotherly Love: Teaching Tech to High School Kids

Repost from CBS affiliate in Philadelphia!

By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – President Obama has been encouraging high school students to major in engineering, science, or math. Now, a group of minority tech professionals has decided to take that one step further by giving weekend lessons to the next generation.

In a computer lab at DeVry University in Center City, students are practicing the finer points of computer coding.

Daneel Douglas, a senior at Philadelphia Electrical and Technology Charter High School, joked, “They say there are two different kinds of people in this world: those that know binary and those that don’t. And I can say I know binary!

Every computer runs on zeros and ones, but someone has to tell it what to do. That’s what these students are learning at this free programming class held every Saturday morning by tech professional organization BDPA, which stands for Black Data Processing Associates.

Eileen Gadsden
We don’t think they’re going to be programmers over the 44-week course,” said Eileen Gadsden, president of BDPA Philadelphia. “What we want them to do is like it enough that they choose it in college, and then make it a profession.”

BDPA Philadelphia encourages STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math.

Phillip Easton, a senior at Central High School, said, “I want to either be an accountant or go into computer science.”

I wasn’t really into computers at first, but then I noticed it can get me a lot of opportunities,” said Jasmine Beard, a junior at Central High School.

Jerry Wargo, the campus president of DeVry University Philadelphia, said, “It’s just a perfect fit for them to come in on Saturday morning, when most kids are sleeping, and practice and learn.

Tech professionals volunteer to teach the students, who help each other, too.

Norman Morrison, a senior at Philadelphia Military Academy, said, “If you need help coding something, you just ask your neighbor.”

James Gadsden went through the program in high school. “It’s kind of, in a way, like school. You have to make sure you keep up with your assignments,” he said.

Now, James uses those skills at the Community College of Philadelphia, where he is studying mass media communications, thanks at least in part to those Saturday mornings in the lab.

The students will also compete at a national technology competition later this year.

So far, 100 percent of the students in the program have gone on to college.

To find out more about BDPA, visit:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BDPA Brotha Shares Simple Math Formula to Grow Your Membership

We will share occasional tips from the BDPA Brotha in effort to help local BDPA chapters and other small non-profits as they seek to deliver on their vision and mission. Today's tip is for those of you who need increased membership to grow your chapter.

In science and math, once you figure out the formula needed to achieve your desired result, you have a can't-miss method to getting what you want every time you use it. Wouldn't it be great if everything you wanted in life could be achieved through a simple formula?

Well, there isn't a formula for everything you want, but there is a formula for getting a new member. Once you understand this formula and learn how to initiate it, you can get all the members you want.

Are you ready? Okay, here it is: Trust + Respect + Need = Membership Growth.

Now that's not so hard. At least there's no long division or algebra.

The trust and respect part of the formula mean that you need to develop solid relationships with your potential members. You can instill a sense of trust by showing the buyer that you care more about their end of the deal than your own. People are hesitant to trust those who are solely concerned about themselves. To let the potential member know that you care about their success, let them do the talking while you do the listening. Speak when they need you to speak, but listen to them so they know that you are concerned about their needs.

To build a relationship of respect, follow through on the things you promise. Don't miss appointments, respond in a timely manner, and let them know that you value their membership.

During your time spent building trust and respect, you will discover what their particular need is. Once you know that, do everything in your power to meet that need and you will have a new member.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This Week in BDPA (Feb 17-23)

BDPA offers strong programs in 45 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coram Rimes Steps Down as BDPA Regional Director

I've always referred to Coram Rimes as one of the hardest working members in BDPA. It saddened me to know that he was stepping down as the BDPA Northeast Region director. Coram built a remarkable legacy in BDPA over the course of the past 18 years. He has been a member of the BDPA New Jersey chapter for most of its existence ... serving in a variety of chapter leadership roles including two terms (2003-2004 and 2008-2011) as its president. Coram received the highest award that BDPA gives out to individuals -- the Epsilon Award -- in 2007 for his outstanding community service. He was elected as the first-ever regional director in the nation's history in 2011.

Coram personally supported me in both BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). I've been a keynote speaker at his invitation for a chapter banquet as well as a guest speaker at one of his chapter's program meetings. Coram has been making regular donations in support of BDPA programs, scholarships and services over the years. In fact, he leveraged his own personal donations with a 100% matching gift through an employee-giving program offered by his employer, Prudential.

Coram is one of the few BDPAers in history to be elected to public political office ... serving as both a city councilman and housing authority commissioner for his community. In addition to his IT career with Prudential, Coram uses his entrepreneurial skills every year for a growing tax service business.

Coram's active leadership will be missed by BDPA on a local, regional and national level. But, our loss is somewhat tempered by the fact that he is a lifetime member of the organization that he loves.

I am sure that the entire BDPA nation wishes him the best in his retirement from the regional post and in his new adventures. We hope he will still find time to visit BDPA at local chapter events and the occasional national conference over the coming years!

R. Wayne Hicks, executive director
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

BDPA Corporate Sales Presentation: Detroit (2013)

BDPA Detroit chapter recently made a sales presentation to a large corporation. I thought that the presentation deck used by the chapter was one of the best that I've seen. As such, I'm sharing it with you for your consideration:

What do you think?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

This Week in BDPA (Feb 10-16, 2013)

BDPA offers strong programs in 45 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

BDPA Seeks Nominations for 2014-2015 Leadership Positions

BDPA Needs You. BDPA is looking for technology professionals that want a chance to make their voice heard and to effect change for the betterment of the technology profession. Good news is that nominations have been received, but the organization needs MORE.

If you are one of those individuals or know someone who is passionate about driving BDPA to higher level, please consider joining the National BDPA Board of Directors.

National BDPA is now accepting nominations for positions at the regional and national level. In accordance with the National BDPA Bylaws (dated August 6, 2010) Article 5 Section 4, nominations for the following national offices must be submitted no later than midnight on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

In accordance with its by-laws, the National BDPA's Election and By-laws Committee (EBC) is seeking BDPA members to serve on its Board of Directors, with a term beginning on January 1, 2014 and ending in December 31, 2015. The Committee invites those seeking to serve on the association's Board of Directors to declare their candidacies no later than midnight on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

Judaea Lane
Also, in accordance with the National BDPA Bylaws Article 12 Section 1, proposals for amendments of the Bylaws must be submitted no later than midnight on Saturday, April 13, 2013.

If you have questions or wish to discuss further please contact Judaea Lane, EBC Chair via email ( or phone (301.584-3135) *or* you can visit the BDPA website on for more information or to make a nomination.

Friday, February 1, 2013

BDPA Computer Camp: Los Angeles (2013)

BDPA Los Angeles chapter won the bronze medal at the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship last year. They are not satisfied. They want to win the whole thing this year ... and they are beginning right away!

BDPA Los Angeles chapter used this presentation package to recruit 7th thru 12th grade students for participation in their 2013 computer camp leading up to the selection of a team to participate in this year's national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship to be held later this year in Washington DC.

Contact BDPA Los Angeles chapter ( if you have questions or wish to discuss further.