Thursday, January 31, 2013

Equal Internet Access is a K-12 Must-Have

COMMENTARY by Helen Brunner

The days when spiral notebooks, No. 2 pencils, and a backpack full of textbooks served as the mainstays of the American classroom are rapidly giving way to a new school environment. Interactive whiteboards, online classes, streaming lectures, and digital textbooks are revolutionizing the way students learn and communicate with their teachers. Technology is blurring the brick-and-mortar boundaries of learning in 21st-century schools.

As a result, access to the Internet has become a need-to-have-not just a nice-to-have-when it comes to student success. After all, according to documents the Federal Communications Commission's broadband task force released in 2009, about 70 percent of teens said the Internet had been their primary source for a recent school project, and at least 65 percent went online at home to complete their homework. Teachers routinely assign homework that requires Internet use to complete, and more than half of American schools expect to adopt e-textbooks in the next two to three years.

But with this increased reliance on the Internet as a basic resource in our education system, we can't forget about the infrastructure that makes it all possible. We must ensure that all students-no matter their location or socioeconomic status-have access to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet both in and outside the classroom.

Even if students have reliable Internet access at school, many become digitally disconnected once they leave. This is especially true for minorities and those who live in rural or low-income communities, and it makes their homework harder to complete.

Read the rest of this Black Star Journal commentary here.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Best Practices for BDPA Computer Camps (Los Angeles)

BDPA chapters around the nation are ramping up their Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) programs for 2013. One component of the SITES program is a computer camp for high school students that takes place on Saturdays with volunteer instructors.

 One of the fastest-growing computer camps is hosted by BDPA Los Angeles chapter. BDPA Los Angeles chapter president John Malonson recently shared some of the 'best practices' used by his chapter:
John Malonson
  1. Google Services - Use Google Docs Forms to create registration forms (the back-end spreadsheet can then be easily shared and viewed by whomever you'd like to have access). Believe me, it makes the registration process super easy and hassle free. The form can be used to track volunteers and trainers as well. Here's an example of our form from this year --
  2. Radio advertisement when it's time to fill the pipeline - Our students that took us to the #3 spot last year are in or close to their last year of eligibility so it was time to glut the incoming pipeline. We advertised on a well-known African American LA radio station (KJLH 102.3) which led to 80% of our incoming class and indirectly served the benefit of advertising our organization. Here's our Radio script -
  3. Personal Contact - I personally fielded over a hundred calls of people interested in the program even though the registration fee is $125 for our program. To increase membership, my vision was to basically make the program free for parents and students that are members of BDPA (i.e $100 for adult membership, $25 for student membership). If you don't have one already, you should consider signing up for a Google Voice account since it transcribes voice-mails for you and sends them to your inbox.
  4. Class Schedule - This year we divided the program into 2 tracks (Beginner 12-2pm and Advanced 10-12pm). Our advanced track is primarily for returners so they don't get bored going over stuff they already know. Our program runs from Feb 2nd thru May 11th. Then we'll select our team and will work with them up until the conference.
  5. Finding Trainers / Volunteers - This is the most difficult part. General administrative trainers can be pulled from the parent population if need be. For technical trainers, you basically need to be finding and recruiting them 24/7/365. We found a few by joining groups that catered to our technology platform (HTML , CSS, PHP, etc). First you get friendly with these groups, THEN you start asking for volunteers to help out with "a wonderful program that will suit their talents and develop their leadership abilities".
  6. Topics to be taught this year: - Mobile Development (Android); HTML / CSS; PHP / MySQL; JQuery
Hope that helps!
John Malonson, president
BDPA Los Angeles Chapter

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Scholarships Award STEM Majors

Your vision of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors may be one of mad scientists in white lab coats, vials of bubbling concoctions, or safety goggles and pocket protectors - but as times change, so do the visions of what these important areas of study entail and produce.

As our society becomes increasingly environmentally aware, health conscious, and reliant on technology, STEM majors are playing more prominent roles in their communities and on an international scale. Both the public and private sectors are clamoring for more American students to pursue degrees and careers in STEM related fields, including environmental science, clean energy, exercise science, among others. And, as a result, everyone from private organizations to the federal government is offering attractive STEM scholarships and grants.

Read the rest of this Scholarship America article.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Scholarship America

Scholarship America® is a national organization that helps students get into and graduate from college through three core programs: Dollars for Scholars®, DreamkeepersSM®, and Scholarship Management Services®. More than $2.7 billion in scholarships and education assistance has been awarded to more than 1.8 million students since 1958. Their scholarship administration expertise has helped nearly 1,100 communities and more than 1,100 corporations develop and implement scholarship programs for local students.

Got a question? E-mail them or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Who Am I? Monique Berry (National BDPA President)

BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation strive to make a difference in both the Black community. We have some serious people who volunteer to implement programs that will advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. We don't always get a chance to know our BDPA leaders in a personal way. This blog decided to try and provide you with a different perspective ... a different look ... at our BDPA leaders.

Who Am I?

Monique Berry

  • MONTH, I would be... April
  • COLOR, I would be... Red
  • TIME OF DAY, I would be... 12:00 AM
  • SUPERPOWER, I would be... The ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills
  • FLOWER, I would be... Rose
  • SONG, I would be... Don't Worry Be Happy
  • CAR, I would be... Bugatti Veyron 16.3 Grand Sport Vitesse
  • ITEM OF CLOTHING, I would be... a hat
  • ANIMAL, I would be... a Tiger
  • FOOD, I would be... Red Velvet Chocolate
  • MOVIE, I would be... The Godfather
  • CITY/TOWN, I would be... Las Vegas
  • SPORT, I would be... Golf
Monique Berry has a powerful legacy within BDPA as a successful local chapter president and one of a handful of national presidents.  It has been my sincere pleasure to serve with her and I encourage all who read this blog post to take a moment and email her on

Our hope is that Monique will join us here on the blog to share deeper insights into these things via the COMMENTS feature! What did you learn about our national president via this blog post that you may never have known otherwise?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Buick Achievers Scholarship Program (Deadline: 2/28/2013)

Soulclap to Dr. Craig Brown for sharing this information about the Buick Achievers Scholarship Program. I encourage all BDPAers to ask themselves a simple question:


It starts with good grades. But goes beyond. A dedicated student. A leader in school. A volunteer worker. A college-bound and community-minded individual. The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program wants to reward students who have succeeded both inside and outside of the classroom—and who may not be able to attend college without financial assistance.

REWARDING ACHIEVEMENT, EXPERIENCE & COMMITMENT Scholarship recipients are selected based on the following factors:
  • Academic achievement and financial need.  
  • Participation and leadership in community and school activities.
  • Work experience.
  •  Interest in pursuing a career in the automotive or related industry.
Please note special consideration will be given to the following applicants: first-generation college, female, minority, military veteran or a dependent of military personnel. The majority of the scholarships will be awarded to students majoring in Engineering/Technology fields. Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship Management Services.

Full Details and Application

Monday, January 21, 2013

Who Am I? - Dr. Jesse Bemley (Founder, IT Showcase and High School Computer Competition)

BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation strive to make a difference in both the Black community. We have some serious people who volunteer to implement programs that will advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. We don't always get a chance to know our BDPA leaders in a personal way. This blog decided to try and provide you with a different perspective ... a different look ... at our BDPA leaders.

Who Am I?

Dr. Jesse Bemley

  • MONTH, I would be... April
  • COLOR, I would be... Black
  • TIME OF DAY, I would be... Morning
  • SUPERPOWER, I would be... USA
  • FLOWER, I would be... Rose
  • SONG, I would be... 'No Charge' (Shirley Caesar)
  • CAR, I would be... Neon
  • ITEM OF CLOTHING, I would be... suit
  • ANIMAL, I would be... a Pit Bull
  • FOOD, I would be... Turkey
  • MOVIE, I would be... True Grit
  • CITY/TOWN, I would be... Memphis
  • SPORT, I would be... Football
Dr. Bemley is the creative genius behind both the BDPA High School Computer Competition and the BDPA IT Showcase. What isn't well-known is that Dr. Bemley is also a past president of the BDPA Washington DC chapter.

Our hope is that Dr. Bemley will join us here on the blog to share deeper insights into these things via the COMMENTS feature! What did you learn about BDPA's intellectual beacon via this blog post that you may never have known otherwise?

Friday, January 18, 2013

BDPA Computer Camp (Washington DC)

We are recruiting high school students for meaningful STEM experiences in the greater Washington DC area. See the following flyer for details ... and please share with any of your DC-based associates.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Future Face of Technology: Emmaly Manchanthasouk (CEO, Emmapowerment Designs)

Emmaly Manchanthasouk was a member of the 2008 and 2009 HSCC teams trained by BDPA Twin Cities. She earned college scholarship funding based on the team's high placement in the 2009 HSCC championship. Earlier this month Emmaly was a featured speaker at the BDPA Twin Cities Awards Gala. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is very proud of Emmaly on any number of levels. She is truly the 'future face of technology'

CEO of Emmapowerment Designs, Manchanthasouk, graduated in Computer Science concentrating in Information Systems with a minor in Fashion Design at the University of St. Thomas.  Her software development company specializes in user interface design, database design and the re-engineering of legacy systems.

A proud Lao woman, she has the passion & heart to empower the underprivileged and bring social change to women across the world. AND she does it all while flaunting her pink zebra obsession.

She lives with her husband in the suburbs of Minnesota with her 2 baby zebras. She claims she cooks the best Lao food."
"I'm such a nerd for doing this but this is the kind of woman I want to be one day. I dream big," admitted Manchanthasouk.
Help BDPA fund college scholarships for the 'future faces of technology' by making a secure online donation right now!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BDPA Celebrates Johnson & Johnson Investment as $100k Platinum-Level Corporate Sponsor

Joining the ranks as one of this year’s National BDPA major corporate sponsors, Johnson & Johnson proudly announced their $100K Platinum Level sponsorship of BDPA’s 35th Annual National Conference on August 14-17, 2013 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. As a global member-focused technology organization with over 45 active chapters in the United States, BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs and is honored to partner with a world class organization such as Johnson & Johnson.

Globally recognized at home and abroad as an agent of goodwill for over a billion people, Johnson & Johnson has earned a reputation as a leader in providing innovative ideas as well as products and services -- one person at a time. They are the world’s largest and most diverse medical devices and diagnostics consumer health care company.
Monique Berry
"This financial support from Johnson & Johnson will allow BDPA to continue to offer computer technology education and professional development programs to our membership. We have benefited from six consecutive years of shared commitment to provide members with the skills they need to fill 21st-century jobs, and provide the United States with the workforce it needs to be innovative and competitive for decades to come," beamed Monique Berry, National BDPA President.
Since 1886, Johnson & Johnson has highlighted research and science in their commitment to enhance the quality of life for the world’s population. With over 250 operating companies in 57 different countries, and 120,200 employees, the Johnson & Johnson Platinum level sponsorship clearly demonstrates their impressive commitment to BDPA.
Regan Scruggs
According to Johnson & Johnson Business Relationship Manager Regan Scruggs, "Johnson & Johnson is excited and proud to continue our Platinum Level Sponsorship of BDPA, in 2013. We value our collaborative partnership to raise awareness of Information Technology throughout the community and the opportunity to expand the Johnson & Johnson IT team with talented recruits from BDPA events."
A major part of the sponsorship from Johnson & Johnson goes directly to the BDPA New Jersey chapter in support of its programs, scholarships and services.
JnJ Supports FIT Day in New Jersey
Goldie Bonney, BDPA New Jersey Chapter President says, “The sustained support from Johnson & Johnson over the past several years has enabled us to provide quality programs for members such as the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) and Families in Technology Day. This corporate sponsorship also helps our New Jersey area communities embrace technology. On behalf of BDPA New Jersey Chapter and the Board of Directors, we are extremely pleased and look forward to our continuing partnership with Johnson & Johnson.
For more information on BDPA’s 35th Annual National Conference, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department,, (513) 284-4968.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

President Profile: Dr. Craig Brown (BDPA Houston)

I think that this may be the first time in over 35 years of BDPA history that a national officer simultaneously served as a local chapter president. If so, much respect must be accorded to Dr. Craig Brown ... who is now serving as the president of the BDPA Houston Chapter. When asked about this challenge, Dr. Brown wrote,
"With the Houston Chapter currently in a rebuilding phase I was asked to serve as the Chapter President until such time that the chapter can sustain proper elections and a full body of officers can be installed. At this time the By-Laws of the chapter will be submitted and the chapter can submit a full roster. Serving in the capacities as both National Vice President and Houston Chapter President is very time consuming and at times takes its toll. The people that support me in Houston and the National Team I work with continue to fill my heart with the nourishment that is needed to fulfill these tasks to the fullest. Since I have taken on both missions I am committed to seeing them both through. Right now the Houston Chapter is more of a project as I am the sole investor and I have some help with management. My national duties are bigger and more organized as I am part of a team and I have support whenever needed."
BDPA Houston Chapter
5644 Westheimer Road, #237
Houston, TX 77056
(281) 687-9219

Dr. Brown has more than 20 years experience in the information technology industry. Dr. Brown's goal of mentoring – and offering advice that results in a more firm grasp of those technologies companies depend on – is being realized every day. His credentials and experience have propelled his career as a leading expert in the IT arena.

Favorite Scripture: 'Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.' ~ Proverbs 22:6

Dr. Brown's extensive background in database administration, ERP Administration and more is backed by more than 25 certifications and a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mechanical engineering. He has also earned a master’s in business administration along with a Doctorate in Management Information Systems & Computer Information Systems.

Favorite Quote: 'The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image.' ~ Charles Chestnutt (1858-1932)

Just for fun Dr. Brown indulges his competitive streak with bowling, golfing and his adventurous side with sky diving, snowboarding, motorcycling and other motor sports.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Who Am I? - Teresa Williams (BDPA South Region Vice President)

BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation strive to make a difference in both the Black community. We have some serious people who volunteer to implement programs that will advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. We don't always get a chance to know our BDPA leaders in a personal way. This blog decided to try and provide you with a different perspective ... a different look ... at our BDPA leaders.

Who Am I?

Teresa Williams

  • MONTH, I would be... January (I love new beginnings)
  • COLOR, I would be... Yellow (the color of the sunshine)
  • TIME OF DAY, I would be... 12:01 AM (the start of a new day)
  • SUPERPOWER, I would be... Me!
  • FLOWER, I would be... an Iris (inspiration)
  • SONG, I would be... Blessed (Jill Scott)
  • CAR, I would be... a convertible
  • ITEM OF CLOTHING, I would be... a LBD (little black dress)
  • ANIMAL, I would be... an Eagle
  • FOOD, I would be... Dessert
  • MOVIE, I would be... a comedy
  • CITY/TOWN, I would be... Maui, Hawaii (magical & beautiful)
  • SPORT, I would be... nothing that involves a 'ball'
You can find Teresa on BDPA iRadio Show, Facebook or LinkedIn Network.

Our hope is that Teresa will join us here on the blog to share deeper insights into these things via the COMMENTS feature! What did you learn about our regional vice president via this blog post that you may never have known otherwise?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

This Week in BDPA (Jan 13-19)

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.

Message from BDPA Charlotte Chapter President

Hello BDPA Charlotte chapter family and friends! I want to update you on a few events and programs that we gearing up for at the start of the new year.

High School Computer Competition - We are getting our 2013 HSCC program ready for kick off in February.

  • Our HSCC program teaches high school students how to build web sites and web applications in .Net
  • HSCC open house will be on 02/09/2013, registration is not required to visit the open house
  • For more information on what the HSCC program is please visit our chapter web site. You will find a flyer that can be used to share this information with others.
  • If you are interested in registering a student please use our registration process through EventBrite -
  • I am happy to announce that this year students that are enrolled in our HSCC program will receive Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District internship credits which will be recorded with their transcripts and report cards.
  • Thanks to a few key folks that made this happen: Kevin Robinson, John Hoffler, Jean Beachem, and Melvin Rogers
IT Showcase - We are also looking for a few students to join the BDPA IT Showcase.
February Workshop - In February we will also be holding a Seminar and hands-on Workshop.
  • The workshop will walk you through how to setup a website using Go-Daddy and Wordpress.
  • This workshop will be geared to the non-programming professional
  • We will meet at the Urban League on 5th Street
  • Meeting will start at 6:30
  • Food and Beverages will be available
Member Benefits - If you are a BDPA member, we have also renewed our relationship with HF Mutual
  • They are offering a free review and advice on your financial plans
  • They offer up to 15% off on financial services and products exclusively for BDPA Charlotte chapter members.
  • HF Mutual presented two (2) financial management seminars last year for BDPA Charlotte chapter
  • If you are interested in what they have to offer please reach out to Steven Block (
It is an election year, so if you are interested in joining our Board and making a difference in your community please let me know. My email address is

If you are interested in presenting a topic to our membership at one of our future seminars or hands-on workshops, please reach out to us at Prior presenting experience is not needed.

If you are interested in assisting with any of our training programs, we are always in desperate need for volunteers, again please call or reach out to us at

Markus Beamer, president
BDPA Charlotte Chapter

Saturday, January 12, 2013

BDPA Welcomes Health Care Service Corporation as a Gold Level Sponsor

Committed to their corporate social responsibility of giving, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) recently took a giant step towards emerging ‘winning the future’ with their generous $50,000 Gold Level corporate investment in BDPA’s 35th Annual National Technology Conference that will be held August 14-17, 2013 at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D. C. HCSC is the parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.
Members of HCSC team at 2011 BDPA Conference
"Since 2008, HCSC has made annual corporate investments in BDPA and I am delighted to welcome them back for the fifth consecutive year as a BDPA partner. Their generous contribution will assist us in developing a high-quality conference as well as the annual Youth Technology Camp which focuses on youth engagement in science, technology, engineering and math) education. With this contribution, we once again have an opportunity to thank HCSC for being a visionary corporate citizen," said Monique Berry, National BDPA President.
Widely known for being among the fastest growing health and life insurance companies in the nation, HCSC is committed to local community relations, volunteering, diversity and inclusion, ethics and compliance, and wellness and sustainability initiatives.
Brian Hedberg
Denise Holmes, HCSC corporate champion says, “Under the visionary leadership of our CIO and Executive Sponsor, Brian Hedberg, Blue Cross Blue Shield IL, OK, NM, and TX are proud to continue their long-standing relationship with BDPA, an organization whose mission is directly aligned with our overall commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace."
For more information on the 35th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference, Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department,, (513) 284-4968.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter President

New Year! New You! New BDPA Atlanta!
Learn. Grow. Achieve. - The BDPA Atlanta Career Life Cycle

When a new year rushes in, we automatically think about reinventing ourselves whether it’s physically, emotionally, or intellectually; we want an overhaul. With any reinvention it requires real work and 100% commitment.

Felicia Jones
BDPA Atlanta’s mission is to develop career-minded IT professionals through networking and education to become leaders and innovators in the IT industry. To accomplish our mission, we are launching our Learn, Grow, Achieve initiative which are the key components in our new Atlanta BDPA Career Life Cycle.

In 2013, we are dedicated to mentoring and training our members according to their current position in the new BDPA Atlanta Career Life-cycle; our 2013 programs are aligned around it. The BDPA Atlanta Career Life-cycle can assist you in your reinvention and help put you on that path. You can:

LEARN: Acquire knowledge and develop your skills.
Learn a new professional and/or technical skill to apply towards your current career or to land a new position or promotion.
  • Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program – HSCC/ACE
  • New Virtual LBD – Learn By Doing (delivered by; Real world on the job experience through an on-line self-paced program with interactive mentoring and coaching by successful industry veterans
  • Technical Workshops
  • National BDPA Webinars – Career Clinic
  • 3FE - The critical thinker’s methodological tool for motivational empowerment.
GROW: Leverage your knowledge and skills while gaining experience to advance your career.
Applying academic knowledge to ‘real world’ scenarios/experience; fine-tuning your academic skills with experience.
  • Success Alliance – Professional Support Group (Invitation Only)
  • Volunteerism – Gain experience through various BDPA committees
  • Professional Development Bootcamp
  • Professional Networking (Spring/Summer Mixers) Technical Workshop
  • National BDPA Webinars – Career Clinic
  • Meet-ups 3FE - Use the tool and leverage critical thinking skills in acquiring a job or seeking a promotion
ACHIEVE: Redirect your knowledge and skills to obtain your goals.
Build upon your success and reputation by mentoring successors which will lead to you elevating your skills to the next level.
  • Annual Minority IT Executive Forum
  • Executive Meet-ups
  • Volunteerism – Mentor IT Professionals
  • Executive IT Minority Who’s Who
As we know, when we take responsibility and make a commitment, we see real progress in ourselves and our careers. Once you decide to put in the real work and be 100% committed to start the new year with a new you, make sure you start it right with the new BDPA Atlanta where you will Learn, Grow, and Achieve!

Felicia Jones, president
BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Thursday, January 10, 2013

BDPA Celebrates Life Technologies as a Silver Level Corporate Sponsor

Ranked ninth of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World according to Fast Company, Life Technologies was a first-time Silver Level corporate sponsor of the 2012 National BDPA Technology Conference held last year in Baltimore [SOURCE].

Advocating for global diversity, BDPA is at the forefront of market share, membership, transformational change, operational cleanup, and value proposition. And nearly 37 years after its inception, BDPA continues to stand as a leader in delivering 21st century technological programs, education, mentoring, support, and services for world class IT professionals.
"We are delighted to have Life Technologies as a BDPA partner. In addition to this generous $34,000 sponsorship, they are underwriting BDPA memberships for 36 college students. Life Technologies is recognized as the premier association of professional African Americans in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.. The annual conference provides an ideal venue to showcase Life Technologies’ commitment to workforce diversity," said Monique Berry, National BDPA President.
 Recognized as a leader in diversity biotechnology, Life Technologies (LIFE) has $3.3 billion in client sales in 160 countries with a fast-growing intellectual property estate of nearly 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. They also employ approximately 9,000 people. A Life Technologies representative states, “We believe in the power of science and appreciate its rigorous discipline. That’s what drives our passion for innovation, leading to transformative offerings that support endeavors throughout the world.”
Life Technologies is a phenomenal corporation providing some of the most advanced and amazing bio-technology products, in addition to a broad base of extensive research services. National BDPA is very excited and proud to be partnered with Life Technologies and we look forward to integrating their people and technical solutions within our local and national programs,” says Robert Gavin, BDPA Account Manager assigned to Life Technologies.
As a global member focused technology organization with 45 active chapters in the United States, BDPA will host its 35th annual National BDPA Technology Conference on August 14-17, 2013, at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, DC. For more information on creating a corporate partnership with BDPA, contact Wayne Hicks, Director, BDPA Corporate Sales Department, (513) 284-4968,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grant Declination: American Honda Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) made a valiant effort to obtain funding from the American Honda Foundation in support of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Unfortunately, our request for funding was declined.

The declination letter read as follows:

Dear Mr. Hicks,

While the American Honda Foundation recognizes that there is a broad range of organizations worthy of support, budget limitations and policy necessitate a focus on those with the broadest national interest and support and, therefore, the highest potential for success. Obviously, we receive many more requests for support from worthwhile organizations than we can possibly fund each quarter.

Regrettably, your program entitled, Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship, was not chosen for funding.

Alexandra Warnier, Manager
American Honda Foundation

BETF is very appreciative of American Honda Foundation for the support that they provided to us a couple of years ago. We will continue to reach out to various funding sources around the nation because we know that we doing God's work with the young people in our community.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Will BDPA Inspire the Next Generation of STEM Professionals?

We have heard the call by President Barack Obama to improve STEM education so that America can 'win the future'. Many of local BDPA chapters have developed strong Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) programs to support the K-12 students in our communities. And interestingly, although many parents (50%) would like to see their children pursue a STEM career, only 24% are extremely willing to spend extra money helping their children be successful in their math and science classes.

The United States will have more than 1.2 million job openings in STEM-related fields by 2018, and there will be a significant shortage of qualified college graduates to fill them. A Microsoft STEM Survey reveals the motivation for students who select a STEM path to secure their own futures.
  • More than half (57%) of STEM college students said that before going to college, a teacher or class sparked their interested in STEM; especially true of female students (68%)
  • Nearly four in five STEM college students said they decided to study STEM in high school or earlier (78%)
  • 68% said they want a good salary
  • 66% said it’s the job potential
  • 68% said they find their degree program subjects intellectually stimulating and challenging
What do you think? Is BDPA up to this new challenge? Are *YOU* willing to step forward and make a difference?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Who Am I? - Craig Brown (National BDPA Vice President)

BDPA and the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation strive to make a difference in both the Black community. We have some serious people who volunteer to implement programs that will advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. We don't always get a chance to know our BDPA leaders in a personal way. This blog decided to try and provide you with a different perspective ... a different look ... at our BDPA leaders.

Who Am I?

Dr. Craig Brown

  • MONTH, I would be... May
  • COLOR, I would be... Blue
  • TIME OF DAY, I would be... 5:00 AM
  • SUPERPOWER, I would be... Green Lantern
  • FLOWER, I would be... Tulip
  • SONG, I would be... Kiss by a Rose (Seal)
  • CAR, I would be... Volkswagen Bug (Original)
  • ITEM OF CLOTHING, I would be... Suspenders
  • ANIMAL, I would be... Rhino
  • FOOD, I would be... Steak - Filet (Medium Well)
  • MOVIE, I would be... Top Gun
  • CITY/TOWN, I would be... Chicago
  • SPORT, I would be... Motorcycle Racing
You can find Dr. Brown on Facebook, LinkedIn Network or Twitter.

Our hope is that Dr. Brown will join us here on the blog to share deeper insights into these things via the COMMENTS feature! What did you learn about our national vice president via this blog post that you may never have known otherwise?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

This Week in BDPA (Jan 6-12, 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.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Results: 11th Annual BDPA IT Golf Classic (Bulle Rock)

Our blog wanted to honor the participants at the 11th annual BDPA IT Golf Classic held August 4, 2012 at the Bulle Rock Golf Course near Baltimore. Bulle Rock is 235 acres of golf heaven and is the top-ranked public course in Maryland. However the course was tamed by the 2012 BDPA IT Golf Classic championship team of Steven McIntosh (TechSoup Global), Matt Reitter (Experis) and David Sills (Amtrak).

Other participants at the event included: Derris Boomer (Boomer Technology Group), Craig Brown (National BDPA), Wheeler Coleman (Health Care Services Corporation), Ken Freeman (Webster University), Renarde Hill (DuPont), Curtis Jenkins (National BDPA), Greg Lane, Lance Lavergne (Alcoa), Jesse Mathews (McDonald's), Dee Pearson (National BDPA), Justin Roebuck (Compuware), Vincent Shorter (Monsanto), David Soleye (State Farm Insurance), Oris Stuart (Global Novations), Mike Tyson (BDPA Baltimore), Rich Vivirito (AmeriSourceBergen) and Geary Woolfolk (Travelport).

I look forward to sharing information about the 12th annual BDPA IT Golf Classic that will be held in the Washington DC area as soon as it becomes available!

Curtis Jenkins Accepts Appointment as National BDPA Vice President of Membership Management

Curtis Jenkins
National BDPA president Monique Berry proudly announced a new leadership appointment,
"Curtis Jenkins will be joining our team, as the National Vice President of Membership Management. Please join me in welcoming Curtis to the national executive committee and provide him with your support as he assimilates onto our team."
Jenkins joined BDPA Philadelphia chapter in 2002. He served in a number of leadership positions within the chapter including VP-Business Management, President and chair of the Corporate Advisory Council. This won't be the first time that Jenkins has accepted leadership challenge at the national level. He served as the National Vice President of Strategy & Planning in 2010-2011.

Curtis has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Temple University and a graduate degree in Management of Technology from the University of Pennsylvania – School of Engineering and Applied Sciences & Wharton Business School.
"I am certain that, given his experience and overall skills, Curtis will be a great addition to our team," added Berry.
There are two primary membership management goals in 2013:
  1. Retain/Renew 80% of expiring members
  2. Increase new members by 25%
Jenkins understands that a major benefit of BDPA membership is the opportunity to network with others in the information technology industry. He said,
"People for years have gone by the statement 'It's not what you know but who you know.' That statement has much less power than 'Who knows you!' Joining and working in BDPA allows people to showcase their value with those in decision-making positions. People that 'know you' will call you when there is a job or need to fill. My last four jobs were as a result of 'who knows me'. That's the power of a network and the power of BDPA."
Please reach out to the new vice president by email ( if you want to help recruit and retain BDPA members!

Friday, January 4, 2013

BDPA Newsletters from Chapters Around the Country


BETF-Blog Readers, would you like to see information about programs and services being offered all over BDPA nation? Here are some recent newsletters issued from around the country:
  1. National BDPA (Nov 2009) - 4-page BDPA-LINK contains articles about a BDPA entrepreneur (Carole Johnson), Windows 7, 2010 BDPA conference flyer and a map of local BDPA chapters.
  2. BDPA Atlanta (Oct 2012) - Digital newsletter with president's letter, articles on recent chapter webinars, national conference review and an update on the chapter's championship HSCC team.
  3. BDPA Bay Area (Mar 2010) - 1-page VOICE focused on Oracle scholarship announcement, Cyber risks and opportunities, Microsoft Windows 7 and much more.
  4. BDPA Chicago (Jun 2012) - 1-page ECLIPSE contains information on upcoming membership drive, community outreach efforts taking place at Soldier Field, and announcement of the keynote speaker for the upcoming annual education banquet.
  5. BDPA Cincinnati (Aug 2010) - 4-page INFORMATION EXCHANGE contains articles focused on 2010 BDPA Technology Conference recap, future direction of the chapter, pillars for improvement and article on strategic planning.
  6. BDPA Cleveland (Mar 2011) - Visions Newsletter features a six-page article of BDPA Cleveland Chapter activities that occurred during the month of February.
  7. BDPA Detroit (Nov 2008) - 4-page newsletter with articles on BDPA entrepreneur Carole Johnson, Windows 7, 2010 conference registration and map of BDPA chapters around the country.
  8. BDPA Houston (Dec 2001) - 12-page newsletter with articles on Windows XP, message from chapter president, Wireless E911, professional development, 2001 conference highlights, chapter member of the quarter, getting started with LINUX, culture change, BFTAW announcement and membership application.
  9. BDPA Los Angeles (Nov 2012) - Constant Contact newsletter with message from the chapter president, upcoming chapter programs, PSI Job Fair information, BDPA iRadio podcast and list of corporate sponsors.
  10. BDPA New Jersey (Sep 2009) - 6-page newsletter with message from chapter president, members on the move, Families in Technology Day and article on energy program for Newark school.
  11. BDPA New York (Dec 2012) - 6-page newsletter with message from the chapter president on the remarkable accomplishments that the chapter made in 2012.  Reviewing these accomplishments clearly shows all of us why the chapter has won back-to-back 'Chapter of the Year' awards!
  12. BDPA Northern Delaware (Aug 2010) - 4-page newsletter with articles on national IT Showcase competition, upcoming scholarship banquet, 2010 conference highlights, HSCC alumni update, photo album, message from the chapter president and membership corner.
  13. BDPA Orlando (Jan 2010) - Online newsletter with articles on Enterprise Florida, Orlando Business Journal job postings, Florida's best companies to work for in 2009, resume tips, PMP exam prep course, entrepreneurs, 2010 national BDPA conference and a message from the chapter president.
  14. BDPA Richmond (Dec 2007) - 1-page newsletter with articles on fundraiser, chapter workshop, 2007 national BDPA Technology Conference updates and information on BDPA VCU.
  15. BDPA Southern Minnesota (May 2007) - 10-page newsletter with articles on membership benefits, student testimonials, new chapter website, program meeting updates, bios of chapter board of directors and a message from the chapter president.
  16. BDPA St. Louis (June 2012) - 2-page newsletter with highlights on the most recent program meeting with local chief information officer as well as updates on coming events in St. Louis area.
  17. BDPA Triangle (Sep 2009) - 7-page Connection newsletter with 2009 conference review, message from the chapter president, introduction of new president-elect Carl Hill, sponsor appreciation message and articles on Johnson and Johnson's Zack Lemelle, federal IT jobs, top strategic technologies and virtualization.
  18. BDPA Washington DC (Nov 2012) - 28-page bdpatoday features Super Storm Sandy update, chapter calendar of events, message from National BDPA president, chapter awards banquet info, BDPA local chapter news from around the nation, BDPA Job Board update, ICT industry news and much more.

Am I the only one who misses The BDPA InsiderThat was a weekly compilation of blog posts, BDPA-related articles and Technology-based articles is the brainchild of National BDPA CIO Milt Haynes.

You can find repository of prior BDPA newsletters in the files section of our BDPA-Communications YahooGroup. You may need to subscribe to the BDPA-Communications YG before you can download the files located in that repository.

However, we would love to post a link to your chapter's most recent newsletter right here on the BETF-Blog. Our vision is to have 45 chapter newsletters listed here. Of course, it would be nice if all chapter newsletters would publish information about the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation in each issue as well!

Is your chapter's most recent newsletter listed?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2003 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Rankings

It is the beginning of a new year ... Is it a good time to look back at our successes in the past? Were any of you members of BDPA in 2003 when we held the national BDPA Technology Conference held in Philadelphia, PA? We had 21 HSCC teams competing for a national championship that year.

BDPA Memphis chapter continued their dominance of the computer competition by winning another championship. They were challenged by the team trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota. The gap between the gold medal and the silver medal was less than 1% of the total points awarded.

Here were the rankings from the 2003 HSCC championships!
  1. Memphis - (Auriel Echols, Cornell Gaulman, Brittany Middleton, Trevor Williams and Mitchell Word)
  2. Southern Minnesota
  3. Chicago
  4. Greater Columbia
  5. Detroit
  6. Greater Tampa Bay
  7. Cincinnati
  8. New Jersey
  9. Columbus
  10. Bay Area
  11. Dayton
  12. Richmond
  13. Dallas
  14. Los Angeles
  15. Washington DC
  16. New York
  17. Cleveland
  18. Charlotte
  19. Baltimore
  20. Philadelphia
  21. South Florida
This was the only competition in the past seven years in which BDPA South Florida competed. I'm hopeful that the new leadership in Miami will result in a team competing for the national championship this year.

The BDPA Foundation wants to provide 2-year scholarship funding to the top five teams this year. However, we need to increase our funding of the Bemley Scholarship Fund in order to do so. Would you care to help us make it so? Use the COMMENTS link below to make a pledge ... or go online to do so.

Did you attend the 2003 BDPA Technology Conference in Philadelphia? If so, what do you remember about it?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Message from National BDPA President

Connect With Monique: Happy New Year BDPA!

Monique Berry
With profound gratitude, I am pleased to serve my second year as the president of this great association, along with other outstanding individuals on the Board of Directors and Executive Committe - Dr. Craig Brown (National Vice President) , Loraine Stewart-David (Vice President of Finance), Earl Pace (Founder) , Regional Vice Presidents and Director: Teresa Williams, Fred Smith, Eric Dortch and Coram Rimes; Pamela Sexton (Vice President of Strategy & Planning), Glenda Chappell (Secretary), Milt Haynes (CIO), and Outside Directors; William Flowers and Jessie Mathews. I would like to thank this dedicated core of volunteers and express my appreciation to you for once again serving this organization.

To our members, I am deeply appreciative of your continued support of BDPA. I personally am grateful to you for the honor you have bestowed on me and my fellow colleagues on the Board of Directors. We look forward to working with you in 2013.

As I sit back and think about the task before us, I am grateful for the trust bestowed while mindful of the sacrifices our founders, past presidents and long-time volunteers who have tirelessly worked to support this organization. I would also like to thank our corporate partners who respond to the call of duty by making sure this organization continues to exist.

The vision of BDPA, as set forth in our by-laws, can only be realized when we stand up to serve in whatever capacity – as committee members, speakers, volunteers, and so on. BDPA needs us. But, more importantly, our community – the one that we serve – needs us. To that end the vision is clear for 2013. We will:
  1. Expand our membership base, including reaching out to college students and building relationships with college administrations;
  2. Collaborate with other organizations and associations to further our organizations mission and goals;
  3. Engage our members with regular communication via social networks, BDPA Today and BDPA iRadio;
  4. Listen to and involve our members by holding periodic national conference call meetings; and
  5. Advance professional development by offering cutting edge seminars and panels during the annual conference.
I am certainly aware that because these are challenging times and our schedules are ever increasing that we may not achieve everything we set out to achieve this next year, but fellow colleagues – I am hopeful that we are poised for great things. In the spirit of service, I implore you to choose to serve BDPA and your local community who desperately need us. I humbly ask you to join us as we endeavor to take BDPA to the next level of distinction over the next twelve months.

As President Barack Obama once said, "The challenges we face will not be solve with one meeting in one night. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are that change that we seek.”

I wish all of you the very best in 2013 and look forward to working to be the change that we seek.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year BDPA!

We enter into a new year -- 2013 -- with high hopes for BDPA on a local, regional and national level. Our national president, Monique Berry, enters her 2nd year of leadership with aspirations to truly take BDPA to the 'next level'. This blog hopes to continue in its effort to increase awareness of BDPA. Our hope is that more of you will find a reason to make a donation to support BDPA programs, scholarships and services.

What are your dreams for BDPA in the coming new year?