Monday, January 13, 2014

Testimonial: BDPA Summer Internship (Hadiya Harrigan, Cincinnati)

BDPA Cincinnati chapter seeks to expand its Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program beyond the traditional computer camp and High School Computer Competition (HSCC). For example, the chapter has worked with elementary school children in an after-school STEM-based learning experience known as 'TECHie Club'.

Another initiative that was new to the chapter this year in the SITES program was creating a summer internship experience for HSCC student Hadiya Harrigan. Hadiya has been a participant in the last three national HSCC championships as a member of the team trained by BDPA Cincinnati chapter. Her team finished in fifth place (out of 46 eligible teams) during the 2013 national HSCC championship held in Washington DC.

Upon her return from the national championship experience, Hadiya began a one-week internship to help upgrade the technical infrastructure of one of the local high schools. Her internship was jointly funded by BDPA Cincinnati chapter and Luxottica Group.

Hadiya shared her reflection on the internship experience:

This summer, I was able to intern for four weeks at Withrow University High School through a partnership between BDPA and Luxottica Group. I consider this experience a very positive use of my summer break, and I gained an abundance of knowledge.

I learned many new technical skills during the internship. One day, I had the opportunity to image new laptops. I found it interesting that one can boot up a computer from a flash drive, use a laptop and a switch to send the image to the other laptops, and register the laptop with the network by using command prompt. In addition, I was able to learn about computer memory, proxy servers, and network restrictions.

I found the hard work to be very rewarding. The most challenging part of the job was moving old desktop computers and monitors. They were heavy and very dusty, but I enjoyed seeing the pile of computers at the designated pickup point grow every day.

I also helped to set up three computer labs. The process consisted of organizing desk and computer setup, selecting the correct length Ethernet cord, stringing rows of power strips together, and using zip ties to shorten cords and tie desks together. This work was tedious and repetitive, but the final product -- a professional computer lab -- looked amazing in the end. Overall, I was able to help other students further their learning through the use of technology. After I looked at the big picture, I saw the impact of my work.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity! I enjoyed working with Mr. Burress and other Cincinnati Public Schools staff. I would like to thank BDPA, Mr. Hill, Mrs. Prince, and Mr. Gause for making this experience possible.

Our hope is to impact on more lives in 2014 and beyond. BDPA Cincinnati is focused on helping the 'future faces of technology', such as Hadiya, prepare themselves to win the future for America. We need your help ... please take a moment to make a secure online donation in support of Cincinnati-area young people!
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