Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Schedule an Hour of Code, December 8-14, 2014

Join the largest learning event in history, December 8-14. The Hour of Code is a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 170+ countries. Anyone, anywhere can organize an Hour of Code event.

One-hour tutorials are available in more than 30 languages. No experience needed. Ages 4 to 104. Great marketing opportunity for BDPA on a local or national level!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Letter of Inquiry: Exelon Foundation (BDPA Chicago)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) sent a letter of inquiry on behalf of BDPA Chicago chapter to the Exelon Foundation. BETF serves as the fiscal agent for all 46 local BDPA chapters. BDPA originated almost 40 years ago out of concerns that minorities were not adequately represented in the information technology industry. BDPA provides STEM-based education from the classroom to the boardroom for students and professionals in our community.

The Exelon Foundation has a rich legacy of community investment in terms of time, resources and people to help build a better tomorrow in the communities it serves. Educating the next generation is important to BDPA. Our hope is to introduce Exelon Foundation to a meaningful youth education program in the Chicago area. BDPA is building a strong relationship with the Chicago Public Schools to entice high school students to participate in its Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. BDPA is a deserving group with a program that complements the mission of the Exelon Foundation. We understand today’s demands on corporate charitable contributions, as well as the effort necessary to consider each application.  Hopefully, they will see the worth of our program.

Our letter of inquiry sought permission to submit a $5,000 grant proposal for our BDPA Chicago chapter.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Grant Proposal: BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter (president, LaDonna Crum) to submit an online grant application seeking $8,000 in funding from BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama. We worked with our internal champion at the insurance company, Brice Baumann. Brice has been involved with BDPA for many years in both Cincinnati and Birmingham. Brice has served as an adviser for the local chapter board members and has been a guest speaker at BDPA local events. Brice has been a supporter of BDPA initiatives and programs because of his belief in the organization’s mission.

Our grant proposal asked the company for partial funding of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Birmingham. The objective of our SITES program in Birmingham is to effectively use technology to stimulate and sustain the interest of young people in science and technology. SITES works with children from disadvantaged backgrounds to provide them with science, technology, engineering and math skills development needed to be productive, engaged members of our future workforce.

BDPA Greater Birmingham has already identified other funding sources that they want to approach for funding of its 2015 SITES program. BETF encourages all 46 local BDPA chapters to aggressively partner with BETF on these grant proposals. In the meantime, shower your good thoughts on BDPA Greater Birmingham as they seek to raise $27,720 in the near-term!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Grant Declination: Sprint Foundation (BDPA Dallas)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked with BDPA Dallas chapter (president, Chad White) to submit a $10,000 grant proposal to the Sprint Foundation via its 'Local Giving Grant Program'. If approved, the grant would provide partial funding for the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Dallas.

Unfortunately, our grant proposal was declined. The declination letter read as follows:

Thank you for submitting a grant request for the 2014 Sprint Local Giving Grant Program. We had an overwhelming response to our program and received applications from non-profit organizations all over the area. As you can imagine, the allocation process was difficult.

All applications were scored by a team of internal reviewers. We regret to inform you that your application was not selected by the review committee to receive funds.

We will post a list of the grant applications that were funded on www.sprint.com/localgiving by November 30 and I encourage you to visit our site to learn more about the projects that received funding from Sprint.

Sprint is committed to supporting great youth development, arts and culture and environmental stewardship programs in local communities. I encourage you to apply for funding during next year's Sprint Local Giving Program. We will notify you via email of the key program dates and any changes to the grant program.

Again, thank you for submitting an application for the 2014 Sprint Local Giving Grant Program and best wishes for a great year.

Ralph Reid
President & Executive Director, Sprint Foundation

BETF will continue to aggressively pursue funding for all 46 local BDPA chapters. However, God loves the child who has his own ... so we encourage you to support BDPA scholarship programs by making a secure online donation!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Who and What is BETF?


BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF or BDPA Foundation) is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity, founded in 1992 to support the education and technology programs of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA).

BETF recognizes that to close the gap of computer and technology literacy, youth of African descent must participate and compete in today’s digital economy. We want students from historically disadvantaged communities to learn advanced computer science and community responsibility from any of the BDPA chapters located around the nation.


In 1986, we began developing high school youth for future entrance into the IT industry through the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. Annually, we train up to 900 of these students in after-school computer camps on the latest computer and Internet website developing languages as well as the much-needed industry knowledge and presentation skills.

In addition to the computer camps, we encourage each of the BDPA chapters to bring 5-person teams to the annual BDPA Technology Conference to demonstrate the skills they have learned. The students from the best-performing teams at this annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC) earn Jesse Bemley Scholarships that they can use for post-secondary education. We are very proud of the alumni from this annual program.

Recently, the BDPA Foundation created an Endowment fund with the intent of increasing the number and size of the scholarships awarded these students. The scholarships target our young people seeking a degree in Information Technology or related discipline at accredited colleges or universities. The local BDPA chapters assist and encourage future IT Professionals through college and into the IT Industry. We ask these HSCC alumni to come back and help train the next group of SITES participants. This cycle comprises our “Classroom to the Boardroom” concept.

BETF is led by a powerful and innovative board of directors. However, we are fueled by the donations made by supporters like you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hewlett-Packard Renews Platinum Sponsorship Investment in BDPA

Since 1939, Hewlett-Packard has been a leader in technology and corporate culture, inspiring innovators and entrepreneurs from around the globe. They haven't been a sponsor for that entire time ... but they are a sponsor now!
I am honored to announce Hewlett-Packard as a Platinum Level Sponsor. With the support of organizations like Hewlett-Packard, BDPA continues to bring quality programs and technological careers to its members through its local chapter communities. It is my pleasure to announce this sponsorship,” said National BDPA president Dr. Craig Brown.
HP is pleased with the sponsorship benefits that they have received from BDPA as well.
"National BDPA provides an environment for our youth to explore the realm of possibility when it comes to careers, challenges and opportunities in science and technology. I have seen firsthand how this type of environment instills confidence and fosters creativity. The students participating in BDPA today are investments in the IT professionals of tomorrow that will fuel innovation and drive business outcomes. HP is proud to support an organization that places such a high value on education and development of IT professionals. This is our fifth year as a Platinum Sponsor,” reported Jeff Henderson, HP executive director.
Founded in 1975, BDPA is the premier organization for African American professionals in the information technology industry. BDPA continues to bridge the digital divide by providing career growth and development opportunities for its members.
"As an HP employee, it has been and continues to be an honor to partner with National BDPA. Their commitment to advancing youth in technology, as well as providing opportunities to network with professionals in the IT industry throughout the country speaks volumes about the character of the organization,” stated Robert Gavin, HP business consultant. “BDPA fosters an environment of education, hands-on learning, and growth in many areas of technology for all its youth and adult members. Partnering with National BDPA has been one of the most rewarding endeavors of my professional career,” Mr. Gavin added.
To become a sponsor like HP or to learn more about BDPA sponsorship opportunities, please contact BDPA Corporate Sales Team by email (corpsales@bdpa.org) or (301.584-3135 x108).

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Future Face of Technology: Polite Stewart, Jr. (Southern University)

Polite Stewart Jr. was 3 years old when his parents pulled him out of day care and his father began teaching him at home. The Baton Rouge, La., native loved learning science — and he clearly had an aptitude for it. At 14, he enrolled as a full time student at Southern University, majoring in physics. Polite graduated in December 2012 at 18, and is believed to be the youngest to do so in the university’s history.

He plans to pursue a career in biotechnology that will allow him to apply the science he loves to the real world. He is currently programming for BL7.3.3(SAXS/WAXS),providing user support, completing mechanical work and devising research proposals as a Post-baccalaureate Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

BDPA Birthday Love for Milt Haynes

Please join us in wishing Milt Haynes a joyous natal day! Milt served on the national BDPA board of directors for over a decade as BDPA Chicago chapter president, national president-elect, national president and immediate past president. He is currently the National BDPA chief information officer.

Milt is a husband, father, grandfather, brother and son. He is also one of the hardest working brothers in BDPA. I think it is fair to say that Milt has raised more funds for BDPA through corporate sales than anyone in the universe.

I appreciate Milt because he served as my BDPA mentor from 1999-2001 when I served as president of the BDPA Cincinnati chapter. We rejuvenated the chapter from oblivion to the second largest chapter in the nation ... and much of the success is due to Milt's willingness to share best-practice information from BDPA Chicago chapter.

Milt will be a member of the BDPA Hall of Fame at some point. For now, we honor him here in cyberspace.

Please share your memories of Milt and wish him a happy birthday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

BDPA iRadio Show - September 23, 2014

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the September 23rd show:

Bill Huston - co-founder, My Crowd Rocks - Bill Huston is co-founder and chief marketing officer of My Crowd Rocks. My Crowd Rocks is a crowdfunding consulting and management company located in Louisville, KY. Crowdfunding is simply a social media marketing and promotion mechanism that integrates a potential online community with an accounting function. A crowdfunding campaign is a unique marketing opportunity. Executing a successful campaign requires business owners to promote their companies, using social media, to new audiences thereby increasing overall visibility in the process, and motivating their existing networks to support them. Before launching any online fundraising campaign, be prepared to become your business’ biggest cheerleader. Our BDPA iRadio Show listeners learned more about crowdfunding from Mr. Huston. You can reach Bill Huston via Twitter: @billhuston1

Teresa Williams - vice president, BDPA South Region - Teresa has been South Region Vice President since 2012. She has over 20 years of Information Technology and professional experience including the implementation and management of business software solutions. She has worked in various industries as a Programmer, LAN Administrator, Application Manager and Project Manager. She served as BDPA Atlanta chapter president in 2008-2009. The chapter had remarkable growth in terms of membership and programs under her leadership. The iRadio Show audience learned more about Teresa’s vision for the South Region.  Teresa can be found on Twitter - @ATL_Teresa

Stan Washington - president, Honor Services - Stan Washington is a retired McDonald’s executive, turned small business owner. He is the president and founder of Honor Services Incorporated, which offers small business owners a technology solution that makes managing day-to-day business tasks easier. Through technology and personalized business development training, Stan is working to propel other small businesses to the next level and grow jobs, one entrepreneur at a time. BDPA iRadio Show audience learned how Stan helps small businesses integrate technology into their operations for minimal cost and maximum returns. Stan can be found on Twitter - @CCoachOffice.

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!
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Monday, September 22, 2014

NCWIT's Accepting Applications from Technical Young Women

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors young women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. BDPA Cincinnati student member Hadiya Harrigan won this national award in 2014.  This multi-tiered competition includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft), serving 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Criteria and Eligibility

BDPAer Hadiya Harrigan won in 2014
Any U.S. high school woman with computing aspirations is eligible and encouraged to apply: NCWIT recognizes aspirations as well as accomplishments. Aspirations Award recipients are chosen for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. For more detailed information, please visit www.aspirations.org/faqs.


Each award recipient receives recognition at an award event, scholarship and internship opportunities, access to a peer network of technical young women in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community (sponsored by Bloomberg), and various other prizes — computing resources, gadgets, sponsor swag, engraved awards and certificates, and more. Additionally, National Award recipients receive:
  • $500 in cash
  • a laptop computer
  • a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 7, 2015
  • an engraved award for both the student and her school
  • networking opportunities with Bank of America employees

Students can apply online at http://bit.ly/AiCHSAward no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on November 2, 2014.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Technology is the New Basic

Kai Dupé

Guest Blogger: Kai Dupé
Technical Trainer at Riversand Technologies
Cross-posted from LinkedIn Network

I was having a discussion via Facebook recently regarding technology integration in our schools. Many people still wish to hold on to this notion that our schools should not focus on technology and just focus on the basics. They are mistaken. These attitudes are why the digital divide still persists. I am so tired of hearing this silly argument.

This mindset must be changed. And to be honest I spend a great deal of time trying to change this mindset. I do not want the next generation of our young people to be the designated serfs of the information age. What exactly are the BASICS? Most folks would define the basics as reading, writing and arithmetic.

So, the idea is that we should not teach our young people about technology but focus on the basic subjects. Here is the problem with that. Do you think those subjects are taught without using technology? What exactly do these folks think a chalkboard, a pen, a book, a pencil or an overhead projector is. These things are technology.

What do you consider the basics? What do you consider technology? There is no such line between learning the basics and using technology. This is why I used the word INTEGRATION. It should all be one and the same the way it was when we learned in school. We did not learn 'the basics' sans technology.

Technology was all around us and we learned the basics. Technology is now part of the basics. Those who are unable to navigate technology will be locked out the same way that years ago those who could not read or write were locked out. Remember we did not learn our basics without technology. A book is technology.

No one said learn how to read, and you can use the technology (book) after you learn to read. No. You learned to read from a book. And now you may learn to read a Kindle or a iPad. Please tell me what is the difference?

Take a look at the comments from a PhD student in Carnegie Mellon's Computer science department regarding the teaching of computer science in our schools. These comments are from a recent study:
"The point is not that every student needs to become a computer scientist, but that all students have the basic knowledge they need to understand an increasingly technological world", said Leigh Ann Sudol, a PhD student in Carnegie Mellon's Computer Science Department and another study co-author.
Make no mistake about it technology is the new basic.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

H.O.P.E. Project Founder Selected as BDPA Washington DC Member of the Year

Raymond Bell
Raymond Bell has been named BDPA Washington DC chapter 'Member of the Year'. As founder and executive director of The H.O.P.E. Project, Mr. Bell’s program has excelled in helping more young adults gain meaningful employment and technical experiences in a very competitive workforce.

Based in the District of Columbia, The H.O.P.E. Project is a unique technical career training operation designed to rapidly prepare socially and economically disadvantaged young adults ranging in ages from 18 to 24 for rewarding careers with advancement as Help Desk Technicians and Application Support Professionals with information technology industry bona fides, CompTIA certifications, or security clearances.

Mr. Bell will be honored at the chapter's National Championship Awards Gala and Fundraiser on November 12, 2014

Friday, September 19, 2014

Grant Declination: Vulcan Materials Company Foundation

 BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter to submit a grant proposal to the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation seeking $5,000 funding to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in Alabama.

Vulcan Materials Company Foundation seeks to “be a good corporate citizen in each community in which we operate. We will support and take an active part in public and charitable projects.” Vulcan established the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation in 1988 to assist in carrying out that mission. Because contributions made by the Foundation are corporate-based business dollars, it is essential that they be made in a planned and consistent manner that best serves the combined interests of Vulcan and the communities in which they operate.

BETF and BDPA Greater Birmingham understood that Vulcan was interested in efforts to encourage young people to develop an interest in math, science and business. The Foundation, therefore, gives consideration to proposals designed to help maintain students’ curiosity and excitement about the world of math and science and to explore the world of industry and business. The Foundation is particularly interested in helping young people and their teachers understand the relevance of math and science to society, and supports efforts to link these subjects to their application in the workplace. The Foundation also will consider programs designed to educate our students about the vital role of business and industry in society.

In any case, we learned that our grant proposal has been declined. The Vulcan Foundation wrote,

Dear Mr. Hicks,

Thank you for your recent proposal to support the BDPA Greater Birmingham Chapter’s SITES program. Unfortunately, the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation budget has been established for 2014. In addition, Vulcan supports STEM education in our operating areas locally and across the country through our adopted schools and programs. While we understand the importance of your work in our community, we must decline participation at this time. We will you success in securing the funds you seek for your program.

We wish you success in securing the funds you seek for your program.

Carol B. Maxwell
Vulcan Materials Company Foundation

BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter president LaDonna Crum is aggressively working with BETF on other funding opportunities. However, we encourage the readers of this post to consider making a secure online donation to support the efforts of Birmingham Blacks in technology as they seek to lift up our young people from the classroom to the boardroom.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Corporate America, Your Future STEM Professionals Aren’t Attending Career Fairs Anymore

Like the Western black rhino, hieroglyphics and video stores, college career fairs may soon be a relic of the past - particularly when it comes to recruiting software engineers.

Undergraduate enrollment in computer science programs continues to rise impressively, growing by double digits year-over-year. Pair that with the fact that employer demand for computer science majors is very steep - with CS majors earning some of the highest starting salaries in the country - it's obvious that computer science and engineering knowledge is more valuable today than ever before. So why are universities and employers alike scrambling to keep up? Why is it seemingly so difficult to find skilled developers?

Read the rest of this TechCrunch article.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Member on the Move: Denise Hamilton (Columbia University)

Denise Hamilton
BDPA New York member Denise Hamilton is currently pursuing the Executive Master of Science in Technology Management at Columbia University. Denise is focusing on her own personal and professional development after spending years focused on the personal and academic development of BDPA high school students.

Denise did her part to help BDPA student members 'win the future' and become the best that God has planned for them for a number of years. Denise was the coordinator and lead instructor for seven years.  She impacted the lives of hundreds of students that participated in her chapter's computer camps. She brought many students, including Khadijah Celestine, Alan Rosales and Nicholas Reid to compete in the national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships.

We asked BDPA New York chapter past president Renetta English to share her thoughts on Denise:

Denise & Renetta
"Denise Hamilton has been a loyal and giving member of the BDPA New York Chapter. She was our dedicated Director of Education & Community Outreach for a number of years. Denise wore many hats in the chapter because she managed and was an instructor for our very successful Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Denise was one of the first members at chapter meetings and events. She was always available to represent the chapter as a presenter for many topics including Career Development, Cyber-Security and Business Continuity.

Denise was a multifaceted cornerstone of our annual HSCC program. She spent many weekends being a true mentor to our students. Denise is so phenomenal because she is still mentoring students that have moved on to their college and professional careers. Denise believes in supporting young people to ensure their future success in life.

Earlier, I mentioned that Denise was a dedicated member of BDPA New York Chapter. Let’s be frank, it takes money to send our students to regional and national conferences. There was a time when the chapter did not have any money to send our students to conferences. So, what did Denise do? She lent the chapter hundreds of dollars to ensure that our students were able to showcase their talents at conference. Denise was so patient with us and she waited many years to be reimbursed.

Again, I can only say Denise is a phenomenal woman and friend that has shared her time, talent and treasure with not only our students but with the members of the BDPA New York Chapter.

She is truly appreciated for all that she has done and truly deserves to be recognized."

Denise Hamilton has a powerful BDPA legacy! I encourage you to honor her efforts by making a secure online donation in support of the BDPA New York HSCC Scholarship Fund!

Happy Birthday: Earl Pace (BDPA Founder)

I join BETF-Blog readers in wishing a glorious birthday to our visionary leader and founder -- Earl A. Pace, Jr. All current BDPA members and leaders should take a moment today to reflect on our organizational legacy ... the shoulders on which we stand today ...

I don't know the year of birth for Mr. Pace. I do know that National BDPA only had one president in the 1970s...

Earl Pace served as our national leader from 1976 thru 1980. Earl has been in the Information Technology (IT) industry since 1965. He began as a computer programmer trainee at the Pennsylvania Railroad. He left the PRR in 1967. Over the next ten years, he rose through the ranks of programmer, programmer analyst, programming manager to Vice President of a financial telecommunications company in Philadelphia, PA.

Earl Pace became a business owner in 1976 when he incorporated Pace Data Systems for which he is still president. Pace Data Systems is a full service information technology firm providing services through its Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC offices primarily to banks.

In 1975, he co-founded BDPA in Philadelphia and operated as its president for two years. In 1978, he coordinated the formation of BDPA into a national organization and functioned as its first National President until 1980. BDPA has grown into the largest national professional organization representing people of African descent in the IT industry.

In 1997, he received the National Technical Association’s National Technical Achiever Award as Computer Scientist of the Year.

In 2001 and 2002, Black Money Magazine named him as one of the 50 Most Influential African Americans in Information Technology.

Within BDPA and on a broader national scale, Earl Pace has been a vocal advocate for business ownership. His primary message since starting BDPA has been that African Americans should strive to rise above "just a job" to membership on the Board of Directors and beyond that to owning and operating their own business. Earl continues to be very active in the business and education community in Philadelphia, Washington DC and Baltimore, MD.

He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and pursued graduate studies at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is married and has one daughter, one son and one granddaughter.
BETF-Blog readers, care to share your favorite memory about Bro. Pace?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Letter of Inquiry: Andrew Jergens Foundation (Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) teamed with BDPA Cincinnati chapter to submit a 'letter of inquiry' to the Andrew Jergens Foundation seeking permission to submit a full-fledged grant proposal. The proposal would ask for a $10,000 grant to support the chapter's 2015 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

Andrew N. Jergens established the Foundation in 1962; two of his children and two of his grandchildren currently serve as trustees. Since 1962, the Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in grants in the areas of social services, health, recreation/environment, arts and education. The Foundation’s prime interest is the health, education, cultural experience, and social welfare of children in the Cincinnati area. It supports programs that benefit children, generally through high school age, in the Greater Cincinnati area. The Foundation is a client of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation's private foundation grant-making services.

Andrew N. Jergens was born November 28, 1881 on Halstead Street, Cincinnati, not far from the Andrew Jergens Company, founded by his father and a partner. Family lore has it that Jergens started working at the company at age 11. The Company was his life’s work until he passed away at age 86. It also allowed him to have the resources to be able to give back to his life-long community. (The Foundation is not associated with the former Andrew Jergens Company.)

BETF would love to work with all 46 local BDPA chapters on similar funding opportunities. Please reach out the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further. In the meantime, let's wish BDPA Cincinnati some luck!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Best Buy Foundation Accepting Applications for National Youth Technology Program

The Best Buy Foundation provides under-served teens with access to technology to build 21st century skills and bridge the digital divide.

To help accomplish this goal, the foundation is seeking applications from nonprofit organizations for programs that provide youth with access to new technologies and help them become interested and fluent in digital learning while developing skills that better prepare them for future education and career success. Grants of up to $200,000 will be awarded to programs that help teens build skills by utilizing cutting-edge technology such as computers, digital cameras, video cameras, and professional software in a wide range of areas, including audio production (e.g., music mixing and recording), coding/3D printing, computer maintenance and repair, digital photography/graphic design, film-making and videography, maker fairs and hack-a-thons, mobile and game app development, programming, robotics, and/ or website design.

To be eligible, applicants must be nonprofit organizations with existing out-of-school time programs with a proven track record of serving youth between the ages of 13 and 18 in under-served communities. In addition, programs must operate within twenty-five miles of a Best Buy store or other Best Buy center of operations; have a commitment to diversity and inclusion; be willing to integrate Geek Squad Academy curricula into existing programming (if appropriate); and have the ability to conduct programming in multiple targeted sites across the country. Preferred locations include areas where Best Buy Teen Tech Centers are located, including but not limited to Chicago, Denver, Jersey City/NYC, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Antonio, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Visit the Best Buy website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Link to Complete RFP

OURstory: Jan Matzeliger (1852-1887)

I agree with President Obama ... Kanye West is a 'jackass'. However, he seems to be a cultural icon for African American youth. Perhaps it is time for us to get busy providing some alternative icons for our youth. We have large numbers of Black and Brown students with little or not preparation in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) subjects. Without STEM background in the future, these students may find themselves with no employment opportunities.

Jan Ernst Matzeliger realized as much. Did you know that Jan Matzeliger was born on this date in 1852. He used STEM knowledge to create a shoe-lasting machine that mechanically shaped the upper portions of shoes.

Matzeliger was born on September 15, 1852 in Suriname (South America), the child of a biracial marriage. His father was a white engineer from Holland and his mother was a Black woman in the Dutch colony. By his third birthday Matzeliger was sent to live with his father’s sister. By the time he turned 10 years old, Matzeliger became a worker in the machine shop that his father owned. It was at this time that he quickly became aware of his talent for working with machinery.

Although he was skilled in this area, Matzeliger did not initially pursue a career in engineering or inventing. In 1871 at the age of 19 he left Surinam and worked as a sailor for two years. By 1873 he settled in Philadelphia where he worked in a variety of trades.

In 1876 he moved to Lynn, Massachusetts. Matzeliger arrived in Lynn barely able to speak English. Nonetheless he began working in a shoe factory. Despite his language difficulties, Matzeliger began working on various innovations that would improve shoe manufacturing productivity. Working alone and at night for six months, he produced a model in wood and on March 20, 1883, received a patent. The patent number is 459,899.

His patent was subsequently bought by Sydney W. Winslow, who established the United Shoe Machine Company. The continued success of this business brought about a 50% reduction in the price of shoes across the nation, doubled wages, and improved working conditions for millions of people dependent on the shoe industry for their livelihood. Winslow’s corporation made $50 million in the next dozen years and put Lynn, MA on the map as the shoe capital of the world.

Matzeliger’s work habits and his neglect of his health, however, soon took a toll. In the summer of 1887, he caught a cold then developed tuberculosis. Jan Matzeliger died on August 24 of that year in his mid-30s, long before he had the chance to realize a share of the enormous profit derived from his invention.

Matzeliger is not a household name but it should be. He was honored on a 29 cent first class U.S. postage stamp in 1991.

I hope that he included in the 2010 history portion of the BDPA high school computer competition! Jan Matzeliger should be discussed with our young people ... not Kanye West.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Member on the Move: Midge Johnson ('They Didn't Get That Way By Themselves')

Earl Pace, Midge Johnson, Wayne Hicks
Margaret 'Midge' Johnson has a powerful legacy within BDPA. She served as the BDPA Washington DC chapter president in 1989-1990. Her chapter's HSCC team finished in second (1989) and first (1990) place during those two years. Her chapter hosted the 1990 National BDPA Technology Conference. Midge subsequently became the first-ever executive director for National BDPA.

Midge is now a 70 year-old mother and grandmother with a career in the Information Technology industry that spanned over 50 years until her recent retirement from GEICO. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management and a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Management Systems Analysis. Her degrees were earned over a period of 16 years of going to school at night and on the weekends. During those 16 years she was married, worked a full time job and she was mother to two sons and a daughter. She has been a married parent and a single parent. She is currently a member of Rainbow Family Christian Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Midge wrote a book entitled, 'They Didn't Get That Way By Themselves'. The book has a remarkable narrative, funny stories, the wisdom and the Word of God along with prayers. Use them all to train your children to prepare them for growing up to be responsible, self-reliant adults with integrity.

Midge grew up in a home with both parents after the first three years of her life (her father went off to World War II about 3 days after she was born). Her mother lived with her father's mother until he came back from the war. She had the benefit of both parents for about 6 of her first 15 years (her parents would separate and go back together intermittently). After that time, her mother raised her with the help of her paternal grandmother and her estranged father. She learned, observed and heard a lot of things related to "training" children through the years and decided that maybe she could help new parents and maybe some who were already parents.
"I didn't always make the best decisions concerning my children but I sure gave it my best based on what I experienced, what I was taught and what I learned as they grew. In retrospect, I have accumulated some nuggets on "training" children that eventually worked for my children as well as for my grandchildren."
Well done Midge! Now it is up to BDPA members and supporters to remember that old adage, 'BUY BDPA'!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

8th Annual Blogging While Brown Conference (June 19-20, 2015)

'BDPAers' are encouraged to mark your calendars with an eye towards attending the 8th Annual Blogging While Brown conference on June 19-20, 2015 in Austin, TX. Austin is a thriving tech-centric city and is where the Blogging While Brown operation is headquartered. Early registration will open soon.

For information about sponsoring Blogging While Brown 2015, email Joi Gamble, director of Brand Partnerships at sponsorships@bloggingwhilebrown.com.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Third Annual Verizon Innovative App Challenge, Designed to Spark Students' Interest in STEM, Now Open for Entries

The Verizon Innovative App Challenge, now in its third year, is once again calling on middle school and high school students to gather their teams, dream up ideas, and create concepts for mobile apps that could solve problems in their schools and communities.

The first two Verizon Innovative App Challenges have encouraged thousands of students to develop an interest in [STEM] and have awarded cash grants totaling $340,000 - and 130 new tablets, courtesy of Samsung Telecommunications America - to winning teams. Verizon is extending the program as part of its commitment to the Obama administration's ConnectED initiative, to which the company has pledged up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions over the next three years.

Read the rest of the Verizon news release.

Rest in Peace: Tim Benson (1960-2009)

Tim Benson was a founding member of our BDPA chapter in Lansing, MI. He passed away on September 12, 2009 at the age of 48.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Classroom to the Boardroom: Della Anjeh (Pomona College)

Della Anjeh is entering her junior year at Pomona College where she majors in computer science. She is a member of our BDPA St. Louis chapter and participated in 2011 and 2012 on the chapter's High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. She earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship when her HSCC team took home the silver medal in 2012. Later she earned a Monsanto Scholarship ... also administered by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. Part of her application included an essay entitled, 'Communication, Knowledge and Innovation: Outcomes of Technological Advancement in Agriculture'.

Della currently is the webmaster for New Ideas Education, a start-up that allows Chinese students to improve English by video chatting with college students. Della also runs the College Lowdown, a podcast that gives advice on what it’s like to navigate and study at an elite college for low-income and first generation students. Della plans to work in the tech world and isn’t quite sure which area she wishes to pursue, but figures it will be in either data structures or design.

We asked Della to share thoughts about her BDPA experience:

Della Anjeh
"Ever since I received the email in ninth grade that an after school computer teaching club called BDPA would meet on Wednesdays, I never knew that it would lead to me becoming a second place national champion at the 2012 BDPA conference, that I would become the lead webmaster for a start-up, or that I would major in computer science at one of the best schools in the country. It’s just one of those things that turned out to be bigger than I ever anticipated.

I remember being at the conference in Chicago during the oral question part of the competition. For fun, our team learned from a YouTube video to count in binary with our fingers, so for every binary question our team or the other teams received, we would quietly count with our fingers together. Needless to say, we were always correct. I also remember the courses in robotics we took that taught me a lot about an aspect of computer science that at that point I hadn’t had to opportunity to explore. And of course, I’ll never forget when we were called out as the second place team in the competition that year. It was amazing especially since I was going off to college in a few weeks making 2012 my last year to be eligible to compete in the HSCC championship. All the hard work I put in since 9th grade and up to my senior year of high school truly paid off.

I can’t ever forget what BDPA has done for me, and I continue to reap the benefits of the program now as I’m starting my 3rd year of college, and my first semester as a declared computer science major. I have no idea what my future will be like, but I know that BDPA will continue to stay in my mind as one of the places I felt that I could let my talent shine."

BDPA created the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program to propel students in our community from the classroom to the boardroom. We want our children to have their best chance to 'win the future' by getting grounded in science, technology, education and mathematics. Della is showing us that we're on the right track. We need your help to keep it going! Would you please consider making a secure online donation to support BDPA programs, scholarships and services?

Remembering 9/11

The initial numbers are indelible: 8:46 a.m. and 9:02 a.m. Time the burning towers stood: 56 minutes and 102 minutes. Time they took to fall: 12 seconds. From there, they ripple out.

  • Total number killed in attacks: 2,819
  • Number of WTC companies that lost people: 60
  • Number of nations whose citizens were killed in attacks: 115
  • Ratio of men to women who died: 3:1
  • Bodies found "intact": 289
  • Body parts found: 19,858
  • Number of families who got no remains: 1,717
  • Number of people who lost a spouse or partner in the attacks: 1,609
  • Estimated number of children who lost a parent: 3,051
  • Days fires continued to burn after the attack: 99

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

18th Annual BDPA Cincinnati Education Banquet

Ceair Baggett
BDPA Cincinnati is the 2nd largest chapter in the nation. This chapter experienced wonderful success from its high school and college students at the national conference last month. The chapter now extends invitation to all BDPA members, sponsors and stakeholders to attend its 18th Annual Education Banquet on Saturday, October 4, 2014.

One of the highlights of the event will be the keynote speech by Ceair Baggett, the newly selected principal for Ethel M. Taylor Academy. Before coming to Taylor, Mr. Baggett served as Assistant Principal for Robert A. Taft Information Technical High School and Gilbert A. Dater High School respectively. Ceair participated in BDPA computer camp as a high school student. It is wonderful to have him now as our keynoter speaker to honor the students who participated in the program this year.

Here are the logistic for this banquet:

Saturday, October 4, 2014
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Receptions Conference Centers
5975 Boymel Dr
Fairfield, OH 45014

Tickets: $40.00 per person

You can purchase or donate banquet tickets here.   For rates on tables and ads, please contact us at (513) 549-6441 or cincinnati@bdpa.org

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

BDPA iRadio Show - September 9, 2014

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the September 9th show:

Joneé Drake - Associate Information Consultant, Eli Lilly and Company - Joneé Drake is an IT business analyst with Eli Lilly and Company. She has a number of IT certifications and she is well-respected within her company and her community.  Joneé also has a unique place in BDPA folklore ... she was a member of the 1992 High School Computer Competition team trained by our BDPA Northwest Indiana chapter! Joneé continues her march on the journey of 'classroom to boardroom' that we admire within the BDPA family. Joneé graduated from Purdue University after leaving Gary, IN. She has worked at Eli Lilly for her entire professional career ... and current BDPA students still benefit from the work that she did to establish the annual Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. Our BDPA iRadio Show listeners enjoyed hearing her unique perspective on BDPA as both a student and an IT professional.

Anjuan Simmons - Project Manager, OnCenter Software - Anjuan Simmons is a technologist with a successful track record of delivering technology solutions from the user interface to the database. He is currently a software project manager at a leading construction software manufacturer, and he worked as a technology executive for Infosys, Accenture, and Deloitte, all multi-billion dollar technology services companies with hundreds of clients around the world.

He is also the author of Minority Tech: Journaling Through Blackness and Technology. This book is an essay anthology covering the author’s experiences as an African American man in a society that often misunderstands Blackness, the need for people of color to own their destinies, and the value that diversity can bring to the technology industry. We are pleased to bring the unique musings of Anjuan Simmons to our BDPA iRadio audience.  Anjuan can be found on Twitter - @anjuan

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!
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