Thursday, September 14, 2017

Grant Proposal: Skillman Foundation (Detroit)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA Detroit chapter to submit a grant proposal to Skillman Foundation seeking $5,000 for the 2018 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. We hope to have an answer within the next couple of months.

BETF is willing to work with any of the 47 local BDPA chapters to obtain the funding that they need to successfully deliver their 2018 SITES program. Simply reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Grant Proposal: UPS (Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA Cincinnati chapter to submit a grant proposal to UPS seeking $15,000 for the 2018 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. We submitted our grant request to the UPS Supply Chain Solutions department. We hope to have an answer within the next couple of months.

BETF is willing to work with any of the 47 local BDPA chapters to obtain the funding that they need to successfully deliver their 2018 SITES program. Simply reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Grant Proposal: Ameren Services (St. Louis)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA St. Louis chapter to submit a grant proposal to Ameren Services seeking $5,000 for the 2018 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.  We submitted our donation request to the Ameren Corporate Contributions & Community Initiatives department. We hope to have an answer within the next few weeks.

BETF is willing to work with any of the 47 local BDPA chapters to obtain the funding that they need to successfully deliver their 2018 SITES program. Simply reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Asha Chen-Phang Will Use Johnson & Johnson Scholarship at Northeastern University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Johnson & Johnson awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to nine (9) students. One of those students is Asha Chen-Phang from Hartford CT, who will use the scholarship to support her study of electrical engineering at Northeastern University.

We asked Asha to share her background info with BDPA members:

Asha Chen-Phang, JnJ Scholar (2017)
"I am currently enrolled in a five-year program at Northeastern University. As a student at Northeastern, I'm pursuing my Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering and my Master's in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Throughout the last three years, I have actively participated in Northeastern's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, serving as our Technical Outreach & Community Help (TORCH) Chair, External Vice President, and currently as President.

Moreover, I have been involved in multiple research endeavors thus far. One conducted in the Northeastern University Computer Architecture Laboratory, assessing the reliability of Graphics Processing Units through simulation. Another through the LSAMP COSEE-TEK Ocean Science & Technology Challenge a competition in which my team developed a device designed to identify elevation levels of the benthic layer of the Long Island Sound using ultrasonic transduction technology. And finally, a National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates developing a website for underrepresented minorities seeking job opportunities.

Furthermore, I have participated in two co-op/internship experiences, one in IT/DevOps at MedTouch and another in Networking Solutions Engineering at Dell EMC. Ultimately, once I obtain my degree, I hope to utilize my engineering capabilities to develop breakthrough technological innovations that improve the quality of living world-wide. However, on a smaller scale, I would love the opportunity to find a way to support and advocate the pursuit of STEM careers among the many children of the middle to lower-class families in my hometown of Hartford, Connecticut."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Asha's career as she seeks to start career in technology! 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Preethiya Sekar Uses Her Many BDPA Scholarships at Carleton College

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Preethiya Sekar will use the Bemley Scholarship awarded all the members of the BDPA Southern Minnesota High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team with a $2,500 college scholarship at Carleton College. She also applied the Monsanto Scholarship ($2,500) and Oracle Scholarship towards her education at Carleton College as well!

Preethiya Sekar * Multiple BDPA Scholar!
Preethiya Sekar was a member of BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter since 2010. She graduated from high school in June 2015 and decided to attend Carleton College in the fall of 2015. Currently her major is undecided but she would like to go to medical school. She haven’t had much experience in the working world but she did hold a research mentee position in a molecular medicine lab. As for what she would like to do when she grows up ... she's leaning towards becoming a pediatric surgeon!

We asked her to share her thoughts on BDPA:

"For the past four years (2012-2015), I spent most of my Saturdays at BDPA talking with friends, checking my rank, and learning new things. Before BDPA I didn’t know anything about computers or programming, much less did I have any interest in learning. However, my instructors made what I was learning exciting. They taught me things and then encouraged me to go out and learn more. What was most thrilling for me was being able to create something. Seeing my code transform into a web page was just so incredible.

2014 So. Minnesota HSCC Team (Preethia, 2nd-from-right)
Being selected to go to the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) after class was done was probably one of the most rewarding things. After all who wouldn’t like to go to big cities and meet new and important people? But, when I became a part of the competition team I remember all the work we put in. We refer to the summer before competition as “boot camp”. So while all my friends were out enjoying summer, I was sitting with my BDPA friends staring at a computer screen. But I guess, it was always worth it in the end. It’s a good feeling going through the competition and knowing all your hard work was paying off. But no amount of preparation takes away the nerves and angst during the programming portion. They give you seven hours but it feels like less than one. I think we all learned to thrive under the stressful conditions. We knew our part in the team and held ourselves accountable. No matter the outcome, it was always a great experience: either something to learn from or something to remember.

2015 BDPA IT Showcase * Preethiya Sekar
The people in BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter did more than just teach me computer programming, they taught me to believe in myself (sometimes that was the biggest obstacle), they taught me to carry myself with dignity and pride, and to be thankful for everything I have. Over the past four years, BDPA has had a major impact on the person I have become, they remind me to give back selflessly and help others around me."

We just completed the 32nd anniversary of the High School Computer Competition. We are grateful to Monsanto and Oracle for sponsoring their scholarships. BDPA has given out hundreds of Bemley Scholarships over the years. However, this is truly a scholarship fund that is supported by BDPA members and supporters. I encourage you to make a secure online donation today! BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Bemley Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Preethiya's career as she seeks to advance in the medical industry!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Letter of Inquiry: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (BDPA New York)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked with BDPA New York chapter to submit a letter of inquiry (LOI) to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. We asked for permission to submit a $7,500 grant proposal to support the 2018 Student Information Technology & Education (SITES) program planned for implementation in New York. BDPA New York chapter continues to grow in terms of the number of students impacted by their programs.

Now we wait to hear what they say. However, you can help. Please consider making a secure online donation in support of our BDPA New York chapter!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Long Story Short: Victor Montgomery (BDPA Atlanta)

Victor Montgomery (State Farm) is the chapter president of BDPA Atlanta.   BDPA Atlanta is the 5th largest BDPA chapter in the nation.  Victor is an innovative, forward thinking Information Technology (IT) leader, with over eleven years of IT experience.

A graduate of Illinois State University, Victor obtained his Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems in 2004. He joined State Farm in 2004 starting his career as a mainframe programmer. Victor is currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Computer Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is very excited to be a part of the Georgia community helping to move IT forward. Victor and his wife, Malikah, have one daughter and two sons: Nailah, Victor Jr. and Benjamin.

Victor Montgomery
This blog wanted to get a more personal look into the personality of this rising BDPA leader. We asked Victor to give brief answers to some odd questions. We hope you enjoy this new feature that we simply call, 'Long Story Short...'


  1. Craziest thing you've ever done? - Has to be ziplining in the Georgia trees. Definitely exhilarating and something I thought I’d never do. I’m actually “considering” doing it again.
  2.  
  3. Favorite food you'd take with you on a desert island? - Hotdogs/rice
  4.  
  5. Favorite Way to de-stress after a long week? - Hanging with my family. Watching basketball.
  6.  
  7. How you kill time in airports? - Playing apps on phone
  8.  
  9. Simple things that make you happiest? - Seeing other people pursue their dreams
  10.  
  11. Who You'd Like to Meet? - President Barack Obama
  12.  

Victor is an outstanding leader for his chapter!  I don't think that Victor is alone in wanting to meet President Obama! I'd love to see him at one of our upcoming national conferences!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Alexia Arthur Uses her Johnson & Johnson Scholarship at Purdue University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Johnson & Johnson awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to nine (9) students. One of those students is Alexia Arthur, from Detroit, who will use the scholarship to support her study of computer information & technology at Purdue University.

Alexia Arthur
Alexia Arthur is currently a sophomore at Purdue University and a part of the university's Honors College. She is double majoring in Cybersecurity and Computer Information Technology. Alexia serves as a BoilerMENTOR who helps the transition to Purdue for freshmen within the school’s Polytechnic Institute. She recently completed an Internship at Yazaki North America serving as a Software Engineer. At Yazaki, Alexia programmed and tested clusters for GM’s Chevy Malibu and Chevy Cruze. As an android application developer, Alexia hopes to release one of her applications on the Play Store. Once Alexia graduates from Purdue she wants to have a career involving application security. After she is settled within her career Alexia plans on starting a scholarship fund for girls that want to major in a STEM field.

We asked Alexia to share her thoughts on BDPA:

"I had the opportunity to become a member of BDPA this year and I am truly grateful. BDPA has served as an avenue for networking and scholarships, which I appreciate. The highlight of my experience so far has been interviewing for an IT summer internship position with Johnson and Johnson. J&J is a company that takes pride in making the everyday lives of people easier, so to have the opportunity to possibly receive a position there is amazing. Ultimately, the interview itself would never have happened if I did not receive the Johnson and Johnson scholarship through BDPA. Not only did BDPA pave the way for a possible internship, but the organization made receiving a scholarship to help pay for my tuition possible."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Alexia's career as she seeks to start career in technology!

Monday, September 4, 2017

BCforward Sponsors BDPA Indianapolis Chapter

National BDPA is honored to have global Information Technology consulting firm BCforward as a Silver Level sponsor. BCforward is also a workforce fulfillment company that provides services and resources for leading businesses and government organizations. Their sponsorship sustains support of BDPA’s diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science and related STEM fields.

Justin Christian
BCforward has become part of the communities in which they operate and is a trusted business partner, employer and charitable contributor. BCforward believes that continued success includes being a good corporate citizen through giving back to the communities where their employees work and live.

BCforward CEO Justin Christian stated, “BCforward is proud to support our local BDPA chapter. We hope these funds will continue to propel STEM programs in our underrepresented communities.

For over 40 years, BDPA has enabled the upward mobility of minorities in technology from the classroom to the boardroom. The organization was founded in 1975 by Earl Pace and David Wimberly to close the digital divide for underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. BDPA has over 40 chapters nationwide and offers more than $100,000 in scholarships annually to hundreds of high school and college students who wish to pursue STEM careers.

Delano Robinson
BDPA Indianapolis Chapter President Delano Robinson stated, "BCforward has continued to show great partnership with BDPA via investment in several forms. We are extremely excited about their energy to help us push the organization to new levels from a strategy and positioning perspective."

For more details on the BDPA corporate sponsorship program, please contact the corporate sales support team at (301) 584-3135 ext. 108 or corpsales@bdpa.org. Additionally, please visit www.bdpa.org.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Grant Proposal * Fifth Third Bank (Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA Cincinnati chapter to submit a grant proposal to the Fifth Third Bank seeking $5,000 for the 2018 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program. We hope to have an answer within the next few months.

2017 BDPA Cincinnati HSCC Team
Fifth Third Bank sponsorship and donation request site online proposals, which will be reviewed by the regional Sponsorship Committee. The site was referred to us by Mark Walton, director of Community & Economic Development in the Greater Cincinnati Region of Fifth Third Bank.

BETF is willing to work with any of the 47 local BDPA chapters to obtain the funding that they need to successfully deliver their 2018 SITES program. Simply reach out to the BETF executive director if you have questions or wish to discuss further.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Braxton Smith Will Use Bemley Scholarship at North Carolina A&T State University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Braxton Smith will use the Bemley Scholarship awarded all the members of the BDPA Triangle High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team with a $1,000 college scholarship at North Carolina A&T State University.

Braxton Smith * Bemley Scholar
Braxton had a 4.0 GPA in high school and his overarching goal is to study computer science and utilize the skills he learns to enter the information technology field.   Braxton was a member of Art Club, Anime Club, Music Club and Computer Club. He has been a bowler for the last 13 years and he joined Movement of Youth, a mentoring and volunteer program that exposes students to the ‘college experience’. He volunteered at several local groups, such as Project Seeds, Durham Urban Ministries and the Durham Rescue Mission. Braxton also assisted Omega Psi Phi Fraternity as a volunteer at several church outreach programs. He worked as a summer intern with CISCO configuring servers in conjunction with being an apprentice with the Shodor Foundation. Both positions allowed him to work with web design, code development and languages and mathematical calculations. To finish it all off, Braxton worked in the Genome Science Department at Duke University.

Braxton plans to study computer science at North Carolina A&T State University. Braxton believes in the personal statement from Colin Powell, "There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure."

We asked Braxton to share his personal testimonial on BDPA:

2017 BDPA Triangle (Braxton is on the right)
"I have been with the BDPA for a total of two years and in that time-frame I have had the honor and privilege of doing things people dream about. I got to attend two national conferences as the lead front end coder for the High School Computer Competition team. Since the first day I entered the BDPA, I have been truly taken from the classroom to the boardroom. Better than that, I found a second family at BDPA Triangle Chapter, one where the bonds between us members cannot be broken. My success that is to come is greatly due to this family I share here and I will not hesitate to come back and assist the Triangle Chapter with HSCC teaching or just for motivation. Additionally, I look forward to possibly partake in the college BDPA IT Showcase and BDPA Mobile Application  Showcase competitions. In conclusion, BDPA is an organization, group, and a family that I would recommend to any hungry, curious mind that searches for ways to truly disrupt the system."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Bemley Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Braxton's career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Eleanor Wilson Will Use Her Eli Lilly Scholarship at Carnegie Mellon University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Eli Lilly awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to four (4) students. One of those students is Eleanor Wilson from O'Fallon, MO.

Studying Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University with a minor in Global Systems Management has aided Eleanor Wilson in the discovery of her passion for technology. Over the past three years, she has taken every opportunity available to explore different technology industries. Starting off in human computer interaction where she was able to research how artificial intelligence can be used to address social disparities in education. Inspired by how technology can help people, she turned to technology consulting at EY for the past two years. She immersed herself in the financial services sector and was able to gain experience in anti-money laundering and risk assurance.

Eleanor Wilson * Eli Lilly Scholar
Overall, the best part about her work experiences is that Eleanor has been able to apply her skills each time in a new industry. Eleanor is always looking for opportunities to grow and improve her skills. As she finishes off her senior year, she looks forward towards securing a full time job and will go to graduate school to focus on cybersecurity.

We asked Eleanor to share her thoughts on BDPA:

"I was first exposed to the technology industry from family members in the field. In high school, I started to take more computer classes and each time was always surprised by the lack of diversity. Entering Carnegie Mellon, I had expected to meet a broader range of people in my industry. Indeed, I ended up meeting a broader group, however I still found myself being the only Black woman in my graduating class for my major, Information Systems. After hearing about BDPA from a friend earlier this year, I was eager to join. Being exposed to an entire network of people in the technology industry that I share similar backgrounds with has been refreshing and inspiring. I hope to get more active with the BDPA in the future and continue to be an advocate for Black involvement in technology."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. We look forward to supporting Eleanor's career as she seeks to advance her career in the technology industry!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tristan Trejo Will Use Bemley Scholarship at University of Minnesota

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Tristan Trejo will use the Bemley Scholarship awarded all the members of the BDPA Southern Minnesota High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team with a $3,000 college scholarship at the University of Minnesota.

Tristan Trejo * Bemley Scholar
Tristan is a young man who plans to become a well-known architect, who can find ways to incorporate Computer Science to experience the design process in each stage of Architecture, to benefit both the Architects and the client. He had a wonderful high school experience at Century High School serving at a referee in the Minnesota Soccer League, rink Attendant for the city at the Recreation Center. Tristan was also on the varsity track and field team (state medalist for pole vault) and varsity soccer team.

Tristan has been a member of BDPA Southern Minnesota for six years and a part of the chapter's youth computer team for the past 3 years. We asked him to share his thoughts on BDPA:

The most memorable moment of BDPA, was when our team was named the National winner at the High School Computer Competition (BDPA Disrupt 2017) in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our team members were all first-time competitors, but we surprised ourselves and won! The competition was tough, and requirements for the competition were very challenging and complicated. All of the other teams were very good teams. Our team members looked at each other, paused, pondered, and simultaneously, put our heads together, and strived for the best.

2017 BDPA SMN HSCC Team (Tristan is 2nd-left)
We really astonished ourselves! BDPA has had a great impact on my life. I have learned many lessons over the course of 6 years as a member, and not just lessons on coding, but I have learned to be a leader, a good public speaker, and learned how to understand my peers better, and much more. I have been able to help promote this program to the community, and I’m proud of it. The amount of knowledge I have obtained through out my BDPA career is immense, and I am very grateful that I was part of such a giving organization. I am very thankful to the people who made this opportunity available.

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Bemley Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Tristan's career as he seeks to advance in the architecture industry!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lyndon Bowen, Jr. Will Use Bemley Scholarship at North Carolina Central University


BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Lyndon Bowen, Jr. will use the Bemley Scholarship awarded all the members of the BDPA Triangle High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team with a $1,000 college scholarship at the North Carolina Central University.

Lyndon Bowen, Jr. * HSCC Alumni (2015-2017)
Lyndon is an aspiring entrepreneur, technology advocate, and space exploration enthusiast. He has devoted himself to improving many aspects of his community, from youth inclusion in technology related fields to the mentoring and revitalization of troubled youth. He has worked very closely with the Black Data Processing Associates and the National Youth Rights Association. Currently, he is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Business with a concentration in Information Systems at North Carolina Central University located in Durham, NC. Lyndon strongly believes in the role that his generation must play in the future and he is dedicated to bringing his ideas to fruition.

We asked Lyndon to share his thoughts on BDPA:

BDPA Triangle HSCC Team (Lyndon, 2nd-Right)
"I have been a member of BDPA Triangle chapter for three years. During the time that I have been part of the organization, I have had the amazing privilege of attending three national conferences. For the past three years, I have been the project manager and full stack coder of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. While I had the privilege of leading my team our ranking at the National BDPA Technology Conference increased from nearly last place to third place. I look forward with great anticipation to continuing to be a part of the BDPA, moving towards working with the college aspect of the Triangle Chapter as well as coaching and mentoring the next HSCC Triangle team. I am also greatly interested in competing in either the college mobile app competition or the college IT showcase. BDPA is an organization that I would recommend wholeheartedly to any young mind to set them on a journey from the classroom to the boardroom and to show them how to truly disrupt."
BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Bemley Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Lyndon's career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Oumar Ly Uses Johnson & Johnson Scholarship at University of Cincinnati

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Johnson & Johnson awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to nine (9) students. Oumar Ly is a student at the University of Cincinnati majoring in Information Technology in the Cybersecurity track with expected graduation date in the fall of 2018. He maintained a grade point average of 3.771 and has made both the Dean’s list and merit’s list. He considers himself to be a professional, dependable, considerate and hard-working. Also, Oumar is fluent in both English and French languages qualifies him for international matters.

We asked Oumar to share his bio and his thoughts on the JnJ scholarship:

Oumar Ly * Johnson & Johnson Scholar
This Scholarship means a lot to me and my family. It is a very helpful income that will allow me to reach my educational goal. I am originally from Senegal, a country in West Africa, and was naturalized US citizen on December 16, 2016. I am a full time student, full time worker, with a family of seven. This situation is one more motivation to keep going to school and succeed. I am 48 years old, already made sacrifices to be at school, and the only goal in my life right now is to earn degrees. With 4 young kids going to school too and a baby, it is very challenging to keep a balanced budget between my kids’ education, and mine. Therefore, any help is welcome.

I am also a responsible student that chooses to return to school not by compliance, but by conviction that only education is the way to succeed and provide a better life for people that are willing to do it. Beside the academic gain, knowledge of things that surround us is very important. Technology is growing and developing fast, and technicians are needed to fill the gaps. I believe that the cybersecurity program offers the most complete experience a student needs and can get, in order to be ready for higher and international responsibilities, in the cyber security field. I hope to join our national Security Intelligence team one day, and have the opportunity to serve my country and my community. The hardest part is to be financially able to support the studies. That is why scholarship is very important to student, especially to those that are willing, ready and sure to reach the finish line.

At my work place, I am part of the safety committee team that help prevent accidents and injuries at work. We work to help workers to better understand the concept of safety, and to cultivate better behaviors that will allow them to work safely, and return to their family without any damage. Meanwhile, in my community, I am a member of the Senegalese Association of Cincinnati that help naturalized citizens from Africa generally, and Senegal mainly, to learn English, read it and write it, and be able to socialize and fill out legal paper work in their own. Generally, they end up being interested to register for college studies that we highly suggest and recommend.

Oumar (2nd-left) with other JnJ Scholars
At the beginning of the year 2016, Dr. Hazem Said, the Director of School of Information technology, suggested that I join BDPA Cincinnati in order to enrich, improve and accelerate my insertion into the professional IT community, but also to find help and support to pay my school tuition and fees. That was the best day of my life, and I made the best decision to join BDPA.


BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Oumar's career as he seeks to advance his career in the technology industry!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Jasmine Stone Uses Her Eli Lilly Scholarship at Yale University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Eli Lilly awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to four (4) students. One of those students is Jasmine Stone from Austin, TX. Jasmine will use the scholarship to support her study of computer science at Yale University.

Jasmine Stone * Eli Lilly Scholar
Jasmine interned for Google as an Engineering Practicum Intern over Summer 2017. In Summer 2016, she worked as a Lab Assistant at Janelia, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute focused on neuroscience research. She was involved in neuroscience research in Drs. Alex Huk and Larry Cormack's research lab at UT Austin from 2014-2016. She aspires to either work in the tech industry or go to graduate school to get a PhD in computational neuroscience after she finishes her undergraduate years.

We asked Jasmine to share her thoughts about BDPA:

I joined BDPA in late 2016. Since then it has been a source of information and opportunities for me. Through BDPA I have gained opportunities for scholarships, conferences and showcases. I have shared these opportunities with others at my school and in my other organizations in order to widen the community that BDPA can benefit.

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. We look forward to supporting Jasmine's career as she seeks to advance her career in the technology industry!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Braxton Garner-Robinson Will Use Bemley Scholarship at University of South Carolina

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Braxton Garner-Robinson will use the Bemley Scholarship awarded all the members of the BDPA Greater Columbia High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team with a $2,500 college scholarship at the University of South Carolina. He won the scholarships by working as member of the HSCC team in both 2014 (2nd place, $1,500 scholarship) and 2015 (3rd place, $1,000 scholarship).

Braxton Robinson * Bemley Scholar
Braxton is a freshman at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. He plans to study computer information systems, and become a network analyst. Eventually, he would like to own his own business focusing on cybersecurity. During the summer of 2014, he worked as a poll worker with the Lexington County Voter’s Registration Office for local and state elections and he has been a front service clerk (bagger) at Publix Supermarkets since June 2015.

We asked Braxton to share his thoughts about BDPA:

"Throughout middle school and high school, I have participated in the BDPA Greater Columbia as a student and also as a part of the HSCC team. This program has helped me strengthen my coding skills and soft skills such as communication, problem solving, adaptability, and conflict resolution. During my time being a part of the high school computer competition team, we have earned 2nd and 3rd place in the national competition.

My most memorable moment is earning 2nd place in the competition, the feeling of hard work being turned into results gave me a sense of accomplishment. I apply this moment to my daily life as I will begin college this fall, and I know that if I work hard there is no limit to what I can accomplish in the future. HSCC has had such a positive impact on my life, I begin every day with the goal of working hard and I know that everything else will fall in line, it has taught me so many important lessons that have prepared me for the many challenges that I have faced in life.

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Bemley Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Braxton's career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Sean Grant Will Use Monsanto Scholarship at Howard University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Monsanto awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to three (3) students. One of those students is Sean Grant who will use the scholarship at Howard University.

Currently, Sean Grant is a senior majoring in computer engineering at Howard University in Washington DC. Although he chose to complete his undergraduate degree in Washington DC, he was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY. At Howard University, Sean served as the Wireless Network Security Research Assistant for the university's Cybersecurity & Wireless Networks (CWiNs) Lab. Here Sean helped develop, model, and test algorithms that help secure the transmission of wireless data. His continuing goal is to solidify a system that can improve wireless network security in the future. Alongside his research, he is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Institute of Electronics & Electrical Engineers (IEEE). In addition, Sean is a returning member of the Howard University Chrysler Team. This program creates a partnership between Howard engineering students and Fiat Chrysler Automobile employees in order to create a concept or design for a future Chrysler automobile model.

Most recently, Sean served as the Hardware Performance Analyst Intern within the Systems Hardware Performance department at IBM Corp. This has by far been the most enjoyable and valuable internship position he has held purely because of the knowledge he gained throughout the internship. Over the summer Sean learned about the basics of micro-processors, chip architecture, and the techniques used to solve common problems with computer chip latencies. The friendships and connections he made while at IBM were a great addition to the beneficial internship.

Sean Grant * Monsanto Scholar (2017)
Sean has a reputation for being a hardworking, organized, and most of all, reliable employee and he takes great pride in these attributes. Sean always believed in the idea that hard work, preparation, and opportunity are the three factors that lead to a successful life and he tries his best to uphold these values each and every day.

We asked Sean to share his thought about BDPA:

"BDPA is an organization with a strong and effective mission statement that I can relate to. Striving to encourage and support minority students at all levels to develop an interest in technology is a mission that I would hope to take part in as I begin my career as a soon-to-be college graduate. As a high school student, my interest in computer science and technology grew slowly. However, I was never undeniably sure that technology was what I wanted to focus my attention and energy on. Due to these slight doubts, I was apprehensive about pursuing an engineering degree once I entered college. However, after learning about the BDPA organization, along with other nationally recognized STEM organizations, I decided to commit to the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and from my first day in class my interest in engineering and technology skyrocketed. This is the primary way in which BDPA has positively impacted me."

"Being able to see the positive impact that BDPA had on other college students around the country gave me the extra motivation to continue my pursuit of an engineering degree. My most memorable experience related to BDPA was at a tech event on campus where I was able to have a great conversation with a BDPA representative (who was also the speaker of the event). Hearing the encouraging words from the speaker was great, but what really impressed me was that after the event he took the time to talk to me about my interests in computer hardware engineering as well as his general interests in technology. This fairly simple, but impactful experience was very informative and helped me gain a stronger interest in the BDPA organization."


BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Monsanto Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Sean's career as he seeks to advance in the technology industry!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, July 2017)

The lifeblood of any nonprofit association is its membership. We have a chapter who leads the nation in BDPA members.... BDPA Cincinnati.   The chapter ... led by its president, Shawnda Peterson ... continues to amaze others by its consistent growth.  The chapter recently hosted the 39th BDPA Technology Conference in downtown Cincinnati and it was a remarkable event and everyone appeared to have a great time! 

Judaea Lane
The largest movement came from BDPA St. Louis chapter who moved up to 4th place as a result of the agreement they came to with Daugherty Business Solutions.   Malcom Mathis is the president of the chapter and they are doing well.  We continue to operate under the leadership of acting National BDPA VP-Membership Management Judaea Lane.   Her team now includes Chad White (Dallas).  Her efforts have allowed BDPA to continue to grow.   She realizes that we need to work hard to keep membership growth and retention higher.

BDPA believes in the management maxim -- you get what you measure.  Let us assess the numbers in order to honor those local BDPA chapters who are demonstrating success in their efforts to recruit and retain members.  Let's take a look at the ten largest chapters in BDPA-Nation:
  1. Cincinnati - president, Shawnda Peterson
  2. Detroit - president, Loraine Stewart-David
  3. Chicago - president, Reggie Rush 
  4. St. Louis - president, Malcom Mathis
  5. Atlanta - president, Victor Montgomery
  6. Indianapolis - president, Delano Robinson
  7. Philadelphia - president, Cedric Edwards
  8. Washington DC - president, Perry Carter
  9. New Jersey - president, Goldie Bonney
  10. Triangle - president, Carl Hill 
The number of chapters now belonging to the 'BDPA Century Club' currently stands at two.  The benefit of having powerful leadership is obvious when we see that Cincinnati and Detroit each have over 100 members. One of the common denominators for each of these chapters is that they place a high premium on the delivery of quality programs and services to their members. These chapters work hard to ensure that there is a strong return on the $100 investment that each member makes thru annual dues.

National president Mike Williams recently touted the value that organizational re-branding has made on BDPAWhat are your thoughts about the value of BDPA membership? What can your local chapter do to improve the value-proposition for you on a personal or professional level?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Deja Lindsey Uses Her Eli Lilly Scholarship at Georgetown University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Eli Lilly awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to three (3) students. One of those students is senior Deja Lindsey from Chicago, IL, who will use the scholarship to support her study of computer science and sociology at Georgetown University. She has been involved with BDPA since her freshman year of college, and by attending chapter events and national conferences, she has secured a summer internship and made lifelong connections.

On campus, she is a member of the Georgetown Cheerleading Team and works as a technology specialist. She is also a recent inductee of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society and the current president of Georgetown’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Deja Lindsey * Eli Lilly Scholar
Besides technology, she is extremely passionate about giving back to her community and spends most of her free time volunteering with elementary school students in the DC Public School system and working with Girls Got IT!, a program she founded that works to introduce young, underprivileged girls to technology. She aspires to work as a technologist that creates or improves applications to better the lives of humans around the world.

We asked Deja to share her thoughts on BDPA:

"Being a member of Black Data Processing Associates has had a great impact on my personal and career development. From membership in the BDPA I was able to network and make connections with employees from Johnson and Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, and Eli Lilly and Company, all of which I have spent summers interning. Last year’s national conference in Atlanta actually showed me a new potential career path that I plan to pursue in my post-grad endeavors."

Deja Lindsey * IT Showcase Winner
"This year’s national conference specifically has meant the most to me. Not only did I participate as a Youth Technology Camp workshop presenter, I also competed in the IT Showcase and won first place! While this conference was much busier for me than any of my past conferences, it challenged me in a variety of ways and helped me make many new professional connections. Being a member of BDPA has exposed me to more Black IT professionals, empowering me to continue my path into the information technology career field. My most memorable moment in BDPA is winning the IT Showcase because I worked very hard throughout the school year and summer and it was very rewarding to see my hard work pay off."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students. We look forward to supporting Deja's career as she seeks to advance her career in the technology industry!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Long Story Short: Malcom Mathis II (BDPA St. Louis)

Mr. Malcom B. Mathis II works at Monsanto, a fortune 500 Agricultural Technology company, as an IT Business Architect for North America Supply Chain IT. Malcom has worked at Monsanto since 2011 and has taken on increasing responsibility each year. His work has taken him to numerous places in North America like Illinois, California and Iowa as well as Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Malcom is an active contributor to the St. Louis community. He currently serves as President of the executive board of BDPA St. Louis chapter, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in Information Technology. He volunteers in the Science and Agriculture Education Outreach program at Monsanto, chairs the Monsanto-BDPA scholarship committee and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Malcom Mathis (BDPA St. Louis Prez)
Malcom received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He went on to receive a Master’s in Analytical Chemistry from Kent State University in Ohio.

This blog wanted to get a more personal look into the personality of this rising BDPA leader. We asked Malcom to give brief answers to some odd questions. We hope you enjoy this new feature that we simply call, 'Long Story Short...'


  1. Simple things that make you happiest? - I get a flutter in my heart when my children playfully interact with each other.
  2.  
  3. Who You'd Like to Meet? - I would like to meet someone from the distant past and someone from the distant future (preferably of my lineage). It would be great to discuss how far we have come and where we are going.
  4.  
  5. Favorite Way to de-stress after a long week? - Play a round of golf. There is nothing like getting out and enjoying nature while playing golf; however, if I’m not hitting the ball well, it can add to the stress.
  6.  
  7. How you kill time in airports? - I try to time my arrival so I won’t have to wait long to board the plane. However, I will bring a book to read or spark up conversation with a random person. Many times I end up talking on the phone with my wife.


Malcom is an outstanding leader for his chapter! He is doing all the right things to grow his chapter and I hope that other chapter leaders around the country look up to Malcom for support.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Daniel Powell Uses His Johnson & Johnson Scholarship at Jackson State University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Johnson & Johnson awarded a $2,500 college scholarship to nine (9) students. One of those students is Daniel Powell from Jackson MS, who will use the scholarship to support his study of computer science at Jackson State University (JSU).

Daniel Powell * JnJ Scholar
Daniel Powell is a senior working towards his bachelor of science degree. He is currently employed as a Big Data researcher and has experience working in cyber security at the JSU e-center. His future plans include earning a masters in Computer Science and having a successful career as a game developer.

We asked Daniel to share his thoughts about BDPA:

"My most memorable moment with BDPA would have to be receiving the notice that I was selected to receive their Johnson & Johnson scholarship. It will definitely help my academic career and I am grateful I was able to be part of such an organization."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship. We look forward to supporting Daniel's career as he seeks to advance his career in the technology industry! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Ashley Shorter Uses Wanda Everett Scholarship at Florida A&M University

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is proud to announce that Daugherty Business Solutions awarded a $2,500 college Wanda Everett scholarship to Ashley Shorter.  Ashley is a member of the BDPA St. Louis chapter who will use the scholarship to pursue her computer science degree.

Ashley Shorter
Ashley Shorter is a second year computer science student attending Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. My career goals include becoming a software developer to increase the diversity pipeline at major technology companies. While she is in school, Ashley works in the ITS Department as a Web Developer, and she is currently a Web Development Engineer Intern at Express Scripts.

We asked Ashley to share her thoughts on BDPA:

"I began my involvement with BDPA during my junior year of high school in the High School Computer Competition in the St. Louis Chapter. Since then, my personal network and knowledge of the IT industry has expanded immensely. What I learned during HSCC enabled me to get a job at my university as a Web Developer as well as a summer internship on the Web Optimization team. I continue my involvement with BDPA by competing in the Mobile Application Competition this year, and I will continue my participation with BDPA for many years to come."

BDPA is blessed to have such a young and talented student as a winner of the Wanda Everett Scholarship for BDPA Students. We look forward to supporting Ashley's career as she seeks to advance her career in the technology industry!