Thursday, September 21, 2017

Grant Proposal: Constellation E2 Energy to Educate (BDPA Atlanta)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with the officers of the BDPA Atlanta chapter to submit a grant proposal to Constellation E2 Energy to Educate Grants seeking $15,000 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.

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.