Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Will BDPA Answer Obama's Call for Commitment to Higher Education or Career Training?

BETF Donors and BDPA members all over the nation had to be uplifted by President Obama's speech last night. A major part of our volunteer efforts seek to stimulate the interest of young people in science, technology and math. Our entire Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program is geared towards getting K-12 students motivated,trained and pointed towards a technology-based college education and ultimatey towards a rewarding career in the IT industry.

President Obama called on all Americans to commit to at least one year of higher education or career training, as he stressed the importance of better schooling in reviving the nation's economy during his first address to Congress.

The president, arguing that a high school education is no longer adequate in the global economy, said the federal government just made a "historic investment" in education with its $787 billion stimulus plan. He said that while lawmakers and educators are responsible for making the system work, individuals are responsible for participating in it.

"So tonight I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be a community college or a four-year school, vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma."

Obama lamented that just over half of Americans achieve an education beyond high school and warned of the consequences such trends could have on the country's standing in the world.
"We have one of the highest high-school dropout rates of any industrialized nation, and half of the students who begin college never finish. This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow."
He said his new goal is for America to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.
"Dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It's not just quitting on yourself -- it's quitting on your country. And this country needs and values the talents of every American."
Watch the whole speech here or read it here. For the record, I watched the Republican response, as given by Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Nothing that he said inspired me in my BDPA-related mission. Perhaps others heard something from him that I missed. In the interest of fairness, I invite you to read the full text of his speech here, or you can watch him in this clip.

President Obama issued the call. Your BDPA Foundation seeks to answer the call with financial support through fundraising, scholarships and creation of our growing endowment fund.

We need all BDPA Foundation blog readers to step up. Are you ready to help us?


C Samuels Jr said...

What is the National BDPA's plan for implementation. The local chapters need the national to step up and provide clear direction on the organization's goals and initiatives. Our by line of "From the classroom to the boardroom" is not appropriate for today's economic times. We must include the SMB entrepreneur and consultants which is the direction of IT services. If cloud computing takes off, BDPA must be in the forefront of providing services to help its membership and the community cope with this change in the labor force.

Unknown said...

Cliff - I don't have answer to your question. Perhaps some of our national officers or chapter presidents who sit on the NBOD can respond. We do have an entrepreneur special interest group that reports to our national VP-Member Services (Kimberly Davis). I'm not clear as to what they are doing outside of the conference workshops and such. Your questions are good. I hope that others will shed light on answers...

Anonymous said...

To build on what Cliff said, I think its very important that National has a plan to ensure the local chapters understand how to procure some of this money which is coming down the pike. Will it be through grants? Will it be through old fashion networking with politicians? Will it be through applying for contracts? That is what I'm confused on. How will this money be parsed out and how do we know who gets it. One of my big missions over the next few weeks is to try and see how this whole process is going to work.. Because I live in a smaller city which just so happens to be the state capital I have all types of contacts who I hope can share this process with me and in turn I will share it with BDPA. I'm almost thinking BDPA needs a liasion that can keep on top of all of this activity around the stimulus package. I'm almost thinking maybe at the 2nd quarter board meeting in Memphis there should be some time devoted to this..

Unknown said...

Matthew - Any luck on your research?