Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Jessica Tipton (Atlanta)

We have some pretty remarkable young people in our annual high school computer competition. I fully expect that many of these students will shake up the world as they get older and progress through their careers. One young woman on her way to stardom is Jessica Tipton. Jessica was a member of the HSCC team trained by BDPA Atlanta chapter in 2002 and 2004. She shared the following testimonial with us recently:

“The average person lives to be about 70 years old; what you do with the first 20 years of your life, determine if you will spend the rest of your life paying the price of reaping the benefits you have sown.” -Ben Carson

Now that I have reached age 22, I can definitely see the benefits of the seeds that I have sown. I am a recent graduate of Georgia State University majoring in Journalism, having worked at FOX 5 Atlanta, since 2004 and now at CBS Station Sales in New York. In addition, I am a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the reigning homecoming queen for Georgia State University. I have had many blessings in my life, but they did not come easily.

Born February 6, 1987, in Atlanta, Ga. my parents took care of all my household needs. With the combined efforts of my maternal and paternal grandparents, neither my siblings nor I wanted for anything. My paternal grandparents made sure that we were on top of our education seizing any opportunities that came our way. This is why when I heard about the BDPA HSCC program, I was willing to make the sacrifice of sleeping in on Saturdays to take advantage of the opportunity.

There were many times when I think of all the parties that I missed, or all the fun I could have had during high school, but I could not do anything that Friday night because of the HSCC classes on Saturday. Those sacrifices helped to keep me out of many situations that would have prohibited personal growth in the end. The classes helped to keep me focused. Not only did I learn the basics of web programming, but also I learned the importance of teamwork and giving back to the community through my HSCC instructors. Never have I seen a group of individuals up close and personal dedicated to the uplifting of the black community. I thought it was just something of the past, or something to watch on television, but my HSCC instructors helped to make it a reality.

My team went on to compete nationally landing the Atlanta Chapter second place in the 2002 competition. As I started debating in high school, I realized I had a passion for public speaking. That is when I became the project manager for the HSCC team, allowing me to capitalize on my public speaking capabilities.

That was the jumpstart to a career in journalism. Though I am not working directly in the IT industry, the skill set that I received from BDPA helped me to develop teamwork, project management and development skills that is necessary in any career path. BDPA planted seeds in my life, nurtured over the years through the many mentors that I have come across, that allow me to reap the benefits today.
Currently, employers are impressed with my ability to fuse media and technology to keep up with the pace of the industry, skills that would have never developed had I not been apart of the BDPA HSCC program.

“Feed a man to fish, he’s fed for a day; teach a man to fish, he’s fed for a lifetime.”

Thank you BDPA for teaching me to fish!

Our foundation seeks to increase the number of students that receive Bemley Scholarships in 2009 and beyond. To do so, we need your help. Please consider making an online donation to help us interest young people in science and technology.

Very few of you leave COMMENTS on these testimonials. Please take a moment to respond to this one. Let Jessica and the other HSCC alumni know what you think about their efforts.

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