Monday, November 30, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * Franklin and Catherine Johnson Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Bay Area chapter on a letter of inquiry to the Franklin and Charles Johnson Foundation. We asked for permission to submit a $2,500 grant proposal for their funding consideration.

Tarah Evans is the executive director of the Johnson Foundation. Our request was forwarded to her via LinkedIn Network. She responded,

"I am happy to review some information about the program, but want to let you know that we do not accept unsolicited proposals. We are a very small family foundation, and do the majority of our grant-making in the local (East Palo Alto) area. But saying that, I am happy to read an executive summary of the program and look into whether or not it might be a fit for us."
We are hopeful that our Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in northern California will be a fit for them! For that matter, we hope that our SITES program is a fit for you ... please consider making a secure online donation in support of our SITES Endowment Fund.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Week in BDPA (Nov 29 - Dec 5)

BDPA has 45 chapters around the nation. You can always find programs, services or networking activity here or here. BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry.

Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events! Please let us know of other BDPA events that we may have missed. Most importantly, let us know if you plan to attend any BDPA events this week.

Finally, I hope that those of you with a Facebook account will support BETF in the Chase Community Giving campaign.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Twitter Presents a Chance for Savvy Charities to Reach More People

Late one Friday afternoon this fall, Matt Flannery, the co-founder of, posted a message on Twitter: "It seems like my Twitter account is getting attacked by spam. 500 new followers a minute. Anyone else experiencing this?"

In fact, a small group of people who use Twitter to talk about philanthropy had also been inundated with followers. But the reason for the instant increase wasn't anything as spurious as a spam attack. All the people who suddenly attracted new followers had just been added to Twitter's official "suggested users" list of people worth following. Traditionally, Twitter's suggestions have included celebrities like Al Gore, Shaquille O'Neal, and Oprah Winfrey, so adding the likes of Matt Flannery and other stars of the philanthropy world represents a big shift.

Read the rest of the Chronicle of Philanthropy article here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Bogdan Pomerlyan (2001)

Originally Posted: 11/29/2007
BETF-Blog Readers, have you enjoyed reading the testimonials of young men and women who competed in our national high school computer competition over the past 20+ years? I think it is important for you to see the human faces behind our BETF fundraising efforts.

At the end of the day, BETF is measured by our success as a fundraising mechanism that provides these young people with increased educational opportunities that focus on information technology and with increased scholarships so that they can attend post-secondary colleges, universities or vocational-technical schools.

Some of you are long-time members of BDPA. Have you thought about what BDPA volunteers are doing each day around the country in our 45 chapters? If so, don't you think it is time for you to make a donation or to include us in your United Way or CFC payroll deductions?

Anyhow, we are blessed to have a young man who represented his city of Charlotte, NC in the 2001 national high school computer competition. His name is Bogdan Pomerlyan and here are his words:

Early on in high school I spent most of my time learning the ins and outs of desktop publishing applications. I excelled in that and decided to expand into networking because our school was starting a new set of classes in that direction. I did well in networking and enjoyed it, but there was one more field that I wanted to try before graduating from high school. That was application and web programming. The problem was that my class load was already packed and I didn’t have the resources to learn the material at home. It wasn’t until a friend invited me to join him at a BDPA meeting and I started attending regularly that I was able to explore the programming world.

It was even better than taking a class on the subject though because we had real-world professionals that taught us. The environment was relaxed and you were able to learn at your own pace. We met in sophisticated "classrooms" that were owned by the companies we dreamed of one day working for which honestly made the whole experience very inspirational; then there was the National High School Computer Competition in Chicago. Although our chapter did not win, I will never forget and will always treasure the experience. Ultimately, BDPA exposed me to the field I later decided would be my starting career. For that I will always be grateful to those that sacrificed their time and money.

Bogdan is a success story. He is now a software developer at Wachovia Bank. It is not a coincidence that Wachovia, a strong BDPA corporate sponsor, made Bogdan a first-round draft pick in their information technology department!

BETF-Blog Readers, we need you to POST A COMMENT below to share some love with Bogdan and the other young HSCC alumni that you are meeting on this blog. Can you help us out?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * Charles Lafitte Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Bay Area chapter to submit a letter of inquiry to the Charles Lafitte Foundation. We asked for permission to submit a full grant proposal in the amount of $5,000 to support the Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program in northern California.

The mission of the Charles Lafitte Foundation is to provide for and support inventive and effective ways of helping people help themselves and others around them to lead healthy, satisfying and enriched lives. To fulfill this mission, the Foundation acts as grantmaker, innovator and volunteer for four main programs: Education, Children's Advocacy, Medical Research & Issues, and The Arts.

Please wish us luck in our continuing efforts to provide funding to support the SITES program around the nation. In fact, you can support us with your own secure online donation if you think we are doing good works!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Election Results: BDPA Chicago (2010-2011)

BETF-Blog Readers, please join me in congratulating the 2010-2011 officers of the BDPA Chicago chapter.

2010-2011 BDPA Chicago Chapter Officers
  • President - Pamela Sexton (HSBC)
  • Executive VP - Namon Tarpley (HSBC)
  • Administrative VP - Gibran McDuffie (AT&T)
  • Treasurer - Robert Modiest (self-employed)
  • Corresponding Secretary - Millie Liggins (Walgreens)
  • Recording Secretary - Desmond Jones (Agile Mind)
  • Immediate Past President - Rhonda Boyd (Allstate Insurance)
These brothers and sisters have the challenge of maintaining the remarkable legacy of a chapter, founded in March 1987, that currently sits as the largest chapter in America.

Share some love in the comments section for Pamela (shown in photo) and her incoming leadership team.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Time For Thanks

Many of us will muse about those for which we are most thankful when we sit down later today for Thanksgiving dinner. In that spirit, I thought I would share a few things that I am thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Goes without saying that I'm thankful for my family ... this post will focus on my BDPA thoughts.

I am thankful for the opportunity that BDPA provided to me over the past 20 years. I've been blessed to serve as National BDPA president ... and now I lead the BDPA Education & Technology Foundation. BDPA strives to make a difference for African Americans in the IT industry. Our future is unlimited. After all, didn't we just witness the election of the first African American President of the United States?

I am thankful for people like Earl Pace, Vivian Wilson, Michael Robinson, Diane Davis, Milt Haynes, Gina Billings, Norman Mays, Yvette Graham, Gerard Anderson, Jackie Ockleberry, Michael McCrimmon, Donna McKay and the many others that fought for the advance of African Americans in the IT industry from the 'classroom to the boardroom'. The foundation they laid gave us the strength to make BDPA what it is today.

I am also very thankful for you and your continued support of the BDPA Foundation, with which we were able to provide over $171,000 in scholarships to more than 100 students . . . able to support the youth education programs hosted by BDPA chapters in over 30 cities around the nation . . . and able to begin a 5-year quest to create a $5 million BETF Endowment Fund.

So, when I sit down to Thanksgiving dinner tonight, I will be thanking you for your strong commitment to the BDPA. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wayne Hicks, Executive Director
BDPA Education & Technology Foundation

Monday, November 23, 2009

Get Ur Good On Grants (Deadline: Feb 22, 2010)

Miley Cyrus is partnering with Youth Service America to mobilize teens through Get Ur Good On, a social network that brings together youth to support each other in their mission to do "good" in their communities.

"People my age are making positive contributions to their communities every single day," said Miley Cyrus. "My generation is one that cares about the environment, about hunger, and about human rights. We use the Internet, videos, and even music to raise awareness of these issues to our friends and family," continued Cyrus. "I'm excited to see so much energy to do 'good' from teens."
More than 3,600 "volunteers" are registered on Get Ur Good On, a space for them to discover what needs fixing in the world, find information on how to get involved, and showcase their work in schools and communities through photos, videos, and blogs. The site links Miley Cyrus' star power with youth voice, giving kids an opportunity to demonstrate how one person can make a difference. Youth interested in sharing their stories about volunteering and community service, learning about important issues, and making civic-minded friends can visit They can upload videos that show how they have made a difference in their local, national, and global communities.

Get Ur Good On Grants are available for youth-led service initiatives on Global Youth Service Day, April 23-25, 2010. Available to children and youth around the world, YSA's Get Ur Good On Grants will award 100 $500 grants to support projects addressing critical community needs such as poverty, education, and environmental sustainability. Grant applications are due February 22, 2010. The first step in the process is to take the eligibility quiz.

Personally, I hope that we have BDPA student members from all over the nation taking the quiz to try to win one of those $500 grants. What say u?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Diversity in Science Carnival

Soulclap to Urban Science Adventures for pointing us to the 4th installment of the Diversity in Science Carnival is up. Please stop by to check out the great post contributions about programs that increase diversity in the halls of academia.

These carnivals are in prepartion for ScienceOnline2010. Anne Jefferson of Highly Allochthonous (ScienceBlogs) will lead a discussion about programs that broaden participation in STEM and how the Internet can be used to raise the profile of and build support networks for women and minority scientists and engineers. BDPA supporters are encouraged to join the discussion here.

BETF-Blog plans to join the Diversity in Science Carnival next month when the topic is STEM Diversity and Broad Impacts II: Pre-college and Programs for general audiences. We have a number of blog posts about successful, ambitious and inspiring diversity programs for youth and general audiences such as after-school programs, summer institutes, and citizen science programs.

Submission Deadline: December 21, 2009. Submit here.

Carnival Post date: December 27, 2009
Hosted by: STEM-ology

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Barack Obama Challenges BDPA: 'Educate to Innovate'

President Obama has launched an “Educate to Innovate” campaign to improve the participation and performance of America’s students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). This campaign will include efforts not only from the Federal Government but also from leading companies, foundations (e.g., BDPA Education and Technology Foundation), non-profits (e.g., BDPA), and science and engineering societies to work with young people across America to excel in science and math.

As part of the campaign, this Administration hopes to do a series of events, announcements and other activities that build upon the President’s “call to action” and address the key components of national priority.

Why This is Important

We have many great schools, excellent teachers, and successful students in America. But there are also troubling signs that, overall, our students should be doing better in math and science.
What We Must Do

Through “Educate to Innovate” and other efforts, we must:
  • Increase STEM literacy so that all students can learn deeply and think critically in science, math, engineering, and technology.
  • Move American students from the middle of the pack to top in the next decade.
  • Expand STEM education and career opportunities for underrepresented groups, including women and girls.
The First Steps

America is already stepping forward to meet these challenges. As part of the “Educate to Innovate” effort, five major public-private partnerships are harnessing the power of media, interactive games, hands-on learning, and community volunteers to reach millions of students over the next four years, inspiring them to be the next generation of inventors and innovators.
  • Time-Warner Cable, Discovery Communications, Sesame Street, and other partners will get the message to kids and students about the wonder of invention and discovery.
  • National Lab Day will help build communities of support around teachers across the country, culminating in a day of civic participation.
  • National STEM design competitions will develop game options to engage kids in scientific inquiry and challenging designs.
  • Five leading business and thought leaders (Sally Ride, Craig Barrett, Ursula Burns, Glen Britt, and Antonio Perez) will head an effort to increase private and philanthropic involvement in support of STEM teaching and learning.
Admittedly, my blog title is not entirely accurate. President Obama laid out a challenge to all students, teachers, parents, corporations, organizations and communities. He wasn't speaking directly to BDPA...

However, the question begs to be answered...

...what is BDPA going to do in response to our president's call for action. What SPECIFIC action will BDPA take to 'educate to innovate'?

What say u?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Message from Richmond Chapter Past President

BDPA Richmond chapter past president Jackie Pryor shared a passionate plea for more of us to volunteer in support of our youth education programs. Another past president of our Richmond chapter, Annette Yates, was moved to share her thoughts on BDPA volunteerism:

Good Morning BDPA Members and Non-BDPA Members and Jackie,

Of all the posts I have seen this year I must say this is my favorite and I am sure those of you who know me, know why. This post captures the true vision and mission of BDPA Richmond.

It was through volunteer service at the elementary, middle and high schools in Richmond and the college campuses at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University, Old Dominion University and Virginia Union University that helped me understand my role in BDPA Richmond. Through that knowledge and the self awareness that materialized, I realized that I had something to give others. From that day on, I was determined to give my heart and soul to ensuring that the students and BDPA Richmond members that I met, mentored and coached were exposed to as much knowledge about community outreach, networking, mentoring and giving back as I could.

In that vein, I witnessed the BDPA Richmond chapter explode with enthusiasm for helping others and that is what sustained this chapter for this long. Believe me I did not do this alone, I was merely one of catalyst that ignited the flame in many others along the way.

As Jackie said, it is time to get back on track. Just as you could see below realization was enhanced by just being with the students for a short period of time. She is conveying to you that these students need us. With their varied situations of knowledge and preparation for the future we all can make a difference. The only way you will get the giving back bug is to get into these schools and college campuses to see the need and know that if we all band together we can make a difference.

Today, I am still in touch with many of the students. It is because I know I made a difference in their lives. They have been reaching out to me via email, on Facebook and LinkedIn. You can just imagine what a surprise and how refreshing it is for me, after being in BDPA for almost 20 years to still have these young people contact me. This shows me that it was all worth my efforts. We are all in harder economic times but giving back to our youth only costs our hearts.

The current BDPA Richmond administration is working very hard but they cannot take the chapter to the next level without some additional support. Although I am now residing in Phoenix, through the use of technology I am still helping where I can though knowledge, sending fundraising information to my vast network, being a part of various committees to do what I can from here. I am so vested in knowing the potential this chapter has that I recently renewed my membership for the next 5 years.

To add to Jackie's plea, I would like to ask that you please consider stepping up to the plate. It is not for the adults in the chapter, but for the community outreach programs that we are making a difference with in our communities. If you feel you do not have the time to donate please don't forget that all of the education programs could use financial support.

Our President of the United States has been asking ALL of you for almost a year to step up your volunteer actions. This is such a worthy avenue to do just that!!

On behalf of BDPA Richmond, please share Jackie's message and mine if you like with others so that we can continue to make a difference in the Richmond, Virginia communities.

This email is being sent to all of my Virginia networks because I do believe that BDPA Richmond chapter can make a bigger impact if WE ALL help in some way!!

Please send an email to to learn more about the organization, to volunteer your time or make a donation to one of the education programs.

Annette Yates, Owner
Curves South Mountain
(602) 470-4500

Jackie and Annette have laid out a powerful message for Richmond chapter that probably applies to the other 44 BDPA chapters around the nation. What say u?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Message from Richmond Chapter Past President

BDPA Richmond is the 5th largest chapter in the nation. The chapter motto is 'Educate to Elevate'. I encourage other BDPA chapters to look to the brothers and sisters as role models when it comes to the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program development.

Past president Jackie Pryor shared her thoughts on our BDPA students:

Good morning BDPA family and friends.

I was one of the participants who interviewed students at the Richmond Technical Center on November 17th. It was a great learning experience. We were given a list of questions to ask the students and we were asked to rate the students on appropriate dress, appearance, grammar, completed documents (cover letter, resume, application), and how well or if they answered the questions. I'm sure you are not surprised as to what I saw. It's amazing how just signing the application was an issue for them, wearing the appropriate attire, and having all of their

We have some very bright students who really want to do well in life. Some of these students have their stuff together. They had plan A, B, and C already set. Then there were other students who just aren't quite there yet. We are all professionals who have been where these students are and we made it to where we are today. They need our help whether they are the students with plans set for the future or students who just don't quite have it together yet. Either way, they need to see professional adults; minority professional adults; the professional they can become.

My request for you is when you see opportunities to volunteer to help our youth, please step up to the plate. It doesn't matter if you have just an hour to spare or a month, they need us to help guide them. That hour (or month) can be used to teach one of our HSCC classes that occurs every Saturday or to talk to one of our college chapters. Once you volunteer, you get hooked.

Thank you for listening and I look forward to seeing you volunteer in 2010. Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Jackie Pryor, Immediate Past President
BDPA Richmond Chapter

What are your thoughts about volunteerism in BDPA? What are your thoughts on Jackie's message?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Vote for BETF in Chase Community Giving Initiative on Facebook

Chase is donating $5 million to local charities, and you help decide where it goes. It's as simple as search, vote, share.

I'm hopeful that all Facebook users that are reading this post will vote for BDPA Education and Technology Foundation.

And tell a friend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * IBM Community Grant

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Chicago chapter member Curtis Cade partnered an effort to obtain funding to support the chapter's annual education banquet. BETF submitted a letter of inquiry to the IBM community affairs leadership in Chicago under the company's IBM Community Grant program.

IBM volunteers must be working with an eligible community service organization for an average of eight hours per month for five consecutive months to be eligible for either a cash or equipment grant.

"Our new Community Grants program strengthens IBM On Demand Community by leveraging the full strength of IBM innovation and technology," said Stanley S. Litow, vice president of IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs. "We fully expect that the volunteer efforts of our employees, combined with IBM Community Grants, has the potential to make a lasting impact on organizations that provide some of society's most important services."
We anticipate that we'll have an answer for our Chicago-based funding request in the very near future. However, you don't have to wait. If you believe in what BETF or BDPA Chicago chapter are doing then you are encouraged to make a secure online donation right away!

Monday, November 16, 2009

McDonald's Corporation Grant Program

The late McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, built his company on a foundation of ethical business conduct and involvement in our local communities. McDonald’s owner/operators and company-operated restaurants fulfill these vital commitments every day in many ways.

McDonald's Corporation Grants support eduction through nonprofit organizations on a national basis, particularly in areaswhere they operate. Contact your local McDonald's for their funding priorities and how to access them.

Program areas for these grants focus on: Adult literacy, arts, community
involvement, volunteerism, disabilities, general education, health, math, reading, science, environment and technology

These grants are available in all 50 states. Call (630) 623-7048 if you questions about this funding source.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Amtrak Scholarships -- Deadline: 11/20/2009

Amtrak Scholarships -- Deadline: 11/20/2009

Please circulate IMMEDIATELY Amtrak Travel Scholarships for College Students.

Amtrak has partnered with the United Negro College Fund to provide travel scholarships, valued at $750 per student; to students attending targeted HBCUs across the country.

[Read More]

Callie Herd is Profiled in FedEx's Diversity Appeal

We are proud to see that one of our guest bloggers, Callie Herd (shown in the photo with BETF executive director Wayne Hicks), is featured in FedEx's Diversity Appeal for her passion as a volunteer.

Callie is a BDPA Memphis chapter member and her blog is focused like a laser on Planning and Preparing for College Scholarships, and Internships.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Charles Lafitte Foundation

The Charles Lafitte Foundation is a private family foundation founded in 1999 by Suzanne and Jeffrey Citron. The Foundation is committed to helping groups and individuals foster lasting improvement on the human condition by providing support to education, children's advocacy, medical research and the arts.

To fulfill this mission, the Foundation acts as grantmaker, innovator and volunteer for four main programs: Education, Children's Advocacy, Medical Research & Issues, and The Arts.

The Foundation has no deadlines or standard forms. They prefer concise, well-organized proposals. In no case should the body of the proposal exceed 10 double-spaced pages. The Foundation prefers proposals sent by e-mail. A brief letter of inquiry, rather than a fully developed proposal, is an advisable first step for an applicant, conserving his or her time and allowing for a preliminary response regarding the possibility of support. The Foundation will contact you if they desire a full proposal. Due to the large number of inquiries they are unable to respond to all requests.

If you have any questions regarding the process please contact Foundation president Jennifer Vertetis by email or mail (The Charles Lafitte Foundation c/o Jennifer Vertetis 29520 2nd Ave SW, Federal Way, WA 98023)

Friday, November 13, 2009

HSCC Testimonial: Emery Jordan (NW Indiana, 1993-1996)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) provides funding for the annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC). We do so in order to provide a positive alternative to the violence that we see in public schools around the nation. Our efforts support the training of over 800 students each year. Here is the testimonial from one of those impacted students -- HSCC alumni Emery Jordan, BDPA Northwest Indiana Chapter (1993-1996).

It’s really funny to think that I am writing a testimonial for an activity that I joined to get to go to a conference and hang out with people older than me. However, that is definitely the case. And while I thought that I was just going to get a free vacation, the memories, skills, and friendships that I made during my four years of competing have lasted me a life time.

My name is Emery Jordan. I was a member of the BDPA Northwest Indiana Computer Competition Team from 1993-1996. During that time, I served as a captain twice, and attended several conferences. I really got started in the computer competition because my dad was a trainer for the Chicago teams, before he started a chapter in Northwest Indiana.

For our chapter, we trained every Saturday morning at a nearby college campus. It was typical that we trained for a while, and then given homework to complete during the week. It was always interesting because most of the people on the team, when we started, had very little exposure to computer programming languages or concepts. So, there was a lot of time that we spent building our respective foundations to learn the necessary information to be successful.

The conferences were a ton of fun. First, you would get the opportunity to meet other people your age from all over the country. In addition, during my time on the teams, there were several fun events planned around the competitions during the conference. These times gave us a great opportunity to hang out and make friends away from the computer stuff. I actually made a couple of lifelong friends from my time on the team.

As for my career choices, my time on the team, as well as the skills I learned, led me to major in Computer Engineering in college. In addition, it helped me secure several internships for Fortune 500 companies during my collegiate career. I worked at such companies as MCI WorldCom (before the collapse), Fannie Mae, and Caterpillar, among others. After completing my Computer Science degree, I realized that computers were much more fun for me when they weren’t my job. Based upon this new revelation, I pursued and achieved a Master’s in Education, which I used to build a career in Higher Education. I am currently working at Indiana University – Bloomington helping to develop college students through their experiences living on campus. I still do a lot of stuff with computers, and have found that my skills – both technical and analytical – have been very useful in this career. Furthermore, I will be starting an MBA program here at Indiana University this fall. And the foundation for all of those skills came
from my time on the BDPA computer competition team.

BETF could do so much more with donor participation from you. Won't you help create opportunities, visions and memories for our students in 2010 and beyond? Click here to make a secure online donation today!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Get SMART, Get Paid, and Get Ahead

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program has been established by the Department of Defense (DoD) to support undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

The program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working at DoD laboratories. Has your school had a SMART scholar yet?

The 2010 SMART Scholarship deadline is December 15, 2009. Apply here.

Our hope is that BDPA student members take full advantages of all related scholarships available to them in the coming weeks and months.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to Extend Your Reach (St. Louis)

BDPA St. Louis chapter brought in David Strom, an acknowledged social network expert, as their guest speaker for the Oct 2009 program meeting. The topic was entitled, How to Use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to Extend Your Reach.

Here is the slideshow presentation:

This blog is sharing slideshow presentations from program meetings all around the nation. We do so in the hopes that it brings together more BDPA members from various chapters into a virtual discussion about a wide range of topics. Please let us know if you approve of this idea.

There are 50 slides in this slideshow. Did you learn anything new from Mr. Strom's presentation?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Information Security for Small Business (Orlando)

BDPA Charlotte chapter president-elect Julius Clark was guest presenter for the October 2009 program meeting hosted by BDPA Orlando chapter. The topic of the presentation was Information Security for Small Business. Here is the presentation slideshow from that program meeting:

Is this a topic being covered over the next few months by your chapter? What learnings did you get from reviewing this slideshow?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Letter of Inquiry * John & James Knight Foundation

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) partnered with BDPA Charlotte chapter to submit a letter of inquiry to the Knight Foundation. We asked them to fund $5,000 for the chapter's annual Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program.

As a national foundation with local roots, the Knight Foundation seeks opportunities that can transform both communities and journalism, and help them reach their highest potential. They believe nothing big happens without a big idea, nothing new without a new idea. In every project they fund, the idea comes first. Here are five basics components they will be looking for in our idea:
  1. Discovery of the facts.
  2. The vision to see what's possible.
  3. The courage to push for change.
  4. The know-how to get it done.
  5. The tenacity that gets results.

We have been told that the review of our letter of inquiry should be complete by mid-January 2010. We will keep you informed on our progress.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Grant Recipient: BDPA Cincinnati ($591)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) approved a $591 grant request from BDPA Cincinnati chapter. The funds will be used to support the chapter's upcoming Education Banquet that recognizes the students that participated in this year's national high school computer competition. The chapter will be unveiling a scholarship named in honor of past Bemley scholar Brandon Berry.

Please call BETF on (513) 284-4968 or email us if you want to make a tax-deductible pledge in support of the restricted Cincinnati Chapter Fund.

Did you know that BETF has provided $177,080 in support of BDPA programs and services so far this year? Our high-powered directors are focused on raising funds necessary to support the Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program around the nation. Is your chapter taking full advantage of BETF as you make your 2010 plans?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Corporate Citizenship Remains Priority

Despite an economy that has eaten away at corporate profits, most U.S. companies are making no major changes to their corporate-citizenship efforts, says a new report from Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Hitachi Foundation. [SOURCE]

Among the minority that say they will change their practices, almost four in 10 plan to reduce their giving, over a quarter plan layoffs and two in 10 will reduce spending on research and development for sustainable products.

Most of the 756 executives surveyed for the report say the corporate sector should be more involved in addressing major societal issues, with almost two in three saying businesses should step up their involvement in the health-care debate.

Seven in 10 companies say the driver behind their corporate-citizenship involvement is boosting their reputation, with an equal number saying it fits their corporate culture and values.

"This survey shows that business leaders understand that corporate citizenship entails great responsibilities as well as extensive rights," Barbara Dyer, president and CEO of the Hitachi Foundation.
Large companies are more likely to maintain their corporate-citizenship efforts during the recession than their smaller counterparts, but large companies are more likely to lay off staff than smaller companies.

What is happening with your corporate employer as it relates to being a good corporate citizenship from a BDPA perspective?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Nonprofits' Budgets Down; Needs Up

Local nonprofits are unimpressed by economists' prognostications that the recession is ending.

Donations are falling, and agencies are looking for creative ways to find new donors and dollars. If they don't succeed, half think they will have to cut services when people are needing it most. Seventy percent of them reported requests for help are up in a recent poll by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits, while 61 percent said donations were down.

In the economic scramble, many nonprofits are seeking new ways to raise money, such as through Web sites and electronic social networking, and they are trying to find more grassroots donors to give small amounts.

Click here to read the rest of this Atlanta Journal-Constitution article.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Message from Cleveland Chapter President

BDPA Cleveland is the 20th largest chapter in the nation. The president of this northern Ohio chapter is Ken Wilson (shown in photo with Cleveland chapter founder Norman Mays). I've known Ken for 20 years. He served as the chapter president back in the early 1990s as well. In fact, Ken probably holds the world record for most years between service as chapter president. Ken shared the following message with his chapter stakeholders:

Dear BDPA Members & Friends:

For a while now we have sought ways to rejuvenate our Cleveland Chapter by doing new and exciting things. A while ago, we announced the initiation of a “technology peace corps” type initiative called the BDPA Information Technology Corps (IT Corps) which is intended to address community development by applying our members and students’ computer skills throughout the year on short projects. We have an opportunity to start that process in earnest now.

I first need your participation in a special recognition event to honor our students that participated in this year’s Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program and High School Computer Competition (HSCC). The event will be on November 17th at John Carroll University, at 6:00 P.M.

To attend this event, we additionally invited civic leaders, business persons, and parents to explore two simple questions in a brief panel discussion: What are the pressing issues in our Greater Cleveland communities that impede the growth of this area? Do you foresee a role for computer technology to address these priorities?

The most important contribution we are asking for is candid input on development priorities so that we can get the IT Corps rolling relevantly. Our youth teams will be using this information to shape projects that they will undertake here in Cleveland and later on internationally. For example, next year, the BDPA IT Corps has been invited to Nairobi, Kenya to extend the same format of inquiry and community development in our first international mission.

I would appreciate that you attend and send a confirmation email. The recognition ceremony and panel discussion will take place on the John Carroll University campus, University Heights, Ohio, 44118, in the Dolan Center for Science & Technology, Room A202 & 203, on Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 6:00 P.M. Light refreshments will be served. The program will begin promptly at 6:30 and will last 90 minutes. We would appreciate that you confirm your intentions to attend by sending a confirmation email to, or calling (216) 773-0700 and leaving a voice-message, or sending a text-message to this same number, at your earliest convenience.

We will have parents and their students there being honored that evening. It would be great for us to show up in force to show we truly appreciate them and their continuing interest in BDPA and our Chapter. Also, this event is our very best opportunity to put our information exchange back on track. I hope I can count on you to be there. Please RSVP.

Kenneth L. Wilson, President
BDPA Cleveland Chapter

I hope that BDPA Cleveland chapter has a large turnout for the event on November 17. If you cannot be there in person ... but, you want to show your support for the chapter's youth education programs --- please consider leaving a COMMENT below with a pledge for the BDPA Cleveland chapter fund maintained by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). The funds will be restricted for use in the Cleveland area. What say u?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Message from Los Angeles Chapter President

BDPA Los Angeles is the 12th largest chapter in the nation. They recently created a Facebook Cause in order to reach out for support in that popular social network. We are pleased to share this month's message from BDPA Los Angeles chapter president John Malonson with his chapter's stakeholders:

Greetings BDPA LA family,

I'd like you to take a moment and think about all of the professional skills and abilities that you personally have to offer...


When was the last time you shared these talents outside of the workplace?

Each year, BDPA Los Angeles helps 15-25 students improve math, computer science and information technology skills through the High School Computer Competition program. Our vision is to increase academic excellence by taking our students from "The Classroom to the Boardroom."

Every year for the past twenty years, BDPA Los Angeles sends its five top students to represent the LA chapter at the annual National BDPA Technology Conferences across the nation.

Our High School Computer Competition Program (HSCC) curriculum includes:

  • Relational Database Management & Design (MySQL)
  • Web Application Development (HTML, CSS, PHP)
  • Computer Science 101 (Software & Hardware)
  • Analytically Solving Real-World Business Cases
  • The Art of Presenting
  • Time Management
  • Team Dynamics and the Importance of Team Work
Help us combat disinterest in Math & Science by supporting our cause. Our organization is entirely volunteer based and relies on the continued support of our members and partners.

Whether it's working on behalf of shaping our future young leaders or educating your peers in new technology, BDPA Los Angeles provides a variety of opportunities for you to give back to your community. If you are interested in learning more about how you can get involved, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at our next event!

- John Malonson, president
BDPA Los Angeles chapter

What are your thoughts about John's message this month? Is your chapter president engaging in this type of open dialogue on monthly basis as well?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Message from Cincinnati Chapter Past President

Frank Hill served as president of BDPA Cincinnati chapter in 2006-2007. The chapter won national Chapter of the Year in his first year and runner-up for Chapter of the Year in his second year. Also, the chapter earned awards for both chapter management and professional service during those same two years.

Frank took some time to share his thoughts yesterday to BDPA Cincinnati stakeholders. I'm passing along those thoughts to a larger audience:

Good morning BDPAer's,

It's Saturday morning and I'm grading assignments for a class that I'm teaching. The title of the assignment that I'm grading now is "The Time of Your Life." The student chose this title, however,

It provided inspiration to me share this email. It got me thinking about the inspirational side of teaching. During the current recession many people are re-tooling and learning new skills and this is a great time for this to happen. At the same time, the demand for folks to teach and coach is up.

The thought that I would like for you to consider is whether you can gain as much or more from teaching a class as attending classes. I was personally in this position about 10 years ago. I was talking to a friend about re-tooling and what would be the best way to accomplish this. I had signed-up for classes at one of the training centers in town and my friend who had known me for a long time said something to me that I had not considered. He knew my background and told me that I should be teaching some of the classes that I had signed-up for. Although this did not sound rational at the time, the thought stuck with me.

Less than a year later, opportunity knocked, as it does from time-to-time. One of the instructors at a local college had an emergency hospital stay. I was asked to fill-in for him. I filled-in to teach a web programming class and as the saying goes, "the rest is history" I have been teaching computer related courses to BDPA student and local college students since that day. I am now, also engaged in the web development business. My business and my professional growth have been greatly enhanced by the teaching experienced.

Opportunity knocks; BDPA has an objective of advancing careers and upgrading technical skills in the community. BDPA Cincinnati also has a $121,000 software grant from Microsoft as well as facility support from local sponsors.

The chapter has the where-with-all to do a great deal of training, the chapter need some of you to decide whether you can benefit from a teaching experience. If you are inclined to embark on this journey and have "The Time of Your Life", drop me a line.

Have a great morning!

Frank Hill, past president
BDPA Cincinnati chapter

Are you going to take Frank up on his offer?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Women in IT: The Facts

Women in IT: The Facts, sponsored by National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), brings together the latest findings from recent research on technical women.

This report gives you:
  • A "coherent story" about the current state of affairs for technical women, synthesizing the best available data into one, easy-to-access resource

  • An overall summary of the key barriers to women's participation in technology AND promising practices for addressing these barriers

  • A benchmark for measuring the effects of national industry efforts to increase women's participation

  • Data and tools that support your organization's change efforts


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, Nov 2009)

Has anyone noticed that BDPA membership numbers are dropping? We have less members than at any time since October 2007. There is a great deal of pressure on the incoming BDPA administration to raise morale and engage the membership in a way that allows BDPA to flourish again. We can ill-afford another two years as rough as we've experienced in 2008-2009.

The 45 BDPA chapters in BDPA-nation average 49 members (down one from last month).

There is plenty of good news in the membership numbers. First, someone needs to uncover the magic potion that is being used to grown membership in Raleigh, NC. BDPA Triangle chapter (president, Rick Leggett) has grown for the past nine (9) months in a row culminating with a new chapter membership record high (206) this month ... breaking their previous high of 195 (Oct 2009). I am going to see if Rick would be willing to share some of this thoughts on membership growth on our blog this month.

BDPA Cincinnati (president, Janice Lee) and BDPA Dallas (president, Kimberly Vaughn) each rose one spot in the rankings over the past month. BDPA Cincinnati chapter hasn't been ranked this high since April 2009. BDPA Dallas chapter hasn't been ranked this high since July 2009. BDPA Washington DC (president, Perry Carter) dropped down to 9th place, its lowest ranking since August 2007.

Finally, we celebrate the fact that BDPA Chicago (president, Rhonda Boyd) maintains its place as the largest chapter in the nation for the 31st month in a row!

The top ten chapters in terms of membership as of 11/1/2009 are:
  1. Chicago - (chapter president shown in photo)

  2. Triangle - (all-time chapter record high, 206 members)

  3. Philadelphia

  4. Atlanta

  5. Richmond

  6. Detroit

  7. Cincinnati - (jumped one place this month)

  8. Dallas - (jumped one place this month)

  9. Washington DC - (dropped two places this month)

  10. New Jersey

The first five (5) chapters on this list are in the BDPA Century Club with at least 100 members. BDPA Chicago chapter tops the list with 477 members!

BDPA Education & Technology Foundation provided over $175,000 in funding this year to support the programs and services carried out by these chapters at local level. Our hope is that you will consider making a donation to BETF this year. You can securely donate online or you can give BETF a call on (513) 284-4968 to discuss your pledge offline.

What are your thoughts on the benefits of membership in BDPA?