Sunday, January 3, 2010

Take Five: Jonica Cowan (Middle Tennessee)

Jonica Cowan is the coordinator of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Middle Tennessee chapter. The chapter began sending a HSCC team to the national championships in 2007. I have worked with Jonica over the past few years to find money to support the Student IT Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in greater Nashville area.

Jonica participated in our Take Five interview series:

  1. How did you get involved in working with BDPA? - I got involved in BDPA in 2004, when my co-workers asked me if I wanted to join a professional organization that was diverse and focused on Information Technology.

  2. What is the most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA? The most rewarding aspect of working with BDPA was when I began working with the HSCC students as first an instructor and later as the HSCC Coordinator.

  3. Tell us about a defining moment in your life? - A defining moment in my life came when I went to work for Deloitte. Having grown up and educated in the South, it was understood as an African American that we will always have the jobs that are low on totem pole no matter how much hard work and experience we had. When I entered corporate America in 1997, I had no reason to think otherwise because the people in middle and upper management did not look like me, especially in the IT Department. I had worked for several Fortune 500 companies where they promote diversity on ‘paper’ but I found that Deloitte was a little different; they actually put it into practice. They have leaders in middle and upper management that reflect the diverse face of America. This was defining moment for me and offered encouragement that Corporate America my parents knew was indeed changing and more opportunities exist for minorities to excel.

  4. Who is your hero and why? - Not applicable

  5. Any advice for people considering donation to BETF? - For those that are considering donating to BETF, my advice to you is to do it. It is one place where I see my donation make an impact. Each year I donate via United Way to assist the BETF in securing funds needed to sponsor SITES programs for each of the 45 BDPA chapters; then offer deserving HSCC students scholarships to attend the university of their choice. I see my donation each year being put to good use by helping deserving students attend school.

Jonica is a persistent and passionate supporter for her BDPA chapter. I hope that some of you will take a moment to COMMENT on Jonica's interview. We need to show some BDPA-Love to the men and women that donate their time, talent and energy on behalf of our young people. What say u?

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