Saturday, November 27, 2010

HSCC Testimonial: Matthew Clark (Detroit, 2008-2010)

BDPA Detroit is a historically strong chapter when it comes to the national high school computer competition (HSCC) championships. In fact, there is only one chapter (Southern Minnesota) with more championships than Detroit. One reason for the success in Motor City is the strong coaches and students in the program. One of the strong students over the past three years (2008-2010) has been Matthew Clark.

Matthew shared his thoughts on his HSCC career with us:

My name is Matthew Clark. I was born in December 1991. I have been participating in BDPA for three years. Before my dad introduced me to this program I had no idea about how web sites worked, let alone how to build them myself. When I first came to the program I was kind of shy and did not talk much. After a couple of weeks and the teaching of my instructors (Tonji, “Coach G” and Ms. Glynis) I began to open up and become more confident in myself.

As I began to get better and better it made me feel great about myself, and influenced me to do other things. One of my most memorable moments was in my first year when we traveled to the national BDPA HSCC championships in Atlanta. I wasn’t feeling really well, but my teammates cheered me up by dancing around to music. I really enjoyed myself and couldn’t wait to come back.

After three years, we experienced the ‘highs’ (2nd place in 2009), the ‘lows’ (10th place in 2008) and the ‘mediums’ (4th place in 2010). Throughout it all I had fun and learned things I could take with me for the rest of my life. I won $3,000 in Jesse Bemley Scholarships, plus other gifts our instructors gave us (iPods, gift cards, etc.). I hope that people will read this and be inspired to join the BDPA program, because it is truly a great experience.

My career goal is to be the world’s greatest architect. I am currently enrolled in Lawrence Technological University, and will be studying Architecture as my major.

For the last couple of years I have been working with my church. Our duties were to clean and maintain the building and its surroundings. Whenever I was not working with my church I would go to work with my dad. He owns his own construction/remodeling business. These jobs and BDPA have taught me responsibility and perseverance, things I will be able to use for the rest of my life.

My first exposure to BDPA came when I lived in Detroit. As such, I am very proud of Matthew Clark. Often Detroit is only shown in a negative light by the national media. It is a pleasure to share this 'good news' story about a young African American man in Detroit. We wish Matthew nothing but success at Lawrence Tech University!

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