Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bemley Scholar Titus Thomas Heads to Bowie State University

Titus Thomas
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) has given out over 85 Jesse Bemley Scholarships valued at $154,000 since 1999 to talented high school students with a passion for science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) education. We are proud of all of these young men and women.  

Titus Thomas is our next Bemley Scholar.

He is a 3-time participant in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships as a member of two chapters (Northern Virginia and Washington DC).  Titus will use his Bemley Scholarship to defray expenses for attending Bowie State University. He shared his thoughts on BDPA with us:

My name is Titus Thomas and I am a freshman in college. I grew up in Washington D.C. In comparison to others, my life has somewhat been a bed of roses. I have two strict but loving parents, who teach me, care for me and feed me, not just to make me happy, but also to keep me healthy. I grew up with an older brother and an older and younger sister. Because of my parents I am the smart, creative and helpful person I am today. They taught me the difference between right and wrong.

For hobbies I developed the natural desire to play video-games but there was another game that I took interest in that other kids did not, Chess. At times my dad would take me after school to visit my mom at her job. There, I met the man who I have always known as “Mr. Bradley.” He taught me the basics. I used what he taught me to challenge my older brother in a series of chess games, where I was unsuccessful but I did not let that stop me. During middle school, I joined the chess club, where I furthered my skills until I realized that I was the best player in the school.

I attended one of the best schools in Washington D.C. with a clean academic history. I became one of the best chess players in the city at my age and was in the International Baccalaureate program. My dreams have been centered on being a technologist, mechanic, or aerospace engineer, but now I have decided to do something that I always have loved - a computer scientist. Like chess, I have always been a good “techie.” Around school I help teachers with their computer if it is acting up and help my parents and friends do certain things in Microsoft Word. I did not truly understand my passion for computers and technology until I joined the BDPA program where students compete internationally by creating websites using computer coding languages such as Hypertext Markup Language, Cascading Style Sheets and JavaScript. Our team placed in fourth in 2008 and third in 2009 and second place in 2010.

Looking back I can say the HSCC program is the reason for where I am and who I am today. I began participating in my first year of high school where I basically sat in each class and goofed off with my friends. Our HSCC coordinator, Mr. Lou Shack, saw that I had much more potential and would always treat me like I would do something great with my life, which I had a bigger purpose than to just, sit around all day doing nothing. So I got my act together next year and placed fourth in the 2008 National HSCC championship with my team.

Each national competition had new surprises and people to meet. From military leaders to the vice president of Wal-Mart, the networking never ended! The four years have gone by very quickly and now that I am in college the HSCC group continues to help guide me. Nothing but good has come from participating to the HSCC program and I would recommend it to any high school student who is interested in using computers.

And now in college I expect to learn as much as I can about computers as well as make good grades so that when I graduate from college, with my bachelors or masters in Computer Science, I can find a good job doing what I love. I also want to be able to return to the HSCC group that helped me get into college and help them in teaching their computer class.

BETF is very proud of Titus. We hope that you are proud of him as well. You can help us provide scholarships to many more if you have inclination to do so. We need your financial support if we hope to continue handing out these Bemley Scholarships in the future.

In the meantime, we hope you will REPLY or COMMENT on this post with your thoughts about this testimonial from Titus.  Share some BDPA-love with this young man!

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