Friday, August 19, 2011

BDPA Cincinnati Students Shine at 2011 BDPA Conference in Chicago

HSCC Team & Founder Earl Pace
Stock market gyrations, debt ceiling debates and the worries over the upcoming Cincinnati Bengals football season have dominated local headlines in recent weeks. Few in our city were focused on the remarkable achievements of Cincinnati-area high school students in a national computer programming competition, or appreciate the training it takes to excel in this intellectual effort.

So the 13th-place finish of Cincinnati's team (out of 45 BDPA chapters) in the National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Championship sponsored by BDPA (Black Data Processing Associates) didn't draw a lot of attention. But the four team members went through a comprehensive training program with the local BDPA chapter before they pitted their skills against other teams at the national BDPA technology conference in Chicago.

Twenty-four students began training in January as part of the local chapter's computer camp. The students are recruited through local public and private high schools. Sponsorship from Christ Cathedral Church, Cincinnati Bell Wireless and Procter & Gamble provided the reference materials and meals for the training sessions.

The students met every Saturday at Cincinnati State Technical College, and BDPA members drilled them in programming skills. Twelve moved on to phase two of the training to which the previous year's attendees were invited. Six made the final cut and participated in a June regional competition.

BDPA Cincinnati IT Showcase Participants
Four high school students went on to the national competition: Hadiya Harrigan (Xavier HS), Christian Johnson (Mason HS), Curtis Mimes (Taft HS) and Bikram Sapkota (Taft HS). Another four Cincinnati-area students -- Landon Jackson (Mason HS), Li-Ara Jackson (Mason HS), Jahaan Maiden (University of Cincinnati) and Tariq Maiden (Mason HS) -- participated in the 9th annual BDPA IT Showcase in Chicago during the national conference.

The training is part of a comprehensive BDPA program, called SITES (Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship program). including the Youth Technology Seminar Series and a student internship program. HSCC student Curtis Mimes held a summer internship with Cincinnati Bell Wireless.

Wanda Gray
BDPA Cincinnati chapter president Wanda Gray noted, "BDPA believes that our youth will make a difference in the information technology industry of the future. We have HIGH expectations for each of the students in our SITES program."

BDPA Cincinnati plans to honor the students, volunteers and sponsors that supported its efforts. They will be honored Sept. 17 at the 16th Annual Education Banquet at the Wyoming Civic Center. Proceeds will underwrite BDPA scholarships and youth programs.

For more info, call BDPA on (513) 956-0636 or e-mail

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