Monday, July 30, 2012

BDPA and America21 Project Host Leadership Summit & Dinner

I'm very happy to see that the brothers and sisters of the America21 Project will be dropping some knowledge during the BDPA Technology Conference in Baltimore, MD on July 31st. The America21-BDPA Innovation Leadership Summit & Dinner is a networking event that will focus on the challenges and opportunities in developing an innovation ecosystem and infrastructure that nurtures job growth and wealth creation, from the pipeline of STEM education to the productivity of tech entrepreneurship and capital investment.

This event is for serious-minded leaders who want to change the current economic paradigm and build an access channel for Black America to compete in the 21st century innovation economy.

I look forward to attending this event!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (Oct 3-7, 2012)

BDPA continues to seek ways to get more women and girls engaged in science and technology. One way that we can help is to support and encourage BDPA supporters to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Baltimore on October 3-7, 2012.

This year's theme "Are We There Yet?", focuses on making an impact in many domains from technical to social. As a program of the Anita Borg Institute, the Grace Hopper Celebration is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront.

Will you be able to attend this year?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

African American Women and Girls Take Center Stage at BDPA Technology Conference

National BDPA, the largest and oldest non-profit organization of African American professionals working in or having an interest in the computer science and information technology fields is gearing up for their 34th Annual Technology Conference & Career Fair in Baltimore, MD, August 1-4. In what is slated to be one of their most innovative events to date, it is the women of BDPA that are steering the helm on the conference's ship to success.

Founded by Earl Pace and the late David Wimberly as an answer to the lack of Black representation in the technology field; BDPA now serves a diverse membership including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors, and entrepreneurs, many of which are women. Since its inception in 1975, nearly 50 percent of BDPA national and local presidents have been women. There has been a woman in the top spot since 2006 with over 13 regional chapters led by women. Of the four top national leadership positions, three belong to women overseeing strategy, finance and member services.
"There is a noticeable lack of women, and specifically women in leadership roles within the science, technology, engineering and math fields. It's important for women to take on leadership roles in the STEM fields because women leaders can attract and, as mentors, help guide more women and girls toward rewarding careers in these fields," says current national president Monique Berry. "STEM careers are extremely important to the global economy. Attracting and retaining more women in STEM careers will help to improve diversity, maximize creativity, and boost competitiveness. The United States, compared to many other leading and steadily emerging countries, lacks a strong focus on educating scientists and engineers."
Committed to leading the charge, the women of BDPA are paying it forward with the addition of the Youth Technology Camp to the upcoming conference. Students from around the country will join their peers and parents for a series of hands-on sessions and workshops spanning from robotics to mobile app development. The camp is an added bonus to the hundreds of interactive expositions and a series of workshops that will take place over the course of the 4-day conference.
Berry adds, "If we want to attract the best and brightest minds into the fields that will move us forward, we can no longer look to only half of the population. More women can contribute to our field and BDPA is helping to make that happen."
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bemley Scholar Victoria Walton Seeks College Degree from Fashion Institute of Technology

Victoria Walton was an 8th-grade student when she was a member of the high-performing High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Northern Virginia. The outstanding performance of her team at the 2008 National BDPA HSCC Championship earned her a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship.

She shared her thoughts and aspirations with us recently.

My name is Victoria Walton. I am an 18-year old high school graduate of Lanham Christian School in Lanham, MD. I will be attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in the fall.

I have always believed that I was meant to be different. My life has been an accumulation of unique experiences and door opening opportunities. Each of those instances has molded me into an aware, intellectual, ambitious and inventive young woman.

From the time I was little and onward, I have always been fascinated with the wonder and creativity that is art. I excelled in many different art forms from adolescence and could never seem to let go of my artistic bend as I grew older. At the age of 12, I was introduced to the world of fashion and have been enthralled with it ever since. I believe that it is what I am supposed to pursue as a career. Over the last six years, I have taken the preliminary steps to make this a reality. Academically, I excelled and graduated Salutatorian of my senior class and received the honor of being bestowed the President’s Award. I have been offered a chance to study abroad in Florence, Italy for my freshmen year of college.

Your financial assistance through the Jesse Bemley Scholarship is greatly appreciated. The opportunity to study abroad will widen my horizons and give me a unique edge as a fashion student. I will be hard-working, dedicated, and make a positive statement in my academic and personal life, attempting to touch the world as I make a name for myself in the Fashion industry.

Being involved in BDPA in 2008 was an eye opening, positive experience. I learned so much in my time involved in the program. I had many memorable moments but perhaps my favorite was when I participated in the HSCC and my team earned a fourth place at the national HSCC championship. I was in eighth grade at the time and programming was completely new to me. I had taken up an interest in it and decided to give it a try. I put all my energy into learning the craft. At times, I stayed up all night and had study groups with my fellow peers. Although, I was unsure of my potential and knowledge, I was able to travel to Atlanta, Georgia to compete with my team. We worked hard together and did the best we possibly could. I remember the night the awards were given out. We were all so anxious and excited. The moment they called our names and asked us to come on stage was an amazing moment. It was such an accomplishment. BDPA is a great organization and taught me a lot. It was a worthwhile experience.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud of Victoria and the hundreds of other Bemley Scholars that we've supported over the year. We want to significantly increase the dollar amount of these college scholarships.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mobilizing to Fundraise

Just about every organization has social media as part of the engagement process and many use mobile giving to raise funds. Together the two barely register in the giving scale, unless there is a natural disaster.

The question that requires an answer is whether engagement results in fundraising that isn’t immediately tracked. Clearly, the hope is that it does. The other challenge is expanding mobile giving to include more than just emergencies, given the capabilities of new phones.

Read more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Message from BDPA Atlanta Chapter SITES Director

What can I say other than thank you? Thank you to everyone in BDPA for all the great things you have done for me.

It is bittersweet, but, effective August 5, 2012 I will retire as Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) Director for BDPA Atlanta chapter. After 11 great years of working with the student program, BDPA has transformed me from a boy into a man.

I started with the student program as a high school student (BDPA Memphis), up to undergrad (BDPA Chattanooga), straight through grad school, and finally as an IT professional (BDPA Atlanta). I AM "from the classroom to the boardroom" because of what BDPA has done and is doing for me.

As I reflect on retiring, I think of BDPA as a girlfriend and I recall that Gladys Knight and the Pips song, “Neither One Of Us”.
I keep wondering, what I'm gonna do without you, And I guess you must be wondering that same thing too...Everytime I find the nerve to say I'm leaving, Memories, those old memories get in my way… When it comes to saying goodbye, That's a simple word that I just cannot say...There can be no way, there can be no way, This can have a happy ending, no no, So we just go on hurting and pretending, And convincing ourselves to give it just one more try.
You all know I’m ol’ school!

I know I may get in trouble for calling names, so let me say I truly appreciate everyone and what they have done for me and my family. If you are on this email, I thank you. There are, however, some people who were very influential in pivotal stages in my career with BDPA.

I have to thank my mother and father for making me be in the program and giving me the life lessons to be able to last this long. To my brothers for always supporting me by kind words, coming to the banquet, and for teaching and talking to my kids.

To my wife and daughter, we got a lot time to make up, but thank you for allowing me the time to do something I am extremely passionate about.

My Pops (Joseph Taylor) and Todd Green started it all for me. They took a chance by selecting me to be on the national championship High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Memphis chapter in 2001. That opportunity single-handedly changed my life and helped put me in the position I am in today. Words can't express what you two mean to me and how much I appreciate your help and guidance throughout the past 11 years.

My Ma (Teresa Williams) for being crazy enough to adopt me as her only begotten son. LOL. Because they crucified me. LOL. Thanks for having my back and pushing me for greatness. It is very comforting to be able to have a mother away from home.

To the greatest hype man in the world, Mr. Wayne Hicks. You challenged me back in 2003 to not just accept the Memphis wins and do nothing else, but to continue to educate high school students and help take BDPA to the next level. I accepted that challenge and I hope I met your expectations. You are one of the shoulders BDPA rests on. Thank you for supporting me and letting the world know who I am through the BETF-Blog, CNN, BDPA iRadio Show and Diversity Careers Magazine (see page 18).

For Felicia making the company think I was greater than what I am. It got me in the door, what more can I ask for. LOL. Thanks for believing in me.

To Maurice for being my greatest competitor, competition, and big brother. There would not be a Coach Wes in Atlanta had you not been by my side the whole time helping and mentoring me. I learned a lot from you and I can’t say thank you enough.

Thank you to the BDPA Atlanta Leadership Board, for all the support and mentoring you all have given me.

To the greatest volunteers in all of BDPA that I have worked with: Dre, Dawn, Keke, Wayne Bowling, Cynthia, DaWaisha, Maurice, Sharnecia, Lanita, Cornell. Thank you all. When times got crazy, you all were there through it all. You all are the reason why BDPA Chattanooga and BDPA Atlanta have performed well enough to be honored at past national award galas.

Thank you to all my kids and parents. The success of my students completes me. They have worked so hard throughout the years in the program. I'm proud to say my kids go off to college or either join the military to serve our country. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the reason why we do this and the reason why I stuck around for 11 years. I hope you all learned something and got something from the program that will help you out in life.

As I close, I wanted to take my time with this because I am truly, truly, truly grateful for BDPA and the people in it that have changed my life. So I end this the same way I started back in 01. I got to borrow a passage from the artist Jay-Z , “What More Can I Say” ,with some slight modifications. Maurice (he is a BIG Jay-Z fan) this is for you. LOL

Pound for pound I'm the best to ever come around here
Excluding nobody
Look what I embody
The mind of a genius, I wanted to be the best I could be
The ACE program was mine
That marketing plan was me
And no I’m not saying this because I want to be slick
And as a coordinator I wasn't always the first round pick
And I’m not animated as like say a Wayne Hicks
But the realness you get when you break down my lines
Add that to the fact I won 1st a bunch of times
Times that by my influence
On the program’s culture
I’m supposed to be number one on everybody's list
It’s hard to say but this is it…………………....….for now ;)

Thank you,
Wesley Williams, SITES Director
BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Grant Declination: Fifth Third Bank (BDPA Charlotte)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) worked closely with BDPA Charlotte chapter president Markus Beamer and the chapter's BETF liaison John Hoffler to create a $4,000 grant proposal for consideration by the community development folks at Fifth Third Bank. Unfortunately, our proposal was declined by the bank.

The declination letter read as follows:

Dear Mr. R. Wayne Hicks,

Thank you for your request Fifth Third Bank to provide support BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. Although wee do support the great work you do, we regret we are unable to provide the funding you seek.

While we know this is disappointing news, please keep in mind that Fifth Third Bank receives many worthwhile requests such as yours, and we make every effort to support a wide variety of programs that make a vital difference in the community. Unfortunately, we must decline many meaningful appeals for the simple reason that our funds are limited, while requests for those funds are not.

We wish you and BDPA Education and Technology Foundation much success in securing the funding needed for its programs now and in the future.

Jada Grandy
Senior Vice President and Manager
Community Development

BETF hopes that our supporters will see the value of what BDPA Charlotte chapter is doing to provide science, technology, engineering and mathematics experiences for K-12 students. My hope is that you may want to support the chapter with a secure donation to their college scholarship fund.

Texas Instruments Foundation

The Texas Instruments Foundation, established in 1952 and incorporated in 1964, was built on the idea that their communities are their greatest resources and should share in TI's success. The TI Foundation, funded by TI, is a separate, 501(c)(3) organization. It comprises a 10-member board, which meets quarterly to determine what grants to support. In 2008, the TI Foundation paid $7.8 million in grants and matching gifts.

The TI Foundation established a matching gifts program in 1970 to encourage U.S. employees, retirees and directors to contribute to public and private educational institutions. TI encourages their donations by matching their support to eligible education as well as arts and cultural groups – up to $10,000 per person per category each year. Their matching gifts program continues to evolve. In 2008, the program began offering the ability to apply for matching funds online in addition to phone or mail.

Applications for TI grants are currently accepted online. Unsolicited charitable funding is reserved for 501(c)(3) non-profits, primarily in the Dallas area, that support or promote any of our giving initiatives. TI and the TI Foundation focus giving in key areas important to their company and their communities.

One of the key areas is Education. TI Foundation seeks to increase the number of U.S. high school graduates who are math- and science-capable with algebra-based initiatives for eighth-grade students and programs reaching minority and female students.

This may be a good funding opportunity for BDPA Dallas chapter or National BDPA ... don't you think?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fundraising Tip: Stage a Board Member Thank-a-Thon

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is no different than any other nonprofit when it comes to fundraising. It is something that must be done constantly ... and it's hard to do! As such we thought it would be good to begin to share some fundraising tips.

Here is a tip on how to get your board more involved in fundraising:

Tons of nonprofits experience frustration with getting their boards to fundraise; in fact, it's the second biggest reason why executive directors leave their posts, according to CompassPoint's "Daring to Lead" study. An easy way to give board members a chance to dip their toes in the waters of donor engagement is staging a thank-a-thon.

The key is to make it easy for board members to participate, and to help them understand that fundraising is much more than making an ask. By inviting your board members to come together one evening or weekend to call and thank recent donors, they will get exposure interacting with donors and will leave feeling empowered and connected to your organization's work. This activity will also help improve relationships with your donors, who will be delighted to receive a thank you call without an attached ask.

This tip is inspired by Darian Heyman's new book, 'Nonprofit Management 101: A Complete and Practical Guide for Leaders and Professionals'.

Does this tip seem like one that you might use for your local chapter or nonprofit?
If not, do you have a fundraising tip that you would like to share with us?

Los Angeles Wins BDPA West Region High School Computer Competition

BDPA Southern Minnesota has won six of the past seven national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. They are a formidable team with graduates currently studying at Marist College, Rice University, University of Minnesota and Washington University of St. Louis. So when another HSCC team beats them ... it's newsworthy!

BDPA Los Angeles chapter students (see photo) shocked the HSCC community with their recent victory in the 2012 BDPA West Region HSCC Championship. The final results were as follows:
  1. 1st place - Los Angeles, Team A (Pooja Chebolu, Akindele Davies, Trayer Harvey, John Isaacs and Justice Mozell-Guy)
  2. 2nd place - Southern Minnesota - Team A
  3. 3rd place - Los Angeles, Team B (Austin DeYoung, Steven Moreno, Marcus Schumann and Steven Zavala)
  4. 4th place - Twin Cities
  5. 5th place - Southern Minnesota - Team B
Chapters around the nation have been preparing for the national championship by competing in regional competitions held in Cincinnati (OH), Columbia (SC) Minneapolis (MN) and Washington (DC). The national championship should be truly an outstanding event. Who do you think will win this year?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bemley Scholar John Austin Seeks IT Degree from Missouri Valley College

John Austin is a 3-time national High School Computer Competition participant from our BDPA St. Louis chapter. He graduated earlier this year from McCluer North High School and plans to major in computer science at Missouri Valley College. John plans to become an information technology analyst and mentor children in his community. He earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship as a result of his high performance in the 2010 national HSCC championship held in Philadelphia.

John shared his thoughts on BDPA in the following testimonial.

"I have learned a great many things from participating in the High School Computer Competition (HSCC). It has changed my entire outlook on and attitude toward life. Before participation in the program I was shy, and turned away from seemingly impossible challenges BDPA has altered all of these qualities.

One of my most memorable moments I had during my participation in the HSCC was during the coding part of the competition. Time was running out and our connection string to the data basic was not working properly. We were puzzled and had no clue what to do. All of our hard work was about to be wasted due to one little line of code. Just at that moment when we were about to call it quits, I had remembered that earlier during the competition we turned off the data, so we could work on other problems with the website to prevent errors. Our team had totally forgotten to turn it back on. Once I had explained the problem to the team. They were relieved that were could finish and was back in the competition. I felt like the hero of the team at the point. I was impressed with myself and so was my team. We came in fifth-place that year. This was one of my most memorable moments during my time with BDPA.

Over the years, participating with BDPA has taught me what it takes to succeed. From months of tough practice and studying, I have gained a hard work ethic, organization and leadership skills. From my fellow teammates, I have learned to work well with others in a group; as it is necessary to cooperate and get along with others. But most important, I have also gained self confidence. If I fail, I’ll just try again and do better the next time. I realize that it is necessary to take risks in order to gain success. I know now, whether I succeed or fail it is irrelevant, it is only important that I have tried my best.

We want to significantly increase the funding for our Bemley Scholars. Please take a moment to help us with your secure online donation! That would be the best way to honor the legacy of John Austin and his HSCC teammates from BDPA St. Louis chapter.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Philanthropy Vital to Technology for Schools

The prevalence of computers in modern society has led to a greater need for technology-based curricula and wired classrooms for students of all levels. Top online PhD programs are now available, but some primary schools don’t have a single computer. As a result, companies and organizations nationwide are providing under-funded classrooms with state-of-the-art, electronic educational implements. This philanthropic push has increased classroom performance and, in many cases, led to a higher rate of college attendance for children in these classrooms.

Read the rest of this Re:Philanthropy blog post.

Friday, July 20, 2012

BDPA Foundation Blog Receives Black Weblog Award Nomination as 'Best Business Blog'

The BDPA Foundation Blog has been nominated for Best Business Blog in the 2012 Black Weblog Awards. It is nice to be recognized for the work that this blog does to bring information that supports the growth and development of the nonprofit community (in general) and the BDPA family (in particular). I hope that this nomination spurs you to continue reading, sharing and commenting on what they see on this blog.

Once the nomination period is over then we will need your support in the actual voting process. We'll share more info with you as the details on voting become available.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

BDPA Announces Its Top Epsilon Awards for Corporations and Individuals in the IT Industry

Since its inception in 1975, BDPA has been a strong advocate of promoting and advancing the interest and careers of African Americans in the field of computer science and information technology. Furthermore, BDPA has cultivated and sustained mutually beneficial partnerships with public, private and government entities that employ our members or support our on-going efforts to be a powerful advocate for our stakeholders' interests within the global technology industry.

During the National BDPA Technology Conference, scheduled to occur August 1-4 at the Baltimore Hilton, BDPA will recognize corporations and individuals who personify excellence, demonstrate a commitment to people and understand that fostering a culture of diversity has bottom line business value.   The recognition is via BDPA's Epsilon ('Star of the Highest Magnitude') Award.

The BDPA Corporate Epsilon award, known as the 'Top Companies for Blacks in Technology Award' recipients will be presented during the Dignitaries Reception on Friday, August 3rd. The award recipients (in alphabetical order) are:
  1. Health Care Service Corporation
  2. HP
  3. Intel
  4. Johnson & Johnson
  5. Merck
  6. Walmart
  7. Wells Fargo
  8. WellPoint
The individual Epsilon Award recipients and Top Company for Blacks in Technology will be announced during the Awards Gala on Saturday, August 4th. The individual recipients (in alphabetical order) are:
  • Rashsaan Alston (Wells Fargo) - Most Promising Technologist
  • Susan Barker (General Electric Healthcare) - Professional Achievement
  • Julius Clark (Wells Fargo) - Career Achievement
  • Gwendolyn Davis (Key Bank) - Career Achievement
  • William Holdipp, Jr. (Cleveland African American Organization) - Community Service
  • Baron Thrower (The Thrower Group) - Professional Achievement
National BDPA would like to see a standing-room only crowd at the Awards Gala in Baltimore on Saturday, August 4 when these corporations and individuals are publically recognized. Please contact BDPA at (301) 584-3135 to purchase a table or tickets for the Awards Gala. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Jesse Mathews at

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

President Obama Creates STEM Master Teacher Corps

President Barack Obama has made it clear that American education system needs to substantially improve the performance of our young people in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) if we hope to 'win the future'. As he has said repeatedly, efforts to improve STEM education are “going to make more of a difference in determining how well we do as a country than just about anything else that we do here.”

Today, the Obama Administration announced the President’s plan to create a national STEM Master Teacher Corps. The STEM Master Teacher Corps will begin in 50 locations across the country, each with 50 exceptional STEM educators. Over the next four years the Corps will expand to include 10,000 of the best STEM teachers in the nation. In joining the STEM Master Teachers Corps, these educators will make a commitment to champion the cause of STEM education in their respective communities, and will receive additional resources to mentor math and science teachers, inspire students, and help their communities grow.

Read the full story on the White House blog.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Rhode Island ($580)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) approved a grant disbursement of $580 to the BDPA Rhode Island chapter.
Chapter president Jeanette Wiggins requested the funding support in order to cover the "registration costs for three Rhode Island students to attend the Youth Technology Camp at the national conference next month in Baltimore, Maryland."
Our hope is that this grant disbursement will help to jump-start renewed energy and excitement for the growth of BDPA programs, scholarships and services in the state of Rhode Island!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Where Are They Now? Dot-Matrix Printers

What they were: The printer you probably owned if you had a PC in the house any time from the late 1970s until the early to mid-1990s. Models like the Epson FX-80 and the Panasonic KX-P1124 were noisy and slow, and the best output they could muster was the optimistically named “near letter quality.” But they were affordable, versatile and built like tanks.

What happened: Beginning in the early 1990s, inkjet printers from HP, Epson and Canon started to get pretty good -- their output came far closer to rivaling that of a laser printer than dot-matrix ever could. And then, in the mid-1990s, inkjet makers added something that killed the mass-market dot-matrix printer almost instantly: really good color. (I still remember having my socks knocked off by the original Epson Stylus Color when I saw it at the Consumer Electronics Show in 1994.) There was simply no comparison between even the best dot-matrix printer and a color inkjet.

 Current whereabouts: Nobody ever thinks about dot-matrix printers anymore, but they haven’t gone away -- my local Office Depot still stocks them, in fact. That’s because they have at least two valuable features inkjet and laser models can’t match: Because the dot-matrix printhead hits the paper with a hard whack, they’re perfect for printing multiple-part forms, and their use of tractor-feed mechanisms rather than dinky trays lets them print thousands of pages without a paper refill. Consequently, small businesses everywhere refuse to give them up. It won’t startle me if there are still Epsons productively hammering out invoices and receipts a couple of decades from now, assuming we still use paper at all.

SOURCE: 'Where Are They Now? 25 Computer Products That Refuse to Die' by Harry McCracken.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Greater Columbia ($3,425)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is pleased to announced that it has approved a $3,495 grant disbursement to the BDPA Greater Columbia chapter. BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president Mildred Allen indicates that the funds will be used to support "the 27 students in the High School Computer Training Program in 2012. Nine of these students will participate in the High School Computer Competition and Youth Technology Camp during the annual BDPA Technology Conference next month in Baltimore."

It's never too early to plan for the future. Please help us raise enough money to support college scholarships for the 2013 HSCC team trained by BDPA Greater Columbia.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Richmond ($2,500)

All of BDPA nation is scrambling to round up the funds necessary to bring their students to the upcoming 2012 BDPA Technology Conference being held in Baltimore. BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) strives to support those chapters. As such, it is with pleasure that we announce a $2,500 grant disbursement to the BDPA Richmond chapter.
BDPA Richmond chapter president Christopher Parker noted that the funding would be used to, "send a team of high school students, chaperones and training team members to participate in the national High School Computer Competition championship and the Youth Technology Camp."
We look forward to seeing the young faces that will benefit from this grant disbursement ... and we encourage you to help us raise funds to give scholarships to BDPA Richmond chapter HSCC students in the future.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grant Award: Walmart Foundation ($4,000)

BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president Mildred Allen took the initiative to meet with local Wal-Mart Store community outreach leaders earlier this year. As a result of her efforts the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) submitted $2,000 grant proposals to the local management at four different Wal-Mart stores in the Columbia, South Carolina area.

We are very pleased to report that two of those grant proposals were favorably received by the management at Store #1164 and Store #1286. This means that $4,000 in funding is coming to us in support of the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program in South Carolina.  We received a message about our successful grant application from both stores. Here is one of the approval messages received earlier this week:

Dear Wayne Hicks,

The Walmart Foundation and Facility # 1286 are pleased to inform you that your organization has been selected to receive a grant through the Local Community Contribution/Hunger Outreach Grant Program in the amount of $2,000.00. We believe that your organization is doing important work to the communities you serve, and we are proud that we are able to support you in your efforts.

Your grant payment will be awarded to you by check, and it will be sent to the address listed in your grant application. Your grant check will be issued within the next few weeks and mailed to your organization as quickly as possible.

Thank you for the work your organization does to create opportunities so people can live better.

The Walmart Foundation

We are still waiting to learn the results from the other two stores. Mostly, we look forward to seeing the young people trained by BDPA Greater Columbia chapter at the upcoming national conference!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Free MBA Fair

The Economist's Which MBA? Online Fair goes online September 5-6, 2012. This event is FREE!

You have a chance to meet MBA admissions officers from programs around the world at this free online fair. Chat with alumni, join webinars, watch videos and download resources. Sign up or learn more at

** Sign up now for your chance to win a free iPad when you visit 5 or more school booths on September 5-6. **

Monday, July 9, 2012

BDPA Philadelphia HSCC Team (2012)

BDPA Philadelphia chapter is very proud of its Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) Program. The SITES program in Philadelphia is a 44-week technology course designed to inspire high-school students to pursue IT careers by teaching computer programming and leadership skills. BDPA Philadelphia students attend SITES classes each Saturday morning at DeVry University's Center City Philadelphia campus.

L-R: Logan (Trainer), James (HSCC Alumni), Phillip (Central High School), Pedro (Community Academy of Philadelphia)and Daneel (Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter), Steven (Trainer).
BDPA Philadelphia announced the names of the three (3) students who will represent the chapter and the city in the 2012 National High School Computer Competition championship in Baltimore on August 1-4.
  • Daneel Douglas (Philadelphia Electrical & Technology Charter High School)
  • Pedro Soto (Community Academy of Philadelphia)
  • Phillip (Central High School)
This competition is the culmination of hard work by these students and provides them with an opportunity to showcase what they have learned. Winners of the competition earn scholarships and prizes.   The chapter continues to seek out financial support for its programs, scholarships and services.  Please take a moment to make a secure online donation in support to BDPA Philadelphia HSCC efforts!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Grant Proposal: CIGNA Foundation (BDPA New York)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA New York chapter worked together to complete a $15,000 grant proposal to the CIGNA Foundation. The funding is needed to support the chapter's Student Information Technology Education & Scholarships (SITES) program.

CIGNA Foundation has a very comprehensive online grant application process. We put our best foot forward in the hopes that our funding request will be successful. We're told that the funding decisions will be made sometime before the end of November.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BDPA Cincinnati HSCC Team (2012)

L-R: Mimes, Dawson, Pulliam and Sylvester.
BDPA Cincinnati proudly announced the finalists for its team that will be representing the chapter and the city in the 2012 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship to be held in Baltimore later this year. The 2012 national HSCC finalists are:
  1. Micaiah Dawson, 10th grade, Winton Woods High School
  2. Hadiya Harrigan, 11th grade, Seven Hill High School
  3. Hasani Harrigan, 9th grade, Seven Hill High School
  4. Curtis Mimes, 12th grade, William Taft High School
  5. Brian Pulliam, 11th grade, Fairfield High School
  6. Malik Sylvester, 11th grade, Mason High School
BDPA Cincinnati chapter recently completed a remarkable Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program that included a computer camp with 14 students from 7th grade to 12th grade. The students learned HTML, CSS, jQuery, PHP, and MySQL.

The class was taught by a number of volunteers including Richard Afunah, Frank Hill and Deborah Prince in a computer lab provided by Cincinnati State Technical College.  The chapter is also pleased to recognize the financial support provided by Christ Church Cathedral, Cincinnati Bell and others ... financial support necessary to share these meaningful STEM-based experiences provided with these young people.

BDPA Cincinnati chapter has high expectations for this year's team and looks forward to them bringing home the gold medal from the national championship! The actual team should be named before the end of the month.

Exelon Foundation

The Exelon Foundation is an independent, non-profit philanthropic organization funded solely by Exelon Corporation, an energy company, through shareholder dollars. The Foundation's mission is to encourage respect for the environment and strengthen the social and economic fabric of the community by supporting programs in three areas ... one of which is:
Innovative Math and Science Education programs which creatively incorporate the relationship between preserving the environment and using energy wisely.
The Exelon Foundation pursues proposals based on programs and projects within their geographic reach and primary giving areas.  

Currently, the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals. If you have not been invited to submit a proposal, but want to share a program idea that fits within our areas of giving, please briefly introduce your organization in an email to While we cannot respond to every email, we will contact you if we would like to learn more about your program.

Application Review -- Grants are reviewed on a quarterly basis by the Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation does not fund general operating expenses, but prefers to focus on specific program support.

Exelon Foundation
PO Box 5408
Chicago, IL 60680-5408

Foundation Staff
Steve Solomon, President
Michelle McConnell, Secretary
Phone: 312-394-2200

This funding source is a long-shot ... but, it is geographically available to the following BDPA chapters: Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Central Illinois, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Feel free to contact BETF if you or your chapter want to work with us on a letter of inquiry to Exelon Foundation.

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012 BDPA Technology Conference (Baltimore, MD)

BDPA, the largest non-profit organization of African American professionals working in or having an interest in the computer science and information technology fields, will make Baltimore, Maryland the home of their 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference & Career Fair. The 3-day event will rally the top tier of tech titans with thousands of IT professionals, students and corporate participants for an interactive series of innovative expos and workshops on August 1-4 at the Baltimore Hilton.
"Over the years, the National BDPA Technology Conferences have taken on unique personalities based on the venues in which they were held, as well as the character of their host chapters and leadership team," says Monique Berry, president of BDPA. "Attendees have access to top-notch keynote speakers, topical educational sessions, and a myriad of networking opportunities along with recreation; all in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere."
BDPA was founded in 1975 by Earl Pace and the late David Wimberly as an answer to the lack of black representation in the technology field. Today the organization serves thousands around the globe and boasts a diverse array of members including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors, and entrepreneurs. The national conference stands as one of the organization's cornerstones, embodying its mission to promote fiscally sound practices and improved productivity, facilitating transformational change within its membership, and contributing added value to the lives of its members as the premier provider of quality content and programs.

In what is slated to be the most highly anticipated and attended BDPA conference to date, attendees will enjoy a combination of new and staple events surrounding the latest technologies and innovation trends. Participants will gain insights and enhance their perspective from keynote speaker and "Cyber Czar," Dr. Ernest McDuffie; partake in a free career fair, preview the newest inventions and products at the technology showcase and have their choice of an assortment of workshops, seminars and panels cultivated to inform, educate and inspire.

You can secure your spot at the 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference if you register here.

To learn more about BDPA and the 34th Annual National BDPA Technology Conference please visit

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Message From BDPA Richmond Chapter President

BDPA Richmond chapter president Christopher Parker and his leadership team shared the following update on chapter programs, scholarships and services:

  • Fundraising - Last October, BDPA Richmond celebrated its 20th Anniversary as a chapter. BDPA Richmond raised $826.70 for educational programs and scholarships after expenses. Thank you to all those who attended and participated! Your contributions will help send 5 students to this year’s National Conference in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • National BDPA Conference - One of the ways in which BDPA “advances careers from the classroom to the boardroom” is through our National Conference. This year’s conference will take place at the Baltimore Hilton on August 1-4. Our keynote speaker will be cyber-security czar Dr. Ernest McDuffie. The conference is designed to inform, motivate and encourage networking for professionals in the IT industry. During the four‐day conference, participants can expect to share their experiences with peers, attend the career fair, explore the displays at the technology expo, and participate in a wide array of workshops and seminars reflecting leading‐edge technologies and strategies. Please log on to for more information, and I encourage you to attend.
  • Adult Computer Literacy Program - Congratulations to our first graduating class of 2012 for our Adult Computer Literacy Program in collaboration with 5th Baptist Church on Cary Street. Students participated in a 12-week training program which is comprised of a beginning, intermediate and advanced computer concepts courses. In the beginner’s course, the students were taught about computer components and how they interact, computer terminology, numbering schemes, operating systems, and about Internet browsers including effective searches. The intermediate class was mostly centered on learning about the Windows operating system in more in-depth detail. Lastly, the advanced course taught computer networking concepts and how to build a home network. The students did an outstanding job and their computer knowledge was truly enhanced. Best of all, this course is free!
  • Membership - Please welcome our new VP of Business Management -- Michael Tolliver (Bank of America). Michael is working with me to further strengthen and expand our programs, and to fill out our Executive Board.
  • 3rd Quarter Preview - A planning meeting will be held for a Lego partnership with the Boys and Girls Club. A tentative speaker for a Q3 program meeting has been contacted to provide an overview, and to discuss opportunities in I.T. Risk Management and Security for I.T. professionals and college students.
    Executive Board Positions will be posted for leadership opportunities to build resume experience and career skills.

BDPA Richmond chapter is scrambling right now to get all the funding it needs. Perhaps you can click here to help them?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bemley Scholar Justin Wulf Seeks Computer Science Degree from Bethel University

Justin Wulf is a long-time BDPA Twin Cities chapter member with a powerful legacy in our national Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program. He is working towards his computer science degree at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Justin used his STEM experiences gained through BDPA to obtain an ongoing internship at Medtronic. Justin competed in national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships from 2007-2010. He earned a Jesse Bemley Scholarship from the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) as a result of high performance in the 2009 HSCC championship.

He recently shared the following testimonial with us:

"I have been a member of the BDPA Twin Cities Chapter since 2005. At the time, I was only 13 years old and hardly knew anything about computers beyond using them to install video games, surf the Internet and type papers. My first couple years of being in the Summer BDPA Youth Technology Camp (YTC) were spent familiarizing myself with the hardware of an actual computer. It was the first time I ever took apart a working computer and put it back together in its functional state. I had also learned a bit about operating systems, computer networking and what really made computers tick. I felt like I knew everything I needed to know about computers after those first two summers in YTC, but when I entered high school, I learned that I was completely wrong.

Upon entering 9th grade, I was encouraged to continue attending BDPA classes throughout the year and was eventually offered a spot on the 2007 BDPA HSCC Team. I was introduced to the wonderful world of web development and computer programming. My curiosity and determination assisted me with understanding HTML and CSS languages used for designing websites. In addition to web design, our instructor Mark Holden taught us object-oriented programming in Visual Basic for more application-based programs. I had a little more trouble with making sense of object-oriented programming as it was complex and still so new to me. Something amazing happened to me that year. There was one moment in particular that I, as well as everyone else in the room, will always remember, is when computer programming all “clicked” for me. It was a Saturday afternoon, the classroom was silent, Mark was teaching us some confusing string concatenation techniques, and all of a sudden, my eyes widened, I sat completely straight up in my chair and I shouted, “I get it!” The other students on the team turned to me and smiled, along with Mark giving me a hardy chuckle and congratulating me. I will always thank back and remember that “click” every time I learn a new concept that I’ve been working hard at understanding.

From that point on, I was given the opportunity to compete in four National BDPA High School Computer Competition championships; Washington, D.C. in 2007, Atlanta, GA in 2008, Raleigh, NC in 2009 and Philadelphia, PA in 2010.

My most memorable year was in 2009 when our chapter rented a 15-passenger van and drove to Raleigh, North Carolina for the National BDPA Conference. Everyone on the team was focused and prepared to finally place top five in the High School Computer Competition. We anxiously waited for our names to be called in the award ceremony. We all held hands around our banquet table with our coordinators keeping their fingers crossed. Surprisingly, our chapter was called for 4th place and we all jumped and screamed simultaneously as if we all received the same electric shock in our circuit of linked limbs. It was a truly, inspiring year for me. It gave me the feeling that anything can be obtainable if you really put your mind to it.

My ambitious state of mind continued to develop over the years. Here I am now, a second year college student at Bethel University pursuing a Computer Science degree with a minor in Psychology. I have also acquired an internship at Medtronic, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and world leader in medical technology and pioneering therapies. In the span of about two years, I have worked closely with three different teams in Information Technology. BDPA has helped me reach new plateaus and opportunities from the experiences and lessons I’ve learned. I have decided to give back to the BDPA community by teaching students how to computer program in Java, C#, MySQL and ASP.NET and by training this year’s BDPA Twin Cities HSCC Team.

BDPA is doing a wonderful job in providing STEM experiences to hundreds of K-12 students.  Please click here to show your support for our efforts!   Also, take a moment to POST A COMMENT for Justin!  You can follow Justin on Twitter -- @JustWulf

Monday, July 2, 2012

Office Depot Foundation

Office Depot provides three ways for BDPA (local or national) to receive product or cash donations.

1. Product Donations - Office Depot's product donation program is managed by Gifts In Kind International, the world's leading charity in product philanthropy. Each of Office Depot's retail stores, distribution centers and warehouses is matched to a nonprofit organization that helps children. On a regular basis, each Office Depot location makes a donation of products (supplies, furniture, business machines, etc.) to its matched charity.

Their ongoing Product Donation Program enables Office Depot to place its donated products in the hands of thousands of children's charities across the nation. For more information regarding Gifts In Kind International, and/or Office Depot's product donation program, send an e-mail to You may write to them at:

Gifts In Kind International
333 N. Fairfax Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Please Note: Product donations through Gifts In Kind International are ongoing and involve a membership fee.

2. Sponsorships and Other Support - Each year, Office Depot supports a limited number of nonprofit organizations, initiatives and events in key markets where the company conducts business. Such support may take the form of store gift certificates, event sponsorships, and marketing and branding opportunities. These relationships are typically initiated by Office Depot. Unsolicited proposals are discouraged.

Office Depot is proud to help a large number of local nonprofit organizations every year. To aid in the review of requests for corporate support, they have established the following criteria:
  • The nonprofit organization must be aligned with Office Depot's mission to directly impact the health, education and welfare of children.
  • Funds provided by Office Depot must directly assist children.
  • The inquiring organization must provide background on the specific program and other funding sources.
  • The organization must have an established track record of community advocacy and a clear direction for its future initiatives.
  • The organization must have 501(c)(3) status.
  • The organization must provide a Federal Tax Identification Number

To apply for a grant from the Office Depot Foundation, please click here to see if you are eligible.

3. Office Depot Affiliate Program - From grassroots nonprofit organizations and small businesses to large-scale initiatives serving the entire nation, the Office Depot Affiliate Program provides its members with a simple and effective way to generate income. Businesses and organizations that join the Office Depot Affiliate Program agree to place links from directly on their own websites. By doing so, they give their members, customers or clients the opportunity to choose from thousands of office supplies, furniture and technology items as well as to access useful information from Office Depot's small business services center.

The Office Depot Affiliate Program offers an excellent example of their Company's vision - Delivering Winning Solutions That Inspire Worklife™ - in action. Not only does it give nonprofit organizations and businesses a way to build instant credibility by associating with our corporate brand, but it also makes it possible for them to drive revenue, which helps to sustain their operations and enables them to grow. It also helps our customers with discounts, savings and other benefits.

Please click here for information about how to join the Office Depot Affiliate Program.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nominations Open for 2012 Black Weblog Awards

Did you know that nominations are now being accepted for the 2012 Black Weblog Awards?

Twenty-nine categories are returning to the Black Weblog Awards this year. Nine categories were retired. Nine were added. The largest number of new categories recognize outstanding achievement in video blogging.

Due to the large number of nominations in this category in 2011, the Best Fashion or Beauty blogging category was split into two separate categories. There is now a separate category for Best Fashion Blog and Best Beauty Blog. Best Culture Blog will now be called Best Fine Arts Blog. In some cases, categories which were spin offs of broader categories have been returned to their original category.  Blog of the Year will now be selected through a separate nomination process based on essay-based nominations.

Rules Review
The rules for every category are under review to establish more objective criteria to be applied to each nomination to determine whether a blog is qualified to compete in that particular category.

Returning Categories
  • Best Automotive or Car Blog 
  • Best Book or Author Blog 
  • Best Blog Post Series 
  • Best Business Blog  
  • Best Faith Based Blog 
  • Best Film Blog 
  • Best Food Blog
  • Best Gaming or Comics Blog 
  • Best Gossip Blog 
  • Best Group Blog
  • Best Health or Wellness Blog
  • Best Humor Blog
  • Best International Blog
  • Best LGBT Blog 
  • Best Micro Blog 
  • Best New Blog 
  • Best Personal Blog 
  • Best Photography in a Blog  
  • Best Plus Sized Fashion 
  • Best Podcast 
  • Best Parenting Blog
  • Best Political or News Blog 
  • Best Science or Technology Blog
  • Best Sports Blog
  • Best Sex or Relationship Blog 
  • Best Teen Blog 
  • Best Travel Blog 
  • Best Video Blog 
  • Best Writing in a Blog
New Categories 
  • Best Beauty Blog 
  • Best Comedy Video Blog
  • Best DIY, Home Improvement, Interior Design Blog
  • Best Entertainment Video Blog
  • Best Fashion Blog
  • Best Fine Arts Blog 
  • Best How to & Style Video Blog
  • Best Original Graphic Design in a Blog 
  • Best Science & Technology Video Blog 
Retired for 2012 
  • Best Blog Design (Replaced with “Best Original Graphic Design in a Blog”.)
  • Best Fashion or Beauty Blog (Split into “Best Fashion Blog” and “Best Beauty Blog”.) 
  • Best Culture Blog (Now “Best Fine Arts Blog”.) 
  • Best Hip Hop Blog (Moved back into ”Best Music Blog”.)  
  • Blog Of The Year (Moved to a separate selection process.)  
  • Blog to Watch (Moved to a separate selection process.) 
  • Best Green Nature or Outdoor Living Blog (Introduced in 2011. Small nomination pool in 2011.)
  • Best Blog Network  (Small nomination pool in 2011.) 
  • Best Lifestyle Blog (Subsumed in Fashion, Design, Fine Arts categories.)
I encourage all our our blog readers to take a moment and support this Black Weblog Award process by making your own nomination. Goes without saying that we hope you will consider nominating this blog!