Friday, August 31, 2012

BDPA Sponsor ConnXus Partners with National Urban League

ConnXus, a Web-based platform that connects minority- and women-owned businesses with buyers and suppliers looking to meet diversity objectives, announced its partnership with the National Urban League.

In the next year, ConnXus and the National Urban League will host joint events for small minority- and women-owned businesses in the 10 U.S. cities that are home to National Urban League Entrepreneurship Centers.

ConnXus received a $200,000 investment from CincyTech in March as part of a larger seed-stage investment round to expand the management team, build national partnerships and help the company scale. ConnXus was launched by Rob Robinson, above, in 2010 and has since posted $100 million in contract opportunities.

BDPA is proud to note that both ConnXus and CincyTech are corporate sponsors!

Read more about the partnership.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grant Proposal: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (BDPA Cincinnati)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) and BDPA Cincinnati chapter combined on a $10,000 grant proposal to the folks at Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America (TEMA). BDPA and TEMA have worked together often in the past. In fact, TEMA was a major force in the creation of our BDPA Lexington chapter and TEMA employees have served on the board of directors for BDPA Cincinnati chapter in the past.

TEMA provides funding within the Tri-State area of Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky serves all other counties in Kentucky; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana serves other counties in Indiana.

TEMA primarily supports education, environment and safety, but also funds civic groups, health and human services, arts and culture. TEMA prefers to support programs, rather than events. Communities served must be in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky or Southeast Indiana. Submission deadlines for applications are: January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1. TEMA does not donate vehicles or make grants to individuals.

We should have an answer within 45 days. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Message from Cincinnati Chapter HSCC Coordinator

Dear BDPA Cincinnati Chapter Sponsors,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of our chapter's student training program. In a world where we hear so much about the ills and failures of society, I have had the privilege of training students for tomorrows technology for the last 12 years. This has been extremely gratifying.

I have witnessed our students grow their technology and personal skills and subsequently go on to college and corporate America. I additionally request that you or your staff join us on Saturdays from January through August at Cincinnati State Technical College. Without your support, this program simply would not be possible.

Again, thanks for making it happen!!!

Frank Hill, HSCC Lead Instructor
BDPA Cincinnati

Where Are They Now: 1977 BDPA Philadelphia Officers

The greatest obstacle facing BDPA in its second year of operation was lack of full members. Therefore, the focus for the year was to increase membership by placing a greater emphasis on technical data processing presentations.

Presentations and lectures that year were given on such topics as: Structured Programming, Advanced COBOL, On-Line Systems and Equal Opportunities in Data Processing.

The second year ended with a new commitment to the organization, an impressive addition of new members, and a new slate of new officers:
  • President - Ralph Gordon Jr.
  • Vice President - Roy Barnes
  • Secretary - Brenda Cummings
  • Treasurer - Mary Ann Lowery
  • Program Committee - Earl Pace, Geraldine Walcott, Edward Washington
  • Membership Committee - William Chestnut, Leroy Howell, David Benson
It is important to realize that BDPA was strictly a Philadelphia experience during these first few years. It wasn't until 1979 that the second BDPA chapter was created in Washington DC. I think that Roy Barnes is still honored by the BDPA Philadelphia chapter. As I understand it they name their youth education program and scholarship after Mr. Barnes.

Can you share any insights or thoughts you might have on these 1977 BDPA officers? Anyone know where they are now?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Future Face of Technology: Justin Harris (PentaPlate, BDPA Triangle Chapter)

It is a privilege to be part of an organization that provides programs, scholarships and services from the 'classroom to the boardroom' in our effort to advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry. BDPA hosted over a hundred high school students at our 34th annual BDPA Technology Conference held earlier this month in Baltimore.

Justin Harris was one of the young men at the conference. Justin is a 10th grader attending East Chapel Hill High School in Durham, NC. He enjoys entrepreneurial activities, film making, web designing, wrestling, and other martial arts. He competed in the 2012 High School Computer Competition as part of the national team trained by BDPA Triangle chapter.

But, Justin is more than just a high school student and HSCC alumni ... he is also an entrepreneur and a 'future face of technology'! You see, Justin is co-owner and CEO of PentaPlate. Justin founded PentaPlate in July 2011, with one goal in mind, expand the world of teenage business. As an entrepreneur, tech wizard, and firm believer in collaboration, Justin hopes to help fellow entrepreneurs by offering advice on management, expansion techniques, innovative use of technology, and personal networking. He relishes the opportunity of fulfilling his dream: create the only social network for teenage entrepreneurs to build teams, collaborate on business ideas, and find investors.

Justin shared more with us about his company and vision:
"At PentaPlate, we strongly believe in teenage collaboration! PentaPlate is the first teenage-run consulting company, for teenage-run businesses in the world. We provide executive advice, business development, web development, guerrilla marketing techniques, and professional help. We make teenage entrepreneurs grow – and all for free! Every year we select five teenage entrepreneurs to participate in our free 8 month long consulting program. Again, we provide all of our consulting for free.

Currently, we're working on building Envision — The world's first teenage entrepreneur social network! Envision will allow all teenagers to share their ideas, build a team, and receive funding via a secure donation application on Envision. Envision will be programmed in PHP/MYSQL, which I am excited to be learning more about in the BDPA Triangle SITES program! I have big plans to expand the world of teenage business. As an entrepreneur, tech wizard, and firm believer in teenage collaboration, I hope to help fellow entrepreneurs by offering advice on management, expansion techniques, innovative use of technology, and personal networking. One day, teenagers all over the world will be able to http://EnvisionWith.Me."
Methinks that we'll be hearing more about this young squire for many years to come!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Fundraising Tip: Six Tips for Asking Naturally

Soulclap to Benevon for providing us these fundraising tips on asking for donations to run your BDPA chapter.

Benevon feels you should only be asking for money from the people who you know are ready to say yes. These are the people you have been cultivating and have gotten to know well. The Ask should not be a surprise to your donor. Once you have done enough cultivation to feel confident that your donor is ready to be asked, call and ask if you can meet with them face-to-face. You may want to bring along someone else from your organization who they know and respect—perhaps the executive director or board chair.

Meet wherever the donor is most comfortable. This could be at a restaurant, your office, their office, or their home.

Here are six tips to help you during your Asks:

  1. Your agenda is to see how related and connected you can become in those few minutes you will be together. It is all about listening for every cue and being much more focused on what they are saying right now than on what you should say next. This should feel like a very natural conversation—as if you were talking to a close friend or family member.
  2. Know what you want to ask for in advance, and be ready to adjust the terms and timeline of the gift if needed. The easiest way is to invite them to join your existing society of donors who make multiple-year pledges at specific giving levels.
  3. Explain the difference this gift would make to your organization and the impact it will have on the people you serve. You know this donor well enough by now that you can discuss the aspects of your program that are most important to them—for example, the after-school program, the adoption program, or the chapel. Be sure to include an example of how their gift would impact one person or one family in the program that they're most interested in.
  4. Expect them to say yes so that you won't fall off your chair or burst into tears when they do! Remember, you are not asking someone who is an ice-cold stranger. You are giving them the opportunity to make the contribution they want to make. There is no need for you to beg, strong-arm, or cajole.
  5. When the person says yes, let them know you are really excited about their gift—that it means a great deal to you. You want to make this person feel truly wonderful about giving to your cause.
  6. Even if they say no, listen closely for the cues as to what they need next so you can be sure to provide that before you ask them again. You want to end the meeting with this person looking forward to seeing you the next time, so that when they finally do say yes, they will feel great about it.
You will see that asking someone for money can be serious or playful, short and to the point, or long and drawn out. No two Asks are ever the same because no two people are the same.

The spirit of the Ask is respectful listening and friendly give-and-take, always with a strong commitment to the result. And the more you can relax and enjoy the process, the better.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Message from the BDPA Northern Delaware Chapter President

Greetings Presidents!

Delaware is currently planning to host a regional educational showcase and 2012-2013 kick off of our student program. We will be hosting this event at Wilmington University on September 22, 2012. This event will include an opportunity to identify college students as candidates for internships and open the door for new students (high school and college) to participate in the Northern Delaware student program(s). During this event we will showcase students from the past as well as demonstrate career pathways for those with a talent in the STEM fields.

You and your chapter members (i.e. stakeholders) are welcome to join us! However, If any of your students are interested in showcasing their talents or attending as a participant please register online. In order to showcase we ask that they share in advance one or more artifact (project, paper, presentation, poster board, HSCC team project) that demonstrates their talents. There is no cost for participation. We hope to see a few students from the Northeast region in attendance!

The objectives of this event include:
  • Promotion of the BDPA Brand
  • Execution of the "Classroom to the Boardroom" mantra
  • Build a pipeline of future STEM talent
Attached is a flyer with all the details.

Please let me know if you have any questions. To register go to

This event is hosted by the BDPA Northern Delaware Chapter. We will be collecting resumes from College Juniors/Seniors (Exceptional Sophomores will be considered) who have a 3.25 or above in the field of computer science, information technology, engineering, business, accounting or finance. These resumes will be submitted for consideration for 2013 Summer internships in select JPMC locations (including: New York, NY; Jersey City, NJ; Dallas TX; Tampa FL; Columbus OH; and various locations in Delaware).

Sincere Regards,
Karen Smith, chapter president
BDPA Northern Delaware

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grant Award: Walmart Foundation ($2,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very happy to report that our $2,000 grant proposal to Walmart Store #4379 has been approved. This funding will be used to support the Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program located in Columbia, South Carolina.

BDPA Greater Columbia chapter president Mildred Allen and about a dozen students, volunteers and leaders were in Baltimore last week to participate in the 34th annual BDPA Technology Conference. This funding will help the chapter continue on its quest to provide meaningful science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) experiences for exceptional students who want to 'win the future'.

The approval letter read as follows:

Dear Wayne Hicks,

The Walmart Foundation and Facility # 4379 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

BETF would like to aggressively approach the Walmart Foundation to support community initiatives where we have co-located BDPA chapters. Who wants to be next?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HSCC Alum Nnedimma Ugochukwu Shares Her Thoughts on BDPA

Nnedimma Ugochukwu approached me at the 2012 National BDPA Technology Conference to talk about support that I might provide in her efforts to get into college. Nnedimma is a rising senior at Banneker High School in the Washington DC area. 

She agreed to share her thoughts on BDPA and the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program with us:

When I first started HSCC back in my freshman year in high school, I was excited because I always wanted to learn how to make a website. I began attempting to learn how to do so on my own before I started thanks to the social networking websites that I used. Even trying to do it on my own, it wasn’t enough because after some time, I got stuck and very confused. When I began HSCC, I learned the material with a click. Even if I did not understand what Mr. Lou Shack, my instructor taught, I always asked questions and volunteered. If his answers did not help, I went home and looked up what we learned. Another thing about me was every time we received an assignment, I did it right away as soon as I got home. I never waited till Friday to get it done. I was so into in that made me to work so hard. As the months moved by, the material we learned became so much harder, but I stayed with them till the end.

The HSCC championship was a great experience. Out of all of the conferences that I attended, the one in Baltimore was the best. The competition shows how much you know based on all the months of learning and practicing. Along with the actual competition, I got to experience the Career Expo for the first time by speaking with different companies about what they do in their field and asking what I should do to prepare myself when I finish high school. I was inspired and was able to receive contact info from many companies. From one of the DC HSCC Alumni, Francisco Nunez, He told me networking is the key. I did not know what networking was before I began at HSCC and I see why it’s so important now.

BDPA has put me on the path to study Computer Science in college moving towards a Computer Programmer with a minor in Computer Graphics. I was already on the path of computers before I joined thanks to my father, but BDPA was the base to building me up the staircase to my goal. I came to the program confident and learned so much, thanks to my teachers and my fellow students.

If you’re considering joining HSCC, make your first impression look good toward the teachers. Go to class willing to learn something new and different. If you’re not that good when you start off, ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others. The program is also a commitment so working outside of class will make you better. Staying consistent throughout the program will get you far not only in the program, but in life.

BETF encourages you to help us provide college scholarships for young people like Nnedimma. Click here to 'make it so'!

Don't Wait for Apocalyptic Future to Improve Home Security System

Are you a fan of shows like 'Revolution' or 'Walking Dead'? These shows are based on an apocalyptic vision of the future where personal security can make the difference between life and death. In both cases, the future doesn't include a reliable power grid ... so it is good to know that for the first time ever, a home/office intercom system that does not require a wall power outlet. This wireless intercom system has an amazing 1000 foot range and can work on AA batteries for up to 12 months without ever being turned off!

This portable wireless intercom, created by, is fully expandable to an unlimited intercom system. It can also be seamlessly mated with wireless driveway alarm or wireless doorbell for communication with visitors to your front door.

Uses for this wireless intercom system are unlimited. Use it to communicate with places like your home, garage or workshop, between offices, between separate homes, back porch or pool, camping or hunting trips, temporary work areas, nursery or patient areas, motor home or guest room, upstairs/downstairs communication, and more!

The company also has some very cool personal gadgets!

In preparation for *any* future that is out there we should visit the informative, easy-to-use website of The company sells directly to the public at wholesale rates with no minimum purchase requirements. They do not sell unauthorized or “gray market” equipment of any kind. is a member of the Better Business Bureau.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

STEM Competition for High School Students

Siemens Foundation, in partnership with the College Board, is sponsoring the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, which recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research. Through this competition, students have an opportunity to achieve national recognition for science research projects that they complete in high school.

Students or teams of students can enter to win scholarships of up to $100,000 for their work. Registration is open. Visit the College Board website for more information.

The deadline for project submission is Monday, October 1, 2012, at 5:00 pm EST.

Monday, August 20, 2012

BDPA Southern Minnesota HSCC Team (2012)

HSCC Team Left to Right: Mike Espey, Herchran Singh, Daniel Sheppard, Prabhjot Singh and Hassan Hassan)
BDPA Southern Minnesota students earned 4th place in 2012 national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship held earlier this month in Baltimore. The HSCC competition comprises three components: oral testing, written testing and a programming project. The difference between the competitors was very small, and the judges had great challenges in assigning scores, according to BDPA So. Minnesota chapter president Melcon Hinds. [SOURCE]

The five Rochester students prepared for the competition by participating in a two-month "boot camp" this summer, during which they honed their programming, project management and presentation skills for up to 20 hours per week.

The team was selected from a pool of students that met each Saturday between December and May. The students, in grades 7 through 12, learn how to create database-driven web applications using HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and MySQL.

Brian Brownlow and Gord Singh are the technical coordinators and lead instructors for the Southern Minnesota chapter. Jongy Calvert is the administrator coordinator. More than a dozen volunteers from IBM and Mayo Clinic assist the class, called the Southern Minnesota Youth Computer Training Program.
"While our goal this year was to win, I'm most proud of our students for their resolve to compete at the highest level in web development programming," Hinds said. "Their commitment to spend three hours each Saturday between December and May should be applauded. The preparation, work ethic and teamwork that these students show throughout the year leading up to the competition, as well as time spend helping the next generation of students in the program, leave me in awe."

Sunday, August 19, 2012

BDPA iRadio Show: Mike Williams (South Region Director)

BDPA iRadio Show hostess Franne McNeal interviewed Mike Williams (BDPA South Region director) about his efforts to help encourage and promote careers in Technology for African Americans everywhere. Mike Williams is a BDPA Atlanta chapter member who recently was elected by the national body to serve as our first-ever director of the BDPA South Region. He will share his vision for the future of BDPA as it enters into this new regional governance model. Mike currently serves as the head of global infrastructure and delivery for FIS.

You can follow Mike on Twitter - @ITMikeWilliams

BDPA iRadio Show is sponsored by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation. This particular video clip was put together by BETF volunteers Nicholas Scott and LaTisha Redding.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where Are They Now? BDPA Detroit Chapter Presidents

BDPA Detroit is one of the oldest chapters in the nation. The chapter has a potent legacy in BDPA history that includes 'BDPA Chapter of the Year' honors in 1989, 1994 and 1996. I'm proud to say that I first joined BDPA in 1988 as a member of BDPA Detroit chapter.

The chapter hosted national BDPA technology conferences in 1982 ('Entrepreneurship: A Successful Attitude'), 1992 ('Shaping the Information Technology Professional: Current and Future') and 2005 ('Driving Innovation, Bringing Value and Embracing Change').

Perhaps the greatest legacy of the chapter is its historical dominance of the national high school computer competition (HSCC). BDPA Detroit chapter won the National BDPA HSCC in six dfferent years (1991, 1993, 1995-1996, 1998 and 2000) ... more than any other BDPA chapter in history. The BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) awarded Bemley Scholarships to Detroit chapter students Kobie Burrell (1991), Liz Cardenas (1995), Stephen Clayton (2000), Courtney Davis (1991), Harold Frazier Jr. (1995), Freeman Gardner (1996), Quinton Green (2000), Jason Jackson (1995), Sealoyd Jones III (1996), Ian Kerman (2000), Rovetta Latham (1995), Ronald Lewis (1996), Sunil Phillips (1991), Reginal Spratling (1998), Veronica Taylor (2000), Tramale Turner (1991), Ketan Vyas (1996), Naresh Vyas (1991), Brandi Walker (1995) and Derron Ware (1993).

I hope that these HSCC alumni are still connected to BDPA. We want HSCC testimonials from each of these young people if they can be located.

Four of the past BDPA Detroit chapter presidents (Diane Davis (shown in photo), Curvie Burton, Donna McKay and Eatonia Williams) also served as members of the National BDPA Executive Committee. It would be great if we could hear from each of the past BDPA Detroit chapter presidents:

Where are they now?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Message from Atlanta Chapter President

Felicia Jones
We are halfway through the year and it all seems like a blur. The Atlanta team kept the energy high and going for another quarter!

For our Tech Talk Webinar Series, the topics presented were Crash Course on SharePoint Technology, Obtaining a Scrum Master Certification, and Social Media and You: Are you too "Linked In?". Each webinar is available to everyone on our Education & Professional Development page of our website.

Our leadership team, committee members, and even a board member's son came out to volunteer at the Norcross Community Co-op Food Bank. Everyone received a tour of the facility while receiving the history and mission of the organization. Once we were educated, it was off to stocking shelves and racks with donated food, clothing and household supplies. It was a lot of hard work, sweat, and tears, but the tears were from the goodness that was felt in our hearts from helping and giving back to the community.

We continued to bring our members and the IT professionals the latest topics and information in IT at our monthly program meetings on BYOD - Bring Your Own Device, Business Intelligence & Analytics and The Turning Point. They learned to understand and address the impact of the current trend of BYOD into the corporate network, how Business Intelligence & Analytics is on the rise and how to use the latest release of PowerPivot for Excel to easily analyze data along with determining the turning point in YOUR career. At our BYOD meeting, World Wide Technology not only provided the speaker for the topic, but also provided the iPad2 in our membership drive give away. Karen Surgeon was the lucky winner!

Members and other IT professionals came out to network during our Spring Fling at Buckhead Bottle Bar and Bistro. We continued to spread the word about our organization, programs, and upcoming events on the Sensation Radio Station with Davin Harris, the host of Evening Seduction. We partnered and attended several local events to include the National Emerging Technology Leadership Summit & Achiever Award Gala with LISTA and Atlanta CIO Forum & Executive IT Summit with SIM.

To round out a wonderful 2nd Qtr, our HSCC Regional Team brought home 1st place in the Southeast Regional Competition in Charlotte, NC; they did a repeat of last year! The team members were Jimmy Nguyen, Justin Henderson, Alex Price, Jonecia Trice, and Marquise Fleming. They push forward with learning as the instructors continued to challenge them with assignments and projects and it all paid off. As always, we strive for the best and brought home 1st. After all, it’s Y.O.A. (Year of Atlanta)!

Felicia Jones, president
BDPA Atlanta Chapter

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fundraising Tip: How To Secure Corporate Support

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) spends a good deal of our energy trying to ensure that we don't have conflicts with the corporate sales efforts of National BDPA or any of the 45 local BDPA chapters.   However, it has become more and more apparent over the past few years that our ability to generate revenues improves exponentially if we find ways to work together.

I think that the following fundraising tip provides some excellent food-for-thought on non-traditional ways that any nonprofit can find support from Corporate America as we continue through these tough economic times.

Pursue In-Kind Donations, Contributed Media
and Technical Expertise

Especially since the economic downturn, it's become much more common for nonprofits and corporations to enter into partnerships that are less focused on direct financial support. In business they say "profits equals income minus expenses," and similarly for nonprofits, reducing operating costs is just as important as bringing more money in the door. Even in tough times like those we're going through, many companies are able to provide non-cash support that can be just as crucial as a monetary donation.

Here are three budget-relieving examples we encourage you to pursue:

  1. In-Kind Support: Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has been particularly successful at developing what are called "cause-related marketing" partnerships with a variety of airlines, hotels, and travel providers. In their case, the nonprofit receives travel services that can be used in granting wishes. These donations save money that would have otherwise been expended, and is critical to fulfilling, the foundation's mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. Whether it's donated beer and wine for your next gala, free computers, or getting your airfare comped, how can corporate in-kind support advance your efforts and add money to your bottom line?
  2. Contributed Media: The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has developed an innovative partnership with top advertising agencies. The agencies approach the companies they normally buy ad space from and ask them to donate time to support UNICEF's Believe in Zero campaign. Each year UNICEF receives more than $10 million in donated media to raise awareness for mission-critical initiatives, allowing them to deliver a call to action to targeted audiences. This relationship has been critical to the UNICEF and has resulted in them saving 2,000 lives every day -- that's direct mission impact. But you don't have to be a huge global player to secure contributed media -- call your local TV or radio station and ask if they're able to produce a PSA (public service announcement) for you and air it!
  3. Technical Expertise: As part of their relationship with United Way of King County, the Seattle office of a global accounting firm reviewed United Way's IT infrastructure. They provided pro bono recommendations on how multiple databases could be integrated to provide more timely, accurate information, thereby improving United Way's service delivery. Although United Way isn't a mom and pop shop, they wouldn't have been able to pay for this kind of support. At the same time, the accounting firm enjoyed engaging employees in community building, building team morale. Whatever your size, look for a pro bono lawyer and accountant as well as technical support providers and other volunteer roles that may be filled by talented professionals.

Our nonprofit can benefit from each of these three ideas because our focus has been almost entirely on direct financial support.   Perhaps it is a good idea to get Corporate America to say "yes" to supporting us ... even if that support is not in the form of a check!

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?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

VIDEO: BDPA Technology Conference Introduction of 'Future Faces of Technology'

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) executive director Wayne Hicks introduced the young people who participated in the 34th annual BDPA Technology Conference held on August 1-4, 2013 in Baltimore, Maryland. Wayne had a great time ... and the young people had even more fun!

We hope that you will find a way to support the college and career aspirations of these BDPA student members. In fact, if you have time or inclination, please make a secure online donation in support of our Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship Fund.

Finally, we want to share a soul-clap with BDPA Dallas chapter president Stacy Stewart who took the time to edit this video!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BDPA iRadio Show: August 14, 2012

The BDPA iRadio Show creates a vibrant communications platform that speaks to all BDPA stakeholders.

Listen to internet radio with BDPA on Blog Talk Radio
The guests on the August 14, 2012 show:

1. Dawn Smith, Member, BDPA Social Networking Team

2. 2012 YTC 1st Place Video Production Team: Student Elite
  • Mya Cruz - Indianapolis
  • Antione Lacey - Baton Rouge
  • Quvonte Nicholas - Baton Rouge
  • Haimanti Ray - Indianapolis
  • Scott Swenson - Minnesota
3. 2012 HSCC 1st Place Team: Atlanta Chapter:
  • Sunheng Tsaing
  • Jimmy Nguyen
  • Yash Shirsath
  • Allen Warner
  • Da'Waisha Linder
  • Wesley "Coach Wes" Williams

Message from Los Angeles Chapter HSCC Coordinator

Beverly Allen has been the HSCC coordinator for our BDPA Los Angeles chapter for a number of years. She watched her son, Terell, participate in national HSCC championships in 2007-2009 before going off to college at Morehouse College.

She shared the following update on the young people that represented BDPA Los Angeles chapter at the recently concluded national conference in Baltimore, MD.

Our Youth Technology Camp (YTC) students began their week by getting hands-on with multimedia. Students were assigned to cross-chapter teams that were responsible for directing, filming, editing, and producing their own video. Student participants also attended a workshop where they learned how to build mobile applications via the Android platform. Toward the end of the week, students received a guided tour of Northrop Grumman’s corporate headquarters. During the tour, students were able to view and ask questions about radars, the evolution and business impact of the microchip, and how radars are actually tested via Northrop Grumman’s fleet of aircraft near the Baltimore airport. Most importantly, students learned the value of degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from Northrop Grumman staff during each stage of the tour.

Our High School Computer Competition (HSCC) students participated in the software programming portion of the conference. After many months of coding, presentation preparation, and team leadership training, our students went into the competition fully prepared. This year’s business case involved developing an application that allowed a customer to select and purchase DVDs. After 9 hours of laying out a plan, coding, and presenting to a panel of judges; out came 5 tired students. Our team completed the entire business case and impressed the judges with their presentation ability.

In the end, our HSCC team placed 3rd out of 17 competing teams from 45 chapters! This was the first time in BDPA Los Angeles’ history to make it to the stage and receive a team scholarship award. It was also a huge improvement over last year’s performance (14th place).

Many thanks to our major sponsor (Raytheon Company), our host facility (Cal State Dominguez Hills) and all of the volunteers, parents, and enthusiastic students who made this year’s youth computer science program our best yet!

Please take a moment to support the success of the BDPA Los Angeles chapter by donating now to their college scholarship fund.

Where Are They Now? Zip Disks

What they were: Iomega’s extremely useful, cleverly marketed high-capacity removable disks -- introduced back in 1994, when 100MB qualified as high capacity. They were never as pervasive as floppies, but they must be the most popular, most loved proprietary disk format of all time.

What happened: The same things that happened to floppy disks, only more slowly -- and complicated by the malfunction ominously known as the click of death. When cheap CD burners made it easy to store 650MB on a low-cost disc that worked in nearly any computer, Zip started to look less capacious and cost-efficient. And then USB drives -- which offered more storage than Zip and required no drive at all -- came out. Along the way, Iomega launched new disk formats such as Jaz, PocketZip and Rev, but they failed to recapture the Zip magic.

Current whereabouts:  Iomega seems to be doing fine as a manufacturer of storage products of all sorts. It still sells 250MB and 750MB Zip drives, along with Zip media going all the way back to the original 100MB disks. I confess that I never owned a Zip drive myself -- but I’ll still feel a twinge of sadness when they finally go away.

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

Monday, August 13, 2012

Seeking Volunteer Technology Professionals for TECHie Club in Cincinnati, Ohio

BDPA Cincinnati had a wonderful time last year with our TECHie Club initiative at Taft STEM Elementary School. We worked with the folks at Tech Corps to deliver meaningful science, engineering, technology and mathematics (STEM) experiences to 3rd-6th graders in an after-school program. In fact, it was so nice that we want to do it twice! The school's principal asked that we come back in the Fall to provide two TECHie Club programs ... one focused on young girls and the other focused on young boys.

Volunteering with our TECHie Club program is a great opportunity for technology professionals in Cincinnati to use their technology expertise to inspire the next generation of technology innovators and leaders! Please contact Carla by email ( or by phone (614.583-9211) to get more information.

If you know that you want to get engaged with our upcoming TECHie Club ... then we need you to take a moment to register as a Tech Corps volunteer.

Where Are They Now? BDPA Washington DC Chapter Presidents

BDPA Washington DC chapter was founded in May 1978 by Norman Mays. This was a significant event in BDPA history as it moved the organization from a local phenomenon in Philadelphia to a 'national' movement.

Our Washington DC chapter hosted national BDPA technology conferences in 1979 ('The Role of the Black Technical Organization), 1980 ('A New Era of Minority Involvement in Data Processing'), 1990 ('Education and Technology Bonding for Excellence'), 2000 ('Taking IT to the Net: From High-Tops to High-Tech') and 2007 ('Global Strategy for the IT Professional').

BDPA Washington DC won the national high school computer competition (HSCC) championship in 1986 and 1990. Sadly, our historical archives are not complete, so we do not know the names of the young people that won those two championships.

Here are some HSCC alumni from our Washington DC chapter who shared their testimonials with us: Stephanie Lampkin (2000), Janeen Thomas (2003) and Tarik Massac (2006-2008).

We would love to make a connection with other HSCC alumni from our Washington DC chapter. Where are they now?

It surprised me to learn that BDPA Washington DC chapter has never won 'Chapter of the Year' honors. Perhaps current chapter president Perry Carter can bring that honor to our nation's capital this year?

A number of past BDPA Washington DC chapter presidents have served important roles at the national level. Norman Mays was our second national president. Dr. Jesse Bemley invented both the High School Computer Competition and the BDPA IT Showcase. Margaret 'Midge' Jennings was our first-ever BDPA executive director. It would be great if we could hear from each of the past BDPA Washington DC chapter presidents:

Where Are They Now?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

BDPA IT Showcase: 'Robotics: SCARA, Cartesian and the Elephant Man' (Briana Lee)

Briana Lee is a junior at Columbus South High School. She was a first-time participant in the 10th annual BDPA IT Showcase held August 1-2, 2012 in Baltimore, MD. Briana wants to attend college and become licensed as a psychologist. Her BDPA IT Showcase research topic was, ‘Robotics: SCARA, Cartesian and the Elephant Man’.

Ms. Lee shared in her research information on how robotics plays such a huge role in the technology world. She discussed the history, components, barriers and impact of robotics on our society. She compared SCARA, Cartesian and the Elephant Man robotics prototypes and demonstrated how they were each being used in everyday life to make businesses more efficient.

Ms. Lee is another example of the young people that receive powerful STEM experiences as a result of the work of BDPA on a local, regional and national level. Ms. Lee is the ‘future face of technology’ and she is yet another reason for you to invest in BDPA!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

BDPA IT Showcase: 'Social Media: Let's Get Conn_Ected' (Alilea Fitzgerald)

Alilea Fitzgerald is a junior at Columbus South High School in Columbus, OH. After graduation she wants to pursue a career in forensic science. This is her first year competing in the BDPA IT Showcase. Her research was entitled, ‘Social Media: Let’s Get Conn_Ected’.

Communication right now is the best way to get into people’s heads. Communication has been used by rulers to gain control and power and attention of the readers or listeners. Today we use social media to communicate, control, gossip and grab people’s attention with marketing. People can be anywhere in the world and look at Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and so forth.

Ms. Fitzgerald’s research gave information on how social media works, how it is used in society, its impact and the barriers that confront it in the future. Ms. Fitzgerald is another ‘future face of technology’ brought out into the world by the works of BDPA.

Friday, August 10, 2012

BDPA IT Showcase: 'Green Technology: Environment and Wires' (Wesley Walker)

Wesley Walker is a junior at Groveport Madison HS and Fairfield Career Center in Ohio. He is actively involved with the 10th annual BDPA IT Showcase. He participated on the 2011 BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship team trained by BDPA Columbus chapter. The team earned college scholarships with their 3rd place finish.

His 2012 IT Showcase research focused on ‘Green Technology: Environment and Wires’. Green technology is the use of the alternative resources to get energy. Using these resources is a benefit for the general health of people, the environment of our planet, and it also saves money. The resources used are inexhaustible and have an unlimited amount as opposed to the natural gases we tend to use.

Wesley earned the silver medal in the High School division of the BDPA IT Showcase with this research. He was presented to the National BDPA body as one of the ‘future faces of technology’ during the 2012 BDPA Awards Gala.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Message from Columbus Chapter President

Deborah Smedley
Good Evening Everyone,

I would first like to update you on the results of the National BDPA Technology Conference that took place in Baltimore, Maryland August 1-4, 2012.

CONGRATULATIONS to our IT Showcase Students!!!!! BDPA Columbus student member Wesley Walker (Groveport Madison High School and Fairfield Career Center) came in 2nd Place in the High School division of the IT Showcase Category! Wesley's research topic was: Green Technology: Environment and Wire.

The team of students that we sent to compete in the 2012 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship came in 16th place out of 45 eligible chapters! They worked very hard but had some difficulties connecting the front end application with the back-end database. I commend them for their efforts and know we will get there next year.

Although our Graphic Design was not selected, I commend Ariel Collins for doing a fabulous on the Graphic. Great Job!. We will have T-Shirts with the Graphic available soon.

I also want to thank all of you for making this happen. I want to provide great thanks to the judges for the local competition. Specifically, Donna Schaffer (Kaplan College), Lori Crews (JPMorgan Chase), Branndon Kelley (AMP) and Kellie Collins (State of Ohio). Thank you all for your support, guidance and time. I am sure the students and parents also appreciated your feedback.

I want to thank those who donated prizes to the competition for both our High School and Middle Students. Specifically, Chester Robinson (Nationwide Insurance), Branndon Kelley (AMP), Karen Williams (JPMorgan Chase), Lori Crews (JPMorgan Chase), Stephanie Bridges, Donna Schaffer (Kaplan College), Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; Kellie Collins (State of Ohio) and the BDPA Columbus Chapter for your donations and support for our young people.

I want to thank Amy Hall and the rest of the DeVry University Team who supported our organization and allowed our student programs to continue on their campus throughout the year. I want to also thank Donna Schaffer and the Kaplan College Team for allowing our organization to not only hold classes at their campus but provide us the flexibility to hold meetings and Information Exchanges there.

I want to thank our instructors, who worked tirelessly to create a curriculum and teach alongside their full-time jobs, family and overall busy schedules. Specifically, Harshal Patel, Application Development (.NET); Chester Robinson, Database Skills, Graphic Design; Craig Collins, Virtual Reality, Video Game Maker; Andrea Avant, Etiquette and to Jessica Tucker for providing assistance throughout the program and even transporting students.

I want to thank our volunteers, who worked very hard for the Chapter with their limited time schedules. Specifically, Jessica Tucker, Jeff Daniels, Kelly Collins and Courtney Crews. This shout out goes to volunteers I did not mention (I apologize but you are appreciated).

Craig Collins
I want to thank Craig Collins (Student Programs Director) for working with the students throughout the National Competition, keeping things organized and making sure they were up and ready to go on time. This was not an easy task.

A GREAT BIG SPECIAL THANK YOU goes to JPMorgan Chase, who came through and financed our entire trip and experience at the National Conference. We were able to take eight (8) students and two Adults. This is awesome!! Caress Pendleton was the catalyst for getting JPMorgan Chase to continue to support our Chapter. BIG THANKS TO YOU!!! Thank you Karen Smith (JPMorgan Chase) for also supporting this effort.

We will begin our strategic planning for 2013 in September. Our 2013 Student Programs will begin in January. We have lots of work to do. In 2013, we would like to compete in all areas:
  1. Take an HSCC Team of 5 students
  2. Take an IT Showcase Team of 5 students
  3. Take 3 students to the Youth Technology Camp
We need the help of everyone in the BDPA Columbus chapter to make this happen.

Look for more correspondences from me on the progress and status of BDPA Columbus. If you don't know about BDPA better ask somebody!!!!

Thanks so much!!
Deborah E. Smedley, President
BDPA Columbus

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Christie Thornton Reflects on Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students

Christie Thornton was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Charlotte chapter to compete in the 2006 national HSCC championship. Christie learned about the Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students while she was gaining her STEM experiences with BDPA. She became one of the first recipients of that college scholarship funded by Bank of America. She used the scholarship to further her education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

We asked Christie to reflect on the impact that the scholarship had on the direction of her college and professional career. Here is what she had to say:

My name is Christie Thornton and I won the Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students back in 2006. The BDPA High School program was my first exposure to Information Technology. After participating in the program and winning the scholarship, I went on to UNC Charlotte to pursue Graphic Design degree. However, after a semester of studying Art, I decided to also begin my studies in IT with a minor in Computer Science.

That minor in Computer Science turned out to be one of the best decisions I made during my Undergraduate studies. I became a teacher's assistant for a programming class, participated in Undergraduate Research, and joined a technology focused community outreach program. I was even afforded the opportunity to attend a Grace Hopper Conference!

I am currently a Catalog Specialist with Lowe's (Home Improvement). I started off developing digital catalogs for in-store ordering, and am transitioning to a role as a Services Platform Specialist. Had it not been for that initial exposure to IT through the BDPA, I do not believe I would have ever discovered all of the opportunities provided by Computer Technology.

I strongly urge Bank of America to continue your support of BDPA High School students! We are students with great promise, who will use our education as an opportunity to learn and grow into the IT workforce that America needs.

Christie Thornton

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is hopeful that Bank of America will consider funding these college scholarships for exceptional BDPA student members in 2013. If not, we hope that other corporations or entrepreneurs will consider working with us to significantly increase the quantity of college scholarships that we provide to young people interested in careers within the IT industry.

You've heard Christie's story. What say u?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fundraising Tip: How to Raise Money on Facebook

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) first joined Facebook back in May 2008We have discussed Facebook in one way or another quite often via this blog.   However, we have never been able to raise any serious money on Facebook.  Has your nonprofit organization or local BDPA chapter had success raising money on Facebook?

I think that the following fundraising tip may be a helpful reminder to all of us nonprofit advocates who still think that Facebook is for kids.

Create and Tap Your Social Network

If you've been avoiding getting your organization involved in Facebook, here are three good reasons to rethink that decision:
  1. Facebook has an audience of 800 million and growing, making it equivalent to the population of the world's third-largest country.
  2. Meet them where they're at: it is extremely likely that a considerable amount of your wired network is already engaged on the platform.
  3. More and more donations are happening online.
Here are a few guidelines for getting started with Facebook:

First, create a "Page" for your organization -- this is similar to a personal profile. It allows members to become a "friend" of your nonprofit, allowing them to subscribe to your updates and engage in dialogue with you and other supporters. To set up your Facebook Page, visit The BDPA Foundation Facebook Page is up & running.

Second, create a Facebook Group: If you are interested in sending direct messages to the in-boxes of your supporters (and you have fewer than 5,000 followers), setting up a group is the way to go. Without a group, you are limited to posting status updates and having your supporters read them via their Facebook News Feed. To set up your group, visit The National BDPA Facebook Group is up & running.

Once you are established on Facebook and your supporters are accustomed to communicating with you through this platform, it is time to start raising money. "Causes" is a tool (application) built for Facebook that allows you to fundraise within the Facebook network. Although it's difficult to build a community within Causes, it's worth exploring as a fundraising supplement to your Page or Group. Get a better feel for this tool at

Once you are set up on Facebook, a great tip for integrating fundraising activities is to use the platform generously and frequently to express thanks for member contributions -- public recognition helps spread loyalty and reinforces generous support.

The BDPA Foundation is already a beneficiary on 'Causes'.  We would love to work with any interested local chapter to set-up a 'Cause' to raise funds specifically for its programs and services at the local level. BDPA Charlotte and BDPA Los Angeles have both dipped their toes into the Facebook 'Causes' effort.

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?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sherman-Standard Register Foundation

Standard Register has been active in giving back to the communities in which they serve (through charitable contributions, volunteer involvement and other giving programs) since their inception in 1912. Today, the company actively supports many community programs through their Community Contributions Council and the Sherman Standard Register Foundation.

The Community Contributions Council is comprised of a group of Standard Register associates who meet monthly to review requests from 501(c)(3) organizations. The mission of the council is to support non-profit health and human services organizations that focus on the needs of children and youth at risk, emphasizing help for those with an economically or socially disadvantaged background.

Requests must be submitted in writing to:

The Community Contributions Council
600 Albany Street
Dayton, OH 45408

The Sherman Standard Register Foundation was established in 1957 to support worthy causes in those communities where the company has a significant presence. The foundation promotes or aids charitable programs, institutions and activities with particular emphasis on those serving children, youth and disadvantaged persons in connection with education and social service needs.

In addition to these two groups, many Standard Register associates, in locations throughout the United States, are involved in volunteering their time to various causes in their local communities.

Standard Register is proud of its employees who give generously of their time and energy to support various organizations working to improve the quality of life in their hometowns.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Reflections on 2012 BDPA Technology Conference

National BDPA president Monique Berry adjourned the 34th annual BDPA Technology Conference last night. It was a truly remarkable 4-day gathering of information technology thought leaders from all over the nation. Here are some comments for those who were there in person.
  1. Monique Berry (National BDPA president) -
    "Congratulations to all of our winners as well as every child that participated in the Youth Technology Camp and the High School Computer Competition. I'm very proud of each and every one of you."
  2. Goldie Bonney (BDPA New Jersey chapter president) -
    "Had a GREAT time with my BDPA family at the conference. Shout out to all other chapter presidents who continue to do big things in their respective chapters. Congratulations to Renetta English on her Chapter of the Year win again for NY! See you all next year in DC!"
  3. Perry Carter (BDPA Washington DC chapter president) -
    Congratulations BDPA Atlanta (2012 HSCC World Champions) and BDPA New York (2012 Chapter of the Year) for this year's accomplishments and for upholding the highest standards in community involvement and philanthropy in direct support of America's STEM initiatives! We hope to see greater achievements in Washington DC next year.
  4. Dr. Curtis Charles (Fayetteville State University senior associate vice chancellor) -
    "I will like to express my sincere thanks to Perry Carter and the BDPA Leadership for allowing me the opportunity to participate in the BDPA HBCU STEM panel. Fayetteville State University and the Center for Defense and Homeland Security look forward to a long and lasting relationship with all BDPA Chapters. Please feel free to call upon me at anytime."
  5. Yvette Graham (National BDPA past president) -
    "Just arrived back home in Chicago (Oak Park) from Baltimore Maryland where I attended one of the best conferences for NBDPA. Congrats to all winners (Sponsors, Members, and Students). A special shout out to the HSCC Team from the BDPA Atlanta Chapter for being the first team ever to receive a perfect score!!! Thanks to the NBDPA Leadership Team and the National Conference Team for a JOB WELL DONE!!!"
  6. Wayne Hicks (BETF executive director) -
    "I just had a great time introducing over 100 young people who are the future face of technology at the Opening Ceremony of the 34th BDPA Technology Conference in Baltimore, MD. I can't begin to tell you how remarkable it was to see these bright young faces as they were being recognized by BDPA sponsors, leaders, volunteers and members. BDPA is such a truly remarkable organization. Another highlight of the event was the fact that we raised over $6,000 in about 10 minutes to increase the amount of college scholarships that we will give out to high-performing HSCC students. BDPA is truly 'Making Moves' and I'm grateful to be part of it."
  7. Cedrick Moore (National BDPA career development director) -
    "I just returned from the 2012 BDPA Technology Conference in Baltimore, MD. I just want to let you know that the jobs recovery is REAL. Not since the early 2000's have I seen employers so anxious in seeking jobs candidates. Here are a few that truly demonstrated to me they are ready to hire today: GE, JP Morgan Chase, State Farm, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Johnson & Johnson, WellPoint, Wells Fargo, etc. Not minor players here.

    The funny thing is, I was consistently being told that YOU (minority I.T. professionals) DO NOT EXIST or in other words, you are hard to find and hire. They were certainly looking for YOU so....

    What do you think? Comments?"
  8. Sharrarne Morton (Morton Media president) -
    "Just witnessed a room full of remarkable young scientists, engineers, mathematicians and technologists win thousands of dollars in scholarships at the BDPA National Conference in Baltimore, Md. Where were the TV cameras? There are brilliant young people doing spectacular things to ensure a brighter future for all of us. Congratulations to them all! We will see you at next year's conference in DC!!"
  9. Stacy Stewart (BDPA Dallas chapter president) -
    "Hello BDPA family, I'm currently in the air returning from the 34th annual National BDPA Technology Conference that was held in Baltimore and I must say this was an exhilarating experience, from the opening ceremony to the formal gala held on the last day of the conference. The professional sessions, dignitaries reception and networking with other BDPA members across the nation was exceptional. Teams from seventeen chapters competed in the High School Computer Competition in which the Atlanta chapter won thousands of dollars in scholarship monies and received high-end HP laptop computers. The Youth Technology Camp produced and edited videos this year with one of our Dallas students on a winning team.

    Next year our National BDPA Conference will be held in Washington DC on August 14-17. I encourage all of our members to attend! If you have not experienced a National BDPA Conference you don't want to miss this one ... if you have experienced a National BDPA Conference before, then I know you will be there."