Monday, September 30, 2013

BDPA Philadelphia Chapter SITES Program (2013)

The Student Information Technology Educational Scholarship (SITES) and High School Computer Competition (HSCC) programs are designed to inform and inspire students from the Philadelphia area to pursue careers in Information Technology, while laying a solid foundation for their collegiate and professional careers. The programs have an intensive training curriculum for students in grades 8 through 12, focusing on HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, Databases, Leadership and Communication.

The SITES program in Philadelphia starts in October and runs through August at the downtown campus of DeVry University. Here is a photo of the young people who participated in the 2013 SITES program:
Sitting (L-R): Granford Collins, Daneel Douglas, Kevin Roman
Standing (L-R): Jasmine Beard, Devon Tompkins, Logan Murphy (HSCC Trainer), Norman Morrison, Mohit Panchal

We are proud of the continued growth of the SITES program hosted by our BDPA Philadelphia chapter.  However, we know that we could do more with your support.   Please consider making a secure online donation in support of BDPA programs, scholarships and services!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Week in BDPA (September 29 - October 6, 2013)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

HSCC Testimonial: Nikki Hoffler (BDPA Charlotte, 2008-2012)

Nikki Hoffler
Nikki Hoffler comes from BDPA royalty. Her brother, Christopher, is a multi-year participant in the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships. Her father, John, has served as president of local BDPA chapters in both St. Louis and Greenville. In fact, her father will become a local BDPA president for a record-setting third time in January 2013 when he takes on the role as BDPA Charlotte chapter president.

However, Nikki stands alone with her own personal BDPA legacy ... she has been a 5-time participant in the National BDPA HSCC championships (2008-2012) on teams trained by BDPA Charlotte chapter.

Nikki is entering into her sophomore year at Mount Holyoke College.  She won a 2013 Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students earlier this summer.  We've asked Nikki to share remembrances of her BDPA experiences.

"A few years ago my HSCC team went to a ropes course to do team building exercises. I especially remember the 'Leap of Faith' where each team member would climb to the top of a telephone pole and jump off, knowing that their safety rope was held by the rest of the team. It was amazing to see how our team dynamics transferred seamlessly from coding on a computer to physical trust exercises. We had a great time.

Every year I look forward to doing the Cha Cha Slide with everyone: my teammates, my friendly competitors, and our lovely volunteer chaperones. Once the competition is over and the banquet is done, everyone starts to relax a little. But it still takes a little coaxing to get all the students to dance. Luckily, we have chaperones like Melvin Rogers, Markus Beamer, and Jamesetta James, who are brave enough to take the floor. It amazes the new students every time!

First of all, it was my experience in HSCC and BDPA that made me such a strong candidate for college applications. I applied to many "reach schools" and got into nine out of the ten universities to which I applied, four of which awarded me additional merit-based scholarships.
When I came to Mount Holyoke College, I knew I wanted to be a Computer Science (CS) major and although I consider myself to be an introvert, networking at BDPA conferences gave me the skills to take advantage of the resources I have at college. This year I will be both a writing mentor and a teaching assistant for a CS freshman seminar that is based upon the research I did for the department this summer.

Our hope is that Nikki will consider becoming part of the BDPA IT Showcase in 2014. For now, we wish her nothing but success as she enters her freshman year in college. At the same time, we encourage you to Support BDPA Charlotte HSCC Training with a secure online donation!

Friday, September 27, 2013

BNSF Railway Foundation

The BNSF Railway Foundation is dedicated to supporting the communities they serve and in which their employees live, work, and volunteer. Your organization, or program, should exist in or serve a community near one of BNSF's rail lines to be eligible to apply for grants. Please refer to the BNSF system map to determine whether you are located on a BNSF route.

The Foundation's Grants Review Team meets monthly so that there is no deadline for applying. Please be aware that it could take up to 6 months before a decision is made regarding our request, depending on whether they need additional information, and other factors.

One area of focus for BNSF Railway Foundation is: Civic services including organizations which are concerned with the environment, as well as local community issues such as crime prevention, parks and recreation, diversity and community development.

This is not a perfect fit for BDPA's SITES program ... however, BETF is willing to give it a try if there are interested local chapters.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

BDPA Northern Virginia Provides STEM Training for Young People

The Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program is growing stronger all across the nation. Evidence of this fact can be found in Northern Virginia ... home of our BDPA Northern Virginia chapter. The SITES program is designed to instruct students in technology and build them for success in the future business world.

Here are the young people in the 2013 SITES program in Northern Virginia:

Seated (L-R): Princess Robinson, Michelle Ruiz, Ebony Jones, Beleicia Bullock, and Nnedimma Ugochukwu
Standing (L-R): Kayla Johnson, JaRhonda Roberts and Christal Robinson

BDPA Northern Virginia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. The chapter hasn't been active with programs for adult IT professionals for a couple of years. However, the chapter partners with BDPA Washington DC to provide meaningful STEM-related training to dozens of young people. These students receive a solid foundation for their collegiate and professional careers. These 8th-thru-12th grade students have the opportunity to design, develop, test and present a finished web application. Students are trained to develop solutions to realistic business and industry problems using Java, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML, MySQL Database, Tomcat and CSS. Students also gained essentials skills such as presentation delivery, communication, and teamwork.

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is working hard to provide funding for SITES programs like this one all over the nation.  We need your help ... please make a secure online donation right away!.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Week in BDPA (September 22-28, 2013)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Technology Expresso Cafe: BDPA Atlanta Virtual Membership Meeting (9/17/2013)

BDPA Atlanta chapter uses a technology podcast to connect with its membership. This virtual membership meeting was hosted by Jacqueline Sanders and David Blackman on their Internet radio show, Technology Expresso Cafe. The meeting featured insights from a number of chapter leaders, including the new chapter president Derrick Brown.

The featured guest speaker was Sharnecia Williams (Macy's Systems & Technology):

BDPA Atlanta is the 4th-largest BDPA chapter in the nation ... and one reason for that success is the willingness of the chapter to reach out to IT professionals in a variety of unique formats and platforms.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

VIDEO: Review of 2013 BDPA Technology Conference

35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference was held in Washington DC on August 14-17, 2013. The event marked the largest gathering of IT professionals of color in the nation ... and also included over 50 major corporate sponsors. The 4-day event included an awards gala, career fair, corporate hospitality receptions, IT Showcase, live entertainment, plenary sessions,workshops and a youth technology camp. This video gives a glimpse of the people and activity from this annual conference!

BDPA exists to advance the careers of African Americans in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. There are 46 local BDPA chapters located around the nation. Visit or call (301) 584-3135 to ask questions or discuss further.

Video Credit: Sharrarne Morton (Morton Media) and Steve McMillan (Cape Fear Productions).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tech Expresso Cafe: Monique Berry (National BDPA)

National BDPA president Monique Berry shares her experience being a women in the information technology industry. She also lets the Tech Expresso Cafe podcast audience know about her experience over the last couple of years as the penultimate leader of a major national technology organization. Finally, we find out what's next for Monique Berry.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Capital One Foundation

Capital One Foundation seeks to invest in their communities so that they can relationships among community members – neighbors, small business owners, our associates, and those nonprofit partners who enable Capital One to expand our reach and use their resources for good. In this way, they believe that both the community and their business benefit. Their philanthropy program provides grants to national and local organizations that support education, financial literacy and community development initiatives.

In addition, Capital One builds partnerships with nonprofit organizations with missions that complement these focus areas. By combining their philanthropic dollars with strong, enduring partnerships, they are able to maximize the number of residents they reach and the overall impact they have within a community.

Focusing Our Support: To have the greatest impact, they focus their efforts on:
  1. Education - Capital One provides opportunities for children and youth to access education and enrichment activities that prepare them for successful futures, including: Day care/early childhood education, literacy, after school programs and college access.
  2. Community Development - Capital One strengthens low-income neighborhoods by supporting national and local community development efforts, including: Workforce development, affordable housing and small business development.
  3. Financial Education - Financial education empowers all individuals to make wise financial decisions that protect and enhance their well-being. Capital One provides financial literacy tools and resources, as well as financial support for: Youth financial education and adult financial education
  4. Geographic Focus - Capital One provides funding for these programs in the following locations:
    • National initiatives
    • Louisiana
    • New Jersey
    • New York
    • Texas
    • Virginia
    • Washington, DC
It appears that we have possibility to seek funding for National BDPA's Member Services business area *or* local BDPA chapters in Baton Rouge, New Jersey, New York, No. Virginia, Richmond or Washington DC. Do you have any Capital One employees working with your organization? That would be very helpful.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BDPA History: 1st Annual High School Computer Competition

There have been 28 national High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championships with over 1,000 HSCC alumni from all over the nation since the event was created by Dr. Jesse Bemley in 1986.

Dr. Bemley shared his memory of that first competition with us:
The National BDPA Competition was held at Maynard Jackson High School (formerly known as Southside Comprehensive High School), a magnet school for computer science, in Atlanta at 9:00am, September 20, 1986. The competition was made up of two sessions ... an oral question and answer session and a hands-on programming session. The judges ruled the DC team as the winner of the 1st Annual National BDPA Computer Competition and the announcement was made that night at the dinner dance where the trophies were presented. The team trained by BDPA Washington DC team received a long standing ovation.
My understanding is that only two teams competed in that first year: Atlanta and Washington DCI would love to learn the names of the high school students who competed in 1986. Don't you wonder where they are now?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Where Are They Now: BDPA Dallas Chapter Presidents (1987-2013)

Originally Posted: Sep 2009
Barbara Fuller was BDPA Dallas chapter president in 1990. I haven't talked with her in over a decade. Imagine my pleasure to find her on Facebook the other day! It made me wonder what became of the other brothers and sisters that led the BDPA Dallas chapter since it was founded in 1987.

Can you tell us where they are now?:
  1. B.K. Gamble (1987-1989)
  2. Barbara Fuller (1990)
  3. William Flowers (1991-1993)
  4. Wanda Bynum-Wilson (1994-1995)
  5. Jackie Ockleberry (1996-1999)
  6. Pete Davis (2000-2001)
  7. David Trammell (2002-2003)
  8. D. J. Washington (2004)
  9. Letitia Andrews (2005-2006)
  10. Reginald Andrews (2006)
  11. Kimberly Vaughn (2007-2009)
  12. Chris Johnson (2010-2011)
  13. Stacy Stewart (2012-2013)
I'm hopeful that y'all will reach out to these good brothers and sisters and request that they POST A COMMENT here on this blog. It is like our own private Dallas chapter scavenger hunt.

Where are they now?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Oracle Scholarship Winner: Isoke Cullins (Fordham University)

Oracle and BDPA award annual college scholarships to deserving high school, community college or undergraduate students who study STEM-related curriculum. One of the 2013 Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students winners is Isoke Cullins. Isoke graduated earlier this year from the King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, an alternative high school of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Isoke will use this college scholarship to defray costs for her to attend the Fordham University at Lincoln Center to study visual arts with an architecture concentration. BDPA is proud to recognize Isoke Cullins with the 2013 Oracle Scholarship for BDPA Students!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Message from National BDPA President

Recap: 2013 National BDPA Technology Conference
by Monique Berry (Connect With Monique)

Monique Berry
After a week-long program of Board meetings, leadership training, workshops and conference sessions, the 35th Annual BDPA Technology Conference officially closed August 17th in Washington, DC. Information Technology professionals from varying industries and locations came together to learn, share ideas and build strategic networks.

With just over 500 attendees, BDPA's 2013 Technology Conference, Diversity in the Age of Convergence, provided a relaxed and open setting, allowing attendees to connect on a personal level and openly share professional experiences and challenges, Aside from the educational aspects of the conference, a little fun was to be had as well. Corporate partner MillerCoors provided an array of MillerCoors products at all receptions as well as the movie preview, Kards and Karaoke, spoken word with the Twin Poets, and a late night concert with Avery Sunshine.

On Tuesday night, Washington DC Chapter President, Perry Carter kicked things off by moderating the 2013 Advance Program Briefing to Industry (APBI) Topic of Discussion: Diverse Opportunities and Next Steps for HBCUs in the Age of Convergence. The panel addressed how colleges are proactively developing programs that attract minority students to S.T.E.M fields. Panelist also shared public, private, and academia partnership success stories. Panelist included, Dr. Rajni Goel, Associate. Professor and Computer Science Chair, Howard University; Dr. Daryl Stone, Professor Computer Science, Bowie State University; Michael Bing, Director, Washington DC Minority Business Center; H. Harrison Valentine, President and CEO, HBCU/MI Project Office; and Anthony Waterman, President & CEO, Waterman Engineering.

Roland Martin, the keynote at Wednesday night's opening ceremony, resonated with the entire audience. He said we are competing for our young people's attention with athletes and entertainers. He called BDPA members Superstars and Ballers and to capture the interest of our youth we need to show our Bling. He said that IT professionals are driving luxury cars like BMW's and Mercedes and we should be telling our youth that they can have these things to if complete their education and pursue careers in STEM.

On Thursday night, NCWIT sponsored a reception on Thursday, where Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives at National Center for Woman in Technology spoke to guest about NCWIT and their Aspirations in Computing award opportunities. JP Morgan Chase also hosted an invitation only reception where they highlighted technology and opportunities at Chase.

The Friday night Dignitaries Reception featured a CIO panel moderated by Dr. Julianne Malvauex. Panelist included Michael Braine, SVP, CIO Luxottica Retail & Optical Services; James D. Cook, CIO, Global Operations & Services, General Motors Company; Terry Halvorson, CIO, United States Navy; Garth Marcial, Worldwide VP, IT and CIO at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics and Advanced Sterilization Products; and Addison McGuffin, Vice President, Business Technology Innovation, Health Care Service Corporation.

Read the rest of Monique's conference recap...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ralph M. Parsons Foundation

The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation strives to support and facilitate the work of the region's best nonprofit organizations, recognizing that many of those in need today will go on to shape the future of Southern California, to define it, redefine it, and help it set and achieve new goals.

The first step in the application process is to mail a brief “test letter” to the Vice President. This letter should include a description of the project to be funded, the amount requested from the Foundation, justification for such a request, and background information about the applying organization. The Foundation acknowledges receipt of all requests.

If you are confident that your organization and grant request fits squarely within the Foundation’s guidelines, you may forego the test letter and submit a full proposal. Please structure your request according to the outline for grant format.

Within three months, Foundation staff will inform the organization whether or not the application is qualified for consideration by the Board of Directors. If the application qualifies, more detailed information is requested and a date is set for a meeting or site visit. Unless initiated by a Foundation director, personal communication with individual directors by representatives of applicant organizations is not encouraged.

Once all documentation has been received and the staff has completed its review, full applications are considered in chronological order by the Board of Directors, which reviews grant requests five times per year. While all requests cannot be funded, each qualified application is considered carefully and seriously. Decisions are made based upon the Foundation’s priorities and the amount of money available for distribution.

Letters of inquiry should be submitted to:

Beth Downs, Vice President
The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
888 West Sixth Street, Suite 700
Los Angeles, California 90017
Telephone: 213.362.7600

This funding source is not a clean fit for BDPA. However, we may qualify under their 'SOCIAL IMPACT' focus area.

Also, this funding opportunity only fits with our BDPA programs in Southern California. As such, I encourage BDPA Los Angeles leaders to visit the foundation's website and determine whether or not they want to invest time and effort in submitting a letter of inquiry ('test letter') to the foundation's vice president. If so, BETF is willing to partner with BDPA Los Angeles on this effort.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Top 10 BDPA Chapters (Membership, August 2013)

The lifeblood of any nonprofit association is its membership. As such it is good to note that BDPA membership has grown for the 2nd straight month. In fact, the total membership in BDPA has grown over 9% from this same time last year! Congratulations to National BDPA VP-Membership Management Curtis Jenkins for the work being done within his business area to move membership recruitment and retention in the right direction.

We also want to congratulate the BDPA Chicago chapter for winning the 'Chapter Membership Award' at the 35th annual BDPA Technology Conference last month in Washington DC. Chapter president Pamela Sexton accepts the 'Chapter Membership Award' from BDPA founder Earl Pace as shown in the photo to the right.

Pam Sexton & Earl Pace
We believe in the management maxim -- you get what you measure.  Let us assess the numbers in order to honor those local BDPA chapters who are demonstrating success in their efforts to recruit and retain members. Let's take a look at the ten largest chapters in BDPA-Nation:
  1. Chicago - president, Pamela Sexton
  2. Philadelphia - president, Eileen Gadsden
  3. Washington DC - president, Perry Carter
  4. Atlanta - president, Derrick Brown
  5. Los Angeles - president, John Malonson
  6. Dallas - president, Stacy Stewart
  7. Cincinnati - president, Clarence Larcarte
  8. New York - president, Renetta English
  9. New Jersey - president, Goldie Bonney
  10. Middle Nashville - president, Kendall Norris
These are the same ten chapters who led the nation the past two months in a row. BDPA New York (up 1 spot) made a move towards the top. BDPA New Jersey (down 1 spot) is the only chapter to lose traction in this month's membership ranking.

There is a new chapter in the 'BDPA Century Club'! The benefit of hosting an annual conference are obvious when we see that BDPA Washington DC chapter joined Chicago and Philadelphia as a third member of the 'BDPA Century Club', which means that they each have over 100 members. One of the common denominators for each of these chapters is that they place a high premium on the delivery of quality programs and services to their members. These chapters work hard to ensure that there is a strong return on the $100 investment that each member makes thru annual dues.

What are your thoughts about the value of BDPA membership? What can your local chapter do to improve the value-proposition for you on a personal or professional level?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

This Week in BDPA (September 1-7, 2013)

BDPA offers strong programs in 46 cities around the nation. Are you taking advantage of these programs? Here is a weekly preview of upcoming events gathered from the centralized BDPA calendar :
Please let us know of other BDPA events 
that we may have missed! 
You can always find BDPA programs, services or networking activity online at places such as:
BDPA supports your efforts for career advancement in the IT industry. Our hope is that you find reasons to provide tax-deductible support to our Causes, our HSCC Scholarship Funds or Your Causes! We encourage all BDPA leaders to take advantage of the centralized BDPA Groupsite Calendar to post your upcoming events.