Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bemley Scholar Zakaria Ahmed Seeks Medical Training at University of Minnesota

Zakaria Ahmed was a member of the 2011 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship team trained by our Southern Minnesota chapter. He earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship as a result of his efforts on that team. Zakaria Ahmed used that Bemley Scholarship to support his education at the University of Minnesota, Rochester. His major is Health Professions specializing in the respiratory care field. He seeks to become a respiratory therapist on his way to medical school.

We asked Zakaria to share his thoughts on his BDPA experiences:

"I first joined BDPA in 2007 while in the eighth grade. My parents took me to a computer camp full of people on Saturday morning hosted by BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter. I had no idea what was going on and I even wanted to go home at first, but, then I noticed that some of my friends were in the class and decided to give BDPA a chance. From that moment on I was addicted to learning more about building web pages.

During that same year, I was fortunate to be able to go to the national conference which was held in Washington DC. Although I didn’t participate in the competition, I was able to participate in the Youth Technology Camp workshops during the conference. I had fun learning more about programming along with meeting other people from different parts of the United States.

The following year I was determined to be on the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. I did become an alternate to the chapter’s 2008 HSCC team, so I was able to practice with the team which was valuable in my learning. BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter won the 2008 HSCC championships and I was determined to be a regular member of the team in the future.

I didn’t make the HSCC team over the next two years, but, I did see improvements in myself during that time. I was more confident in myself and I was better able to speak in front of an audience, something that wouldn’t have happened without BDPA.

During my senior year in high school, I did make the BDPA Southern Minnesota HSCC team! That year I was assigned to be the web page designer. With the help of my teammates and past HSCC alumni I was able to excel in this role.
Our HSCC team won the 2011 National HSCC championship held in Chicago. It was a record-breaking fifth straight championship for our chapter.

Even though I am in the medical field, I credit BDPA with developing many new skills within myself such as communication, leadership and teamwork. Most importantly, BDPA gave me the confidence to go after what I want in life. I will use all of the skills I learned during my BDPA training to help me be successful in life. If it wasn’t for BDPA I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so grateful to have been part of this organization and I will never forget the memories I have made in BDPA.

Zakaria is one of the many young people impacted by BDPA programs, scholarships and services offered in 46 local chapters around the country. We need your financial support to keep BDPA thriving in these local communities. Won't you consider making a secure online donation today in honor of Zakaria and the other 'future faces of technology' who benefit from BDPA?
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