Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Believe in Ohio: 'Mentoring Matters ... Alisa's Story'

I am a student at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio and became aware of a mentoring program there through the Black American Council. My mentor has helped me both professionally and personally. He ensured that I stayed on track with all of my math courses to achieve my Associate Degree.

My mentor also introduced me to the National Technical Association (NTA), the nation’s oldest professional organization supporting minorities in engineering and technology. Through NTA I am deeply involved with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and participate in robotics competitions, STEM presentations along with other activities that help prepare me for science careers. With the help of my mentor, by engaging in the programs that my mentor helps provide, I’ve grown a great deal in STEM knowledge and experience.

Importantly, my mentor inspires me by the way he gives back to the community. One day, thanks to the example that my mentor shows through his support, dedication and passion, I will mentor other students so they can also follow the path of a great journey to success.

Alisa Smith, Computer Network Technology Student
Cuyahoga Community College
Cleveland, Ohio

Alisa’s story is why we need mentors. The Urban STEM Mentoring Network is designed to assist high school students for only 1 hour per month. Click on http://www.believeinohio.org/mentor-signup/ to assist the Alisa’s in our community.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kunle Roberts Reflects on Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students

Kunle Roberts
Kunle Roberts was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) teams trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota in 2006-2008. He was part of two national HSCC championship teams (2007-2008) and the other team took home a silver medal (2006).

Kunle earned many scholarships for his efforts within BDPA including the Jesse Bemley Scholarship issued by the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF).   Kunle learned about the Bank of America Scholarship for BDPA Students while he was gaining his STEM experiences with BDPA. He became one of the first recipients of that college scholarship funded by Bank of America.  He used the scholarship to further his education at Rice University.

We asked Kunle to reflect on the impact that the scholarship had on the direction of his college and professional career. Here is what he had to say:

"My experience in BDPA was instrumental in my development as a young adult. The organization, from the local to the national level, has supported me throughout my entire high school and college career. I am very thankful for this great organization and all that they have accomplished to enrich the youth of today. By collaborating with Bank of America, they have found yet another way to provide support and recognition to individuals like myself. As higher education gets more and more expensive, scholarships such as the Bank of America scholarship are an absolute blessing and a motivation to continue to succeed. I ask that you continue your partnership with BDPA to truly enrich the lives of students and provide them with additional support to reach their goals. I am extremely grateful for what I received from Bank of America and BDPA, and I really hope that others get the same chance to benefit."

BETF is hopeful that Bank of America will consider renewing its funding of these college scholarships for exceptional BDPA student members in 2016. 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 Kunle's story. What say u?

Sunday, September 27, 2015

BDPA iRadio Show: September 22, 2015 (Adrian Ables, Haron Arama)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) is very proud to be the creator of the BDPA iRadio Show. You can listen to the archive version of the show using the widget shown in the right-hand sidebar of this blog. FREE download from the iTunes Store is also available for our listeners!

Check Out Technology Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with BDPA on BlogTalkRadio

The guest on the September 22nd show:

Adrian Ables
Adrian Ables - college student, Depauw University - Adrian Ables is a senior at DePauw University.  He won the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship for BDPA Students. Adrian was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He has lived with his family in Oklahoma for most of his life. His passion has always been soccer ever since he was a little kid. He loves reaching out to his community and teaching kids how to play soccer. He teaches young people that they need to work hard on and off the field. Adrian is the captain of the soccer team at DePauw University. Adrian drove to Cincinnati earlier this summer to participate in the BDPA Midwest Regional IT Showcase. He competed in the 13th annual BDPA IT Showcase in Washington DC last month. His topic focused on social media and how it can positively impact the workplace infrastructure, communication, and environment. Our BDPA iRadio Show listeners would like to hear about Adrian's experience at the BDPA conference and how he plans to use his JnJ college scholarship funding.

Haron Arama
Hank Arama - High School Computer Competition Alumni, BDPA Southern Minnesota - Haron Arama is a senior at John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minnesota. He was part of the team trained by BDPA Southern Minnesota to participate in the 2015 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship held in Washington DC. His team came in 4th place and earned him a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship. Our audience will be interested in learning more about the training that Haron was part of in Rochester as well as his experiences during the week of the conference.

We hope you enjoy the insights and commentary on the show from each of these guests. Please take a moment to post a comment to let us know that you care!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Message from BDPA Indianapolis Chapter President

Terry Morris
This year the National BDPA organization celebrated 40 years in Washington, D.C. at our annual technology conference. Over this period, BDPA has been leveraging local chapters across the country to support the professional development of their respective memberships, engage the youth of their community in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math) activities, and promote minority interest and exposure to innovative technologies. BDPA Indianapolis is checking all of these boxes and creating others.

One of the primary areas of focus for BDPA Indianapolis has been our youth engagement. Last year our leadership team focused on creating a vision to “empower our youth in a high tech world”.

This year we have made bold steps to realize this vision as seen through our HSCC Accelerator, the HSCC competition team, and the IT Showcase student sponsorship. Each of these examples are discussed in more depth throughout this newsletter. We are currently working with Eli Lilly and the IUPUI School of Informatics to develop and implement a program for elementary age students at the Joyce Kilmer Academy.

As it related to our professional development agenda, we have been having a banner year with great content and excellent attendance. We have continued our focus on SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud). Part of our Professional Development strategy is showcasing great technology firms in the Indianapolis area. So far we have visited the likes of Interactive Intelligence, IBM, and Eli Lilly. We have two remaining sessions planned this year where we intend to visit Allegient and Apparatus. They will be discussing “Analytics” and the “Internet of Things (IoT)” respectively.

In addition to our core program delivery, we have had a record number of members (80+) and our local chapter financial sponsorship support has doubled this year.

In short, BDPA Indianapolis is on the move. We are aggressively seeking to make a difference in our community and deliver outcomes for Indianapolis youth and our professionals.

Terry Morris, president
BDPA Indianapolis Chapter

Friday, September 25, 2015

Gabrielle Taylor Uses Her JnJ Scholarship to Study Computer Science at Tuskegee University

Gabrielle Taylor
Johnson and Johnson announced eight (8) winners of the scholarship offered to BDPA Students. One of the winners is Gabrielle Rochelle Taylor. Gabrielle is a member of our BDPA Greater Birmingham chapter. She is a sophomore at Tuskegee University where she is pursuing a Masters in Computer Science. Gabrielle is passionate about Tuskegee University and has devoted her time and effort to help make Tuskegee an even better place. During her freshman year, Gabrielle was the Executive Secretary of the Tuskegee Events Committee, participated on the Tuskegee Treasury Committee, organized campus events, and served as campaign manager on two successful campaigns. She is a member of the Tuskegee Honors Program and the Tuskegee Leadership Program while serving on several active committees.

During the summer of 2015 Gabrielle had the opportunity to serve as a Lead Mentor in the National Society of Black Engineers' SEEK Program. In this program she mentored third grade students and taught them about engineering by having them construct toys using engineering concepts.
Gabrielle wrote, "BDPA has impacted my life and future career by allowing me to be a part of this dynamic organization and providing me with scholarships. BDPA as an international organization has many connections and developmental opportunities that will help to advance my career aspirations. I believe that BDPA will continue to provide me with wonderful programs to increase my knowledge and skills in Computer Science."
Gabrielle will become a software engineer and write software that aid in the development of Artificial Intelligence. She enjoys speaking Spanish and plans to pursue her dream of missionary work in Latin America. As a result of her passion for learning other languages, she plans to develop a deciphering program which will make translating more accessible and simple. Gabrielle knows that her passion for Computer Science will grant her opportunities to help others and make their lives better. She is eager to see where Computer Science will take her and how she will make a difference.
"BDPA offers education, mentoring, support, and networking opportunities to tech savvy students like myself. I plan to take advantage of every opportunity because I know that each one will allow me to refine my skills with different technologies," said Gabrielle. "With the help of BDPA I know that one day I will be able to successfully develop technical solutions that will help many people."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

I AM Going to College Too! Film

Overview of film:

I AM Going to College Too!

I have long envisioned creating an infrastructure that helps in preparing all that want to attend college or get information on college the opportunity to do so.  I created the film to show that the audience for attending college is not just the typical high school seniors and juniors, but rather anyone.  The audience for college can be high school students, parents, dropouts, GED graduates, both traditional (18-24) and nontraditional students (25-and over), special needs (handicap, hearing impaired, learning disabilities, etc), individuals with felons, and senior citizens. 
It hurts seeing so many students whom have the potential to attend college, not do so due to lack of information or knowledge.  My goal is a platform to help boost college preparation for anyone seeking to attend college.  A mind is a terrible thing to waste and everyone should feel they have the ability to learn and become whoever they want to be.  They should not be limited to their circumstances or what others opinions may be of them.  In essence this allows everyone to obtain valuable knowledge.
Click link below to view the film:


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Believe in Ohio: 'Creating Creators'

Management consulting guru, Peter Drucker, famously said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.

What if I told you that you could be an enabler who helps “create creators”? Would you be interested? STEM careers and entrepreneurship create jobs, create economies, and create the future.

That’s why we are looking for 100 mentors in the next 100 days to be a part of the Urban STEM Mentoring Network. Our mission is to find mentors to guide urban students to be “creators” and not just consumers.

We have students waiting for you.

Urban youth are consumers – consumers of products, consumers of fashion, consumers of the idea that they may be limited by their environment and situation. The Urban STEM Mentoring Network was started to help broaden that perspective.

I need STEM professionals and entrepreneurs, like you, to help make a change. The next Grace Hopper (invented COBOL programming language), John Thompson (not the basketball coach, but the Microsoft Chairman), Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg, could be waiting for you in Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo and Cincinnati to help them become creators.

In as little as 1 hour per month, you can support a motivated student along the path of job creation. Your task will be to simply coach a young person through a scripted process – the Roadmap to Future Jobs & Prosperity - to prepare them to compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash awards and scholarships.

Yes, this can be done in about 1 hour per month.

The Believe in Ohio Urban STEM Mentoring Network Team is ready to assist you to be the one to help “create creators” in our urban centers.

Click on www.believeinohio.org/mentor-signup/ to get the process started today!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Message from the BDPA Cincinnati Chapter President

Dalric Webb
Greetings BDPA!

Our HSCC Team, Team CHAOS (Cincinnati Holds All Opposition Speechless), went toe-to-toe with 16 other chapter HSCC teams at the 37th Annual National BDPA Conference in Washington DC last month. Under the leadership of Frank Hill, Deborah Prince, and Jared Torrence, the team was well positioned to place and bring home winnings again this year. Regrettably, we didn’t place, however, the team learned a ton along the way and each of the student members are already committed to returning to compete at the 38th annual National BDPA Technology Conference which will be held in Atlanta, GA on August 10-13, 2016. I suspect the team will not settle for anything less than a top place in 2016!

Additional technology professionals are welcomed to lend a hand in preparing the students for greater success next year. Please reach out to our VP Member Services, Karen Lipscomb, to see how you can participate and get engaged with helping local Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky students achieve their dreams of being WINNERS IN STEM!

As part of our preparation for another run at the top positions in 2016, we will take an evening on October 24, 2015 to recognize ALL the students and parents who committed themselves to 16 weeks of every Saturday training sessions teaching students about STEM-related topics, professional development, and life skills. Please show your support in not only your attendance, but your financial support in buying tickets for yourself and others to attend and give our hard working students some well-deserved recognition and support. We often TALK about what we want of this younger generation – I’m asking that you DO SOMETHING about these young folks who are living up to our high expectations. I look forward to seeing you there!

And let’s not forget about our upcoming monthly program meeting on September 15th, at our usual location on the beautiful campus of Brown Mackie University! This month we will have the pleasure of having Russell McMahon, Associate Professor of IT at the University of Cincinnati, sharing with us deep knowledge on The Challenges of IT in Sub-Saharan Africa. This will be another engaging and informative session you do not want to miss! Register today as these events are expected to sell out.

Lastly, how are you feeling about your membership? Did you know the Cincinnati Chapter is the largest chapter in the Nation out of 47 chapters? Do you know why the Cincinnati Chapter is the largest chapter? Have you been to a program meeting this year? Have you attended any of the social functions the chapter has put on for your engagement? Do you know 3 or more members of the board who are working to bring value to you for your membership? If most of the answers to these questions is “no”, I’d recommend getting more engaged with your Cincinnati Chapter!

The chapter team is doing great things to make a difference and YOU are a part of that effort. Come out to a program meeting. Meet the students who represent YOU at the National conference on October 24th. You will be pleasantly surprised by what YOUR chapter is doing and the difference the team is making in the lives of not only students, but adult professionals as well. Oh, and when you come to the program meeting, BE SURE TO BRING YOUR RESUME! There are always two or more recruiters in the room ACTIVELY seeking candidates for employment. Attending a program meeting could be just the game changing activity you have been looking for!

As always, I solicit your support of YOUR BDPA Cincinnati Chapter. We are a strong team of volunteers, but we can always use more hands to make lighter the load. There are a few more openings on the board, won’t you consider filling one? The time commitment is ~5 hours a month to help improve the number of minorities in the STEM fields “from the classroom to the boardroom”. Will you consider applying your skills, professionalism, and sense of community to the task of strengthening the digital thought Process Leaders of tomorrow through the BDPA organization? Visit our chapter website at www.bdpa.org/group/ci. and let me know which opportunity best fits your passion.

Looking forward to seeing you at one of our upcoming events,

Dalric Webb, President
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Grant Recipient * BDPA Los Angeles ($6,000)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) awarded BDPA Los Angeles with a $6,000 grant in support of its 2015 Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship program.   The funds paid for 2015 BDPA Conference registration, lodging, airfare, incidentals for Youth Technology Students, expenses for chaperones, classroom instruction and college scholarships.
BDPA Los Angeles Computer Camp Students
 BETF seeks to provide funding for National BDPA and its 47 local chapters.   We encourage you to support our BDPA Los Angeles chapter by making a secure online contribution.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

NCWIT Seeks High School Girls for Aspirations in Computing Award

The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. BDPA Cincinnati student member Hadiya Harrigan won this national award in 2014.  This multi-tiered competition includes recognition at the national level (sponsored by Bank of America) and at the local level (sponsored by Microsoft).

Criteria and Eligibility

BDPAer Hadiya Harrigan won in 2014
Any U.S. high school woman with computing aspirations is eligible and encouraged to apply: NCWIT recognizes aspirations as well as accomplishments. Aspirations Award recipients are chosen for their outstanding aptitude and interest in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post-secondary education. For more detailed information, please visit www.aspirations.org/faqs.


Each award recipient receives recognition at an award event, scholarship and internship opportunities, access to a peer network of technical young women in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community (sponsored by Bloomberg), and various other prizes — computing resources, gadgets, sponsor swag, engraved awards and certificates, and more. Additionally, National Award recipients receive:
  • $500 in cash
  • a laptop computer
  • a trip to attend the Bank of America Technology Showcase and Awards Ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina on March 6, 2016
  • networking opportunities with Bank of America employees
Students can apply online at http://bit.ly/AiCHSAward no later than 8:00 p.m. EST on October 26, 2015.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Things You Can Do to Leave a Legacy...

Legacies are a major source of income for many nonprofits. The BDPA Education & Technology Foundation (BETF) would love for BDPA leaders, founders and members to mention us in their will.

Here are things we want you to consider:
Prepare a will. Only 40% of those who pass away have one. Without a will, you may lose control over your personal possessions.

  • Leave a gift in your will for BETF or any other non-profit organizations that make a difference in your life. Americans are generous - 70% of us give to charity each year. Surprisingly, less than 6% of persons in American households have included non-profits in an estate plan. Imagine the positive impact on our community if everyone made a donation to their favorite nonprofits!
  • Leave a specific dollar amount or a percentage of the assets in your will to the non-profits of your choice.
  • Consider using appreciated assets to fund current charitable gifts and planned gifts. These include, but are not limited to stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, real estate, vehicles, art and jewelry. Such gifts may even provide tax savings. Contact a professional advisor for advice.
  • Name BETF as the beneficiary of your pension plan, IRA, retirement plan. Doing so can avoid estate and income taxes (up to 70%) that might otherwise be due on your plan. Be sure to seek the advice of an attorney or accountant when designating a charity as partial beneficiary of a retirement account.
  • Name BETF (or your favorite non-profit) as the owner or beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy.
  • Call BETF about supporting special BDPA chapter funds, Bemley Scholarship fund or the brand-new SITES Endowment Fund.
  • Remember loved ones with memorial gifts.
  • Encourage family and friends to leave gifts to BETF, or their favorite non-profit, in their will.
  • Ask your financial advisor to include charitable giving as part of counsel to clients.

BETF would be honored to work with you on ways that your legacy can be used. We want to leverage your donation to make a difference in the lives of young people seeking to advance their careers in the IT industry from the classroom to the boardroom. Gifts left to BETF don't have to be big to be helpful. Many of you may be saying that you don't really have 'an estate'. But, if you leave $500, $1,000 or $2,500 to BETF, it can really help. ... A lot of people get caught up in the large numbers, but leaving $1,000 to the BETF can be a big help. Learn more from the folks at the Leave a Legacy organization.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Believe in Ohio: You are the Perfect Mentor

Let’s get right to the point. You are the perfect mentor if…
  • You are able to provide encouragement.
  • You believe in supporting the dreams of African American and Latino students.
  • You have just 1 hour per month to coach a student to pursue hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash awards and scholarships.
The point is - I need you to be a part of the Urban STEM Mentoring Networking Program. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

The 20th century, often called the “American Industrial Century”, was a time when Ohio and other states comprised the world’s preeminent economic force. The 21st century can be called the “Global Innovation Century”. Today, facing unprecedented world competition, Ohio cannot reach its economic goals without contributions from many more Ohioans, including underserved, urban populations.

To build a more competitive, resilient and prosperous economy, Ohio must begin to intentionally connect African Americans and Latinos in urban areas to the state’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-driven, Innovation Economy. The Believe in Ohio program does just that.

Believe in Ohio provides urban students deep exposure to STEM disciplines, uniquely enhanced with entrepreneurship tools. To ensure broad participation in the program, Believe in Ohio has adopted Inclusive Competitiveness – an interdisciplinary framework to improve the performance of underrepresented Ohioans in the Innovation Economy – to help urban students become more successful STEM education competitors and economic contributors.

Young people in urban centers need to know that the true path to success is to fill the dual pipelines of productivity – becoming “intrapreneurial” employees and job creating entrepreneurs in next generation industries. These industries are largely in STEM areas that represent our state’s present and future economic promise.

That’s why Believe in Ohio created the Urban STEM Mentoring Network . . . and we need your help this school year!

Believe in Ohio needs STEM and business professionals and entrepreneurs, like you, to show the way. In as little as 1 hour per month, you can support a motivated student along the path of this new century economy. Your task will be to simply coach a young person through a scripted process – the Roadmap to Future Jobs & Prosperity - to prepare them to compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash awards and scholarships. Yes, this can be done in about 1 hour per month.

The Believe in Ohio Urban STEM Mentor Network Support Team is ready to assist you to be the one to make an impact on our urban youth.

Click on http://www.believeinohio.org/mentor-signup/ to get the process started today!