Friday, October 9, 2015

Anthony Coleman Uses BDPA Scholarships to Attend Midlands Technical College

Anthony Coleman
Anthony Coleman capped off his BDPA experience in high school by winning two scholarships -- Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship and the Human Capital Logistics Scholarship. He will use the scholarships to help fund his Computer Technology degree at Midlands Technical College and Winthrop University.

Anthony grew up in a military family. Both his father and grandfather served in the Armed Forces for over 20 years. Anthony was born in Richmond, Virginia, however he has lived in five different states, including Alaska. The constant movement that comes with being a 'military brat' was stressful at times, however, it allowed Anthony to become an adaptive and resilient person.

Anthony graduated from Dutch Fork High School where he was actively involved in numerous extracurricular activities, such as the Beta Club, Future Business Leaders of America, and Distributive Education Clubs of America. He also graduated from the Youth Corps leadership program, and was the team captain of the BDPA Greater Columbia High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from 2012-2014. He capped his BDPA experience on the HSCC team by taking home the silver medal at the 2014 National HSCC Championship held in Indianapolis, IN.

He spent his first year of college studying Computer Information Systems at Winthrop University.  He is currently attending Midlands Technical College this fall to continue to work towards his career aspiration of becoming employed as a Computer Programmer. He plans to return to Winthrop complete his college education.

Anthony shared his testimonial on being part of the BDPA Student Information Technology Education & Scholarship (SITES) program:

After being a part of BDPA for 5 years, I can definitely say that BDPA has helped steer me in the direction of studying Computer Science in college. Before joining BDPA, I had already developed an interest in working with computers. However, I did not have an outlet to further explore my interest and develop skills in the field. When my mom first introduced me to BDPA, I was intrigued because I would be able to do something that I enjoyed while being with my friends from school. As time passed, my friends lost interest in the program due to the early meeting times on weekends. Nevertheless, I stayed with it as my passion for Computer Science and Web Design grew.

By the end of the year, I was a part of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team. After my first competition, my team finished in the lower half of the standings. I was not discouraged after this result; it only proved that we had room to improve.

At the start of my second year in BDPA, there was a new focus within the chapter. There were new students and instructors, but there was clearly a different mindset. Everyone felt like we could really compete with the top teams. We took this new attitude straight to the HSCC competition in Baltimore. We finished the competition 7th overall. Although this finish might not seem that meaningful, it was huge step up from how we had performed in previous years. We believed that with a few tweaks to our formula we could easily make it into the top five. With this in mind, we trained harder than ever for the next competition in Washington, DC. I was even named captain of the team before heading to DC. On the night of the Gala, we all expected to finish in the top five. Unfortunately, we ended up finishing in the exact same spot as last year. I felt discouraged after such a disappointing result.

2014 BDPA Greater Columbia HSCC Team
Heading into my final year being a part of the HSCC team, I was determined to have my best performance ever. I was not aiming to merely finish in the top five; my goal was to win the competition. We showed up to the competition more focused than ever. Each day of competition our team was like a well-oiled machine. After the last day of competition, I had no doubt that we would have a great finish. At the gala, my teammates were nervous about the results, but I was calm. When we found out that we had finished second, I was elated. All the hard work and training I had endured had finally paid off. It didn’t even bother me that we missed winning by only a couple points. I was content with our success.

Being a part of BDPA helped me in so many ways. I have greatly helped my public speaking skills and taught me how to lead a group of people to common goal. This was a bonus to all the knowledge I would receive in Computer Science that would aid me during my first year of college. I am eternally grateful to my BDPA teachers, teammates, and chapter leaders.

We are very proud of the work that Anthony has put in over the years and we're glad that these college scholarships will help him further his education. Our hope is that those of you reading this message will support the young people being trained in BDPA Greater Columbia.

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