Friday, March 31, 2017

Malik Saafir * 2016 Bemley Scholar (Morehouse College)

Malik Saafir
BDPA Atlanta students earned 1st place in National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) championship held in August 2016. The HSCC competition comprises three components: oral testing, written testing and a programming project. Malik Saafir was a member of that team. He earned a Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship which he used at Morehouse College.

Malik is a seventeen-year-old senior at Georgia Cyber Academy. Outside of school, he is a member of the 100 Scholars Robotics Alliance (100SRA). He works with BDPA and 100SRA to lead teams that compete with other high schoolers from around the state and the country. Malik has been with the 100SRA since since his sophomore year and currently serves as the captain of two FIRST Robotics teams under its umbrella. Malik has been accepted to Morehouse College with a full ride for the fall of 2017, and plans to double major in chemical engineering and computer science. Also, he was recently named valedictorian of his high school's graduating class of 2017.

We asked Malik to provide his thoughts on BDPA and his experiences in the HSCC event:
"The most influential experience I have had so far with the BDPA was the High School Computer Competition season of 2016. The regional and national levels of the High School Computer Competitions (HSCC) took place in June and August of 2016. The HSCC is a web development competition hosted by the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), and it involves teams of students from around the country. Of the seven students on the Atlanta team, only two were champions from the prior season. The rest of us were rookies to the program. Consequently, we had a ton of studying to do over the four months from March until the regional competition in June.

Malik Saafir (2nd-Left) and his Teammates
My team and I needed to internalize web development, computer theory, and history, all while working on our presentation and public speaking skills, so we met every Saturday for approximately four hours. We studied the various programming languages and theories that we would apply, including PHP (PHP Hypertext Preprocessor), HTML (HyperText Markup Language), and SQL (Structured Query Language). With the help and guidance of several dedicated mentors and instructors, we learned everything we needed to know and more.

By June our team was ready for its first competition of the season, the regionals in Raleigh, NC This competition was to determine which Southern teams would continue to compete in the nationals. The competition consisted of a multiple-choice test on computer theory and history, which was eye-opening to our dire need of more practice, and a web development component. The coding section entailed four hours of programming with one laptop, no Wi-Fi, and a prompt detailing the requirements. After those tiring hours of designing and coding, we presented a website with an expansive range of functions, but barely any visual appeal due to time constraints. However, the application’s functional nature, in addition to our presentation, brought the season’s first victory home to Atlanta.

Malik and his teammates are 2016 HSCC Champions!
Following our encouraging win in June, the rest of the summer was spent diligently preparing for August’s week-long conference and national competition. Being the GA team meant we were defending our title as the reigning champions on our own turf. I am proud to say that my teammates and I brought Atlanta its second consecutive national victory. Over 30 teams were present from across the country. Rather than four hours, this contest required each team to huddle around two laptops for eight hours straight. The moment the BDPA president said that the first place team “should feel right at home in Atlanta,” I realized we had won. I felt a sensation of extreme joy and pride in myself and my teammates. There are no words to describe my ecstasy as we received our trophies on the stage. This experience was instrumental in my journey from childhood to adulthood because it built my confidence in myself and my ability to lead."
BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is very proud of Malik's involvement with BDPA. I encourage everyone who support BDPA to make a donation to the Bemley Scholarship Fund.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Grant Disbursement: BDPA Dallas ($2,831)

BDPA Dallas chapter president Chad White submitted a proposal seeking fund from the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). The chapter needed the funds to support the growth of its Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) program and chapter events. They plan to use the fund to ensure that their students can attend the 2017 BDPA Technology Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 26-29. The remaining funds will go towards generating events the Dallas area that generate funds and growth for the Dallas Chapter.

BETF provided a $2,831 grant disbursement to BDPA Dallas chapter.

BETF would love to be supportive of all 47 chapters as they seek funding for youth education programs. Just reach out to us in accordance with the 7-step process shown on our website.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students (Due: June 2, 2017)

BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to open up the application period for any graduating high school student or current college student interested in the 11th Annual Eli Lilly and Company Scholarship for BDPA Students!

The purpose of the Lilly/BDPA Scholarship is to recognize outstanding minority students, with an interest in information technology, who make significant contributions to society. Applicants must excel academically, show exceptional leadership potential, and make an impact on their communities through service to others.

Lilly/BDPA Scholars will be awarded a $2.500 scholarship that may be used to pursue an information technology focused degree at an accredited four-year college or university of their choice. The Lilly/BDPA Scholarship may be used to supplement benefits from the college or university a student plans to attend and fellowships from other foundations or organizations. Students may use the scholarship to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Scholarship winners will be selected based on the application, essay, and letters of recommendation.

To be eligible for Lilly/BDPA Scholarship, each applicant must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a member of BDPA
  • Be a graduating high school senior or current college student in good standing at the time of their application.
  • Be pursuing a degree in information systems, computer science, computer engineering, or a computer science related discipline.
  • Demonstrate academic achievement (minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0)
  • Exhibit leadership ability through academic or civic involvement and participate in community service activities
Complete application packet must include the following:
  1. Application Form
  2. Current official sealed transcript (for high school applicants, your transcript MUST include your senior year grades)
  3. 500-word essay on “Why Information Technology is Important and How it Has Changed Our Day-to-Day Lives”
  4. Two signed letters of recommendation
  5. Passport-sized photo
Click here to download application!

Scholarships will be awarded only to students who fully meet the scholarship requirements. All application materials must be RECEIVED by June 2, 2017 in order to be eligible.  Incomplete, e-mailed or faxed applications will not be considered!

We will announce the three (3) winners of the Eli Lilly Scholarship for BDPA Students during the 2017 National BDPA Technology Conference in Indianapolis.   We are very proud of our past Lilly/BDPA scholarship winners:
Cameron Hughes (2013 Scholar)
  1. 2007, Daniel Puente (University of Texas)
  2. 2007, Christian West (Northwestern University)
  3. 2008, Khalia Braswell (North Carolina State University)
  4. 2008, Lee Reed (University of Michigan)
  5. 2009, Hung Vo (Georgia Institute of Technology)
  6. 2009, Carrine Johnson (Palos Verdes Peninsula High School)
  7. 2010, Leslie Vasquez (Pike High School)
  8. 2010, Gerardo Dominguez (Chicago State University)
  9. 2011, Jala Cruz (North Central High School)
  10. 2011, Adwait Walimbe (John Marshall High School)
  11. 2012, Allen Warner (Valdosta State University)
    Dylan Gunn (2014 Scholar)
  12. 2013, Risa Christopher (Indiana University)
  13. 2013, Cameron Hughes (University of California, San Diego)
  14. 2014: Pooja Chebolu (University of Southern California);
  15. 2014: Dylan Gunn (North Carolina A&T)
  16. 2015: Chelsea Carter (Kettering University)
  17. 2015: Deeneva Nikerle (Temple University)
  18. 2016: Lauren Ravenell (Ball State University
  19. 2016: Adrienne Nelson (Florida A&M University)   
  20. 2016: Andre Garner (University of Illinois)
Do you know any high school or college kids looking to study in a technology-based field during college? Can they use a $2,500 scholarship? If so, you need to share this information with them right away!

Any questions?

Friday, March 24, 2017

College Students Create Music Streaming Application

Meet Omose Ogala & Daniel Nfodjo​, creators of Vizzi Music! Frustrated with the cost of music, Omose worked with his brother, Idia Ogala to get Vizzi Music off the ground. Later adding Daniel to the team, these college students are giving one of the best music experiences, but completely FREE. Now they are competing with the big dogs like Apple Music, Spotify and Pandora!

Vizzi Music can be found on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.   We are proud to report that Daniel is a BDPA college student member. He attends University of Cincinnati and was a recipient of the Johnson & Johnson scholarship.

Let's find a way to feature this company and product at the upcoming 2017 National BDPA​ Technology Conference on July 26-29 at the Duke Energy Center!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Johnson & Johnson Scholarship (Deadline: 6/2/2017)

Johnson & Johnson is a Gold-Level Sponsor of BDPA. We are proud to offer the Johnson & Johnson Scholarship to any eligible college student!

The Johnson & Johnson Scholarship seeks to provide financial assistance to any rising sophomore or higher student at a 4-year college or university. The objective of this scholarship is to support students who are committed to their academic studies and demonstrate evidence of being a good citizen as stated in the Johnson & Johnson Credo. The criteria and eligibility for the award are detailed in the application.

The Johnson & Johnson Scholarship provides up to seven (7) $2,500 one-time only scholarships for a college student with a STEM major, strong community involvement and a minimum GPA of 3.0.  The next step is yours! Do you know anyone in your chapter who might be interested in this $2,500 college scholarship? The completed application, typed essay, two letters of recommendation, official transcript and resume must be received on or before Friday, June 2, 2017.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

BDPA Lands Johnson & Johnson Gold Level Sponsorship

The long-term investment into BDPA by Johnson & Johnson has been ongoing for well over a decade. It continues into 2017 as Johnson & Johnson renewed its Gold Level corporate sponsorship of the 39thAnnual BDPA Technology Conference in Cincinnati, OH. Johnson & Johnson believes in the BDPA mission of advancing the careers of African Americans in the information technology industry ‘from the classroom to the boardroom’.

Alex Gorsky
Diversity & Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson is not just a commitment — it is the reality of how we live and work. Meeting the global health care challenge takes constant innovation. The best innovations can only come if Johnson & Johnson employees reflect the world’s full diversity of individuals, opinions and approaches. Only then can we continue to meet the responsibilities of our credo,” said Alex Gorsky, Chief Executive Officer.
BDPA is the largest African American Information Technology association in the U.S., and the largest national non-profit organization continually involved in training students underrepresented in STEM education across the country. For almost 40 years, BDPA has fulfilled its mission by bridging the digital divide and providing career growth opportunities for its members.
Mike A. Williams
In a recent announcement, National BDPA President Mike Williams said, “BDPA is fortunate to be partnering again with the iconic brand Johnson & Johnson to increase diversity in the workplace and prepare future Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) leaders for success.” Williams added, “Johnson & Johnson has been in the business of caring for people for more than 130 years."
Johnson & Johnson agreed to underwrite a variety of activities that include the BDPA IT Showcase, college scholarships, career fair, BDPA Job Board participation and an investment in two Northeast region chapters.
Goldie Bonney, BDPA New Jersey President stated, "On behalf of BDPA New Jersey, we are grateful to have Johnson & Johnson again as a corporate sponsor. They've been a strong supporter of ours over the past several years and we are excited to continue our partnership again this year.

Goldie Bonney
2017 marks a 14-year milestone for our “Families in Technology Day” program which is our longest running chapter event. This program would not be as successful as it is today without the support of Johnson & Johnson. We are looking to provide our membership with more workshops, training and networking opportunities and look forward to having Johnson & Johnson actively engaged," Bonney added.

For more details about the BDPA corporate sponsorship program, contact the corporate sales support team at (301) 584-3135 ext.108 or Additionally, please visit