Meta’s Huntsville Data Center announces 2022 Community Action Grants

Huntsville, AL—Meta is thrilled to announce recipients of their 2022 Community Action Grants. Congratulations BDPA Huntsville!

Through their Data Center Community Action Grants program, Meta provides funding for nonprofits and schools to support the long-term vitality of Huntsville. They fund projects that help put the power of technology to use for community benefit, connect people online or off and improve STEM education. Congratulations to the 2022 Huntsville Data Center grant recipients and a big thank you for your impactful work!

BDPA Huntsville FLIGHTS program

2022 Huntsville Data Center Grant Award Recipients

National BDPA Huntsville Chapter / $18,750
To empower the FLIGHTS program to give students real-world career experiences

Drake State Community & Technical College / $15,247
To develop STEM learning opportunities with solar robotics kits and an Arduino Rev3 programmable robot

Huntsville City Schools / $10,000
To support the development of a community STEM garden that connects the community together

100 Black Men of Greater Huntsville, Inc. / $5,000
To help put on STEAM events and programs to inspire young people from diverse communities in Huntsville

Girls Inc. of Huntsville / $15,000
To support Operation Smart program for increasing leadership and improving graduation rates by providing programs for young girls

The Livin’ Room / $17,870
To provide new computers and projectors for trainings at the community center

Northwood Community Outreach / $50,000
To equip community coding classes with technology to improve connection for students and residents

Madison City Schools / $27,000
To provide tablets and enable equitable internet access for students in need

Village of Promise / $42,243
To equip adults with technology for pursuing GEDs, training for jobs and finding employment

Discovery Middle School / $1,000
To support the Greenpower Racing Program for inspiring hands-on problem solvers

CAP & GOWN Project / $15,000
To enable transformative opportunities to pursue college for underserved secondary school students

Data centers are part of the infrastructure that helps us bring WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and more to people around the globe. They support Meta’s mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

Sources: Meta Platforms, Inc. and BDPA Huntsville


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Earth Day Tech Summit 2022 is a virtual event for students, JROTC Units, and young adults.

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is Permanently Authorized in new Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is made permanent and will be expanded and elevated with the passage of this historic legislation. This action allows the agency to increase their programs and outreach to the Nation’s more than 9 million minority-owned businesses.

“President Biden has made clear his commitment to not just rebuilding to how things were before COVID-19, but to building back better and more equitably,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Minority Business Development Agency is ready to step into this historic moment and build on its success – because we recognize that America’s road to recovery runs through our minority business community. Making MBDA a statutory Agency provides MBDA with the authorities, workforce and resources needed to help level the playing field on behalf of minority businesses and minority entrepreneurs.”

“The Department of Commerce and MBDA play a pivotal role in promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. “This legislation is transformative and signifies a new era in minority business development and progress toward addressing the long-standing racial disparities in access to capital, contracts, and business ecosystems.”

“Created by Executive Order in 1969, the Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises,” said Miguel Estién, Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. “The Minority Business Development Act of 2021 is one of the most significant pieces of legislation impacting the minority business community in the last 50 years. I look forward to helping lead the Agency’s transformation at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.”

The bill expands the geographic reach of the MBDA by authorizing the creation of regional MBDA offices, rural business centers, and increasing the number and scope of existing programs.

The Act also:

  • Creates a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development to lead the agency.
  • Increases the MBDA’s grant-making capacity to partner with community and national nonprofits engaged in private and public sector development as well as research.
  • Mandates the creation of the Parren J. Mitchel Entrepreneurship Education Grants Program to cultivate the next generation of minority entrepreneurs on the campuses HBCUs and MSIs across the Nation.
  • Creates a council to advise the Under Secretary on supporting MBEs; and
  • Authorizes the Under Secretary to coordinate federal MBE programs.

The MBDA will report on the implementation milestones of the Minority Business Development Act of 2021 through the website, www.MBDA.gov.

Sources: White House and MBDA • Cover Photo: bdpatoday


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TEDCO
TEDCO Leading Innovation to Market.

The Gula Tech Foundation Announces Winners of $1 Million Grant Program

COLUMBIA, MD—Gula Tech Foundation, a nonprofit focused on awarding $1,000,000 in competitive grants to cybersecurity nonprofits several times each year, announced the winners of its initial competitive grant program. This competitive grant focuses on funding nonprofits with the mission to increase African American engagement in cybersecurity.

“We reviewed over a hundred submissions from impressive nonprofits impacting the cybersecurity industry. So many of the nonprofits that submitted are making a noticeable change in the industry and driving our industry forward,” said Ron & Cyndi Gula, Co-founders of The Gula Tech Foundation. “It was difficult to choose, but the three winners truly exemplify the mission, persistence and vision needed to succeed in this environment.”

2021 Winners:

First Place: $500,000

  • Black Cybersecurity Association: BCA creates a multigenerational pipeline of qualified professionals to enter the workplace and has more than 2,000 cybersecurity mentors enabling a variety of programs.

Second Place: $300,000

  • NPower Inc: NPower’s advanced Cybersecurity program is currently offered two times per year starting March or July for 100 students. The program is 14 weeks of full-time virtual classroom training followed by 12 weeks of on-the-job training and professional development through a paid internship in the cybersecurity departments of NPower’s corporate partners.

Third Place: $200,000

  • Girl Security: Girl Security provides multi-disciplinary, equity-informed programming through its “SEA Model,” where girls and young women are Secured, Empowered, and Advanced.

“We are thrilled to be announced as the first place winner of this initial competitive grant program. With a keen focus on creating qualified Black professionals to enter the cybersecurity workforce, this grant will enable us to accelerate this effort to reach 10,000 professionals by 2030,” said Darold Kelly Jr., President & CEO of Black Cybersecurity Association.

The Gula Tech Foundation’s March 2021 grant will support nonprofits that demonstrably raise public awareness about cybersecurity. Public awareness about cybersecurity is part of the Gula’s initiative to expand cybersecurity into the “Data Care” industry.  Applications for a competitive grant open March 22, 2021 and the winners will be announced May 20, 2021 as part of the 2021 RSA Conference.

“RSA Conference is very proud to partner with The Gula Foundation in their efforts to increase understanding of personal responsibility to care for data and, in doing so, positively impact inclusivity and diversity of those who seek out a career in our industry through their ‘Data Care’ grant,” said Britta Glade, Senior Director of Content & Curation for RSA Conference. “The ‘team sport’ vision that a Data Care term implicitly carries with it can help broaden the lens of who feels like our field is a possible career option. The Gula Foundation’s ‘Data Care’ Grant is a great way to move this important effort forward.”

To learn more about the next competitive grant competition, visit: https://www.gula.tech/foundation/.

About Gula Tech Adventures
Founded by cybersecurity entrepreneurs Ron and Cyndi Gula, Gula Tech Adventures invests in companies and nonprofits that help close the gap in needed technology and workforce to defend the country in cyberspace. They work directly with cybersecurity startups, investment funds and nonprofit organizations. Since 2017, the Gula’s have made more than 40 investments in cybersecurity startups like AutomoxCybraryHuntress and Scythe, cybersecurity funds including Inner Loop CapitalDataTribe and Forgepoint Capital, and also supported cybersecurity nonprofits like Defending Digital Campaigns and voting.works.

— Source and images: Gula Tech Foundation

Free and Low Cost Online Cybersecurity Learning Content — Get Started Now

Data Science Opportunities
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GAITHERSBURG, MD — During this unusual time in our lives, many of us find we want to improve our knowledge, skills or even prepare for new career opportunities. If you are interested in cybersecurity careers, need to change careers or close technical gaps in your current resume, there are numerous online education providers to choose from. Many online courses are available from your local community college, four-year universities, even the prestigious Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) programs – please review all options.

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The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a partnership between government, academia, and the private sector focused supporting the country’s ability to address current and future cybersecurity education and workforce challenges through standards and best practices. The following links from NICE’s site are not endorsements, but list free and low-cost online educational content on topics such as information technology and cybersecurity. Some, not all, may contribute towards professional learning objectives or lead to industry certifications and online degrees. Please note that their site will continue to be updated as new information is gathered and edited for clarity and accuracy for your family, school, or business.

Name and Hyperlink to your Materials*Description**
CompTIAFree online training for CompTIA IT Fundamentals and other resources.
CLARK Center Plan CFree cybersecurity curriculum that is primarily video-based or provide online assignments that can be easily integrated into a virtual learning environments.
Culture of CybersecurityFree, downloadable kids activities to help your family learn basic cybersecurity concepts and defense strategies.
CybraryFree information technology and cybersecurity training portal.
EC-CouncilFree resources for the information security community in the form of webinars, blogs, online video training, and much more.
ElasticFree on-demand Elastic Stack, observability, and security courses.
Federal Virtual Training Environment (FedVTE)Free online cybersecurity training for federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government employees, federal contractors, and US military veterans.
FortinetFree access to the FortiGate Essentials Training Course and Network Security Expert courses 1 and 2.
IBM (hosted by Coursera)Free (7-day trial) suite of courses on IT Fundamentals for Cybersecurity Specialization.
IBM Security Learning AcademyFree technical training for IBM Security products.
(ISC)2 Webinars and CoursesFree technical webinars and courses to earn Continuing Professional Education (CPEs).
(ISC)2 Utilizing Big DataFree course for (ISC)2 members (low cost for non-members) that provides an overview of Big Data components, architectures and applications.
NICCS Education and Training CatalogDatabase of free and for pay, online and in person courses.
Open P-TECHFree digital learning on the tech skills of tomorrow.
PluralsightFree access to 7,000+ expert-led video courses and more during the month of April.
SANSFree cybersecurity community resources and programs.
SANS Cyber Aces OnlineFree online course that teaches the core concepts needed to assess and protect information security systems.
TestOut’s 2020 K12 GrantFree TestOut courses for K12 teachers. Application process required.
UdemyHeavily discounted online courses for various certifications.

*Materials are related to coding, product training, certification preparation or general IT and cybersecurity skills development, and teacher training and curriculum.
**Some of these materials may only be free or low cost (less than $100) for a limited time.

Cyber Keyboard

For more information on how to add additional information or to correct an error, please email NICE.
   →  nice.nist@nist.gov.

Source:
NICE Program Office
nist.nice@nist.gov
(301) 975-5048
100 Bureau Dr.
Gaithersburg, MD 20899

National BDPA and local BDPA Chapters have broadened outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions (HBCU/MSI) to include establishing BDPA chapters with HBCU/MSIs, CAE schools, and community colleges already certified by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in research (CAE-R), cyber defense (CAE-CD), or cyber operations (CAE-CO).

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BDPA-DC/HOPE Project Tech Partnership initiative is to assist HBCU students and graduates with earning CompTIA technical certifications.  In addition to assisting with technical certification HOPE Project will assist HBCU grads with career coaching and access to our employer network. 

The program is open to any HBCU STEM Major or recent HBCU Stem Graduate.  We anticipate awarding 40 scholarships in 2021.  Candidates can select from any one of the three CompTIA certifications, A+, Network+ or Security+ • Apply now and before January 7th, 2022 with your latest resume by visiting: https://www.hopeprojectonline.com/hbcu

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To launch a new BDPA Chapter on campus, email: info@bdpa.org  today and partner with us during #BDPACon22 in Atlanta, GA August 18-20, 2022.  Visit BDPA.org to discover more . . .

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Start-Ups. Small Businesses. HBCU/MIs.
Take flight from “Grants-to-Contracts!” The United States Air Force plans to grow its venture investment substantially this year. To that end, Air Force, in partnership with National BDPA is providing step by step technology transfer workshops for start-ups, small businesses, and research institutions during this year’s Air Force STTR HBCU Virtual Collider.

D.C. Mayor Delivers a $4.6 Million Technology Investment with 16,400 Devices to Students

#BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) began delivering more than 16,400 technology devices to students across all eight wards as a part of the Empowered Learner’s Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive three-year commitment by Mayor Bowser to close the digital divide and empower DCPS students through access to state-of-the-art technology.

“Last year, our community made clear that they wanted us to invest more in technology in our schools – and we answered that call with a $4.6 million investment in new devices for our young learners,” said Mayor Bowser. “But this investment isn’t just about buying devices – it’s about ensuring our students and teachers have the programs and resources they need to help us close the digital divide in Washington, DC.”

Last year, Mayor Bowser made an initial $4.6 million investment in technology to provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a device to use at school, and students in all other grades will have a 3:1 student-to-device ratio in the classroom. After ensuring schools had the necessary technology infrastructure and providing professional development to educators, classrooms are receiving the Microsoft Surface Go to enhance teaching and learning.

dc-tablets-farabee2020“DCPS is excited to begin delivering on our commitment to close the digital divide and empower students across the district in innovative ways,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee (above left, with students). “This year, students in grades 3, 6, and 9 will receive Microsoft Surface Go’s that will enhance their learning experience and advance college and career success. I thank Mayor Bowser for her investment in the Empowered Learner’s initiative and look forward to providing even more students with access to state-of-the-art technology over the next three years.”

After students and educators tested the Microsoft Surface Go, it was selected for its agility, durability, and long-battery life. The Surface Go has a world-facing camera for video and photography, and an inking stylus for drawing and writing.

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, technology specialists, and operations staff engaged in professional development focused on this new technology. Students are receiving digital citizenship lessons, published by Common Sense Media, to make safe and responsible decisions online.

“We want to ensure the new technology provides the best experience for students and have been testing and optimizing to make that a reality,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “Nearly 50 technicians are trained and ready to support students and teachers the moment the devices enter the classroom and students log-in.”

Tablets For TeensThe devices will stay in the classroom so teachers can continue to use the technology to enhance their instruction. Families can expect to see their third grade students using the devices to apply the math skills they learn to control Sphero robots; high school students enrolled in credit recovery can have full access to digital resources and assessment that will help them master the course content; and teachers can provide personalized strategies to meet every student’s individual needs through both in-person and digital instruction.

Next fiscal year, Mayor Bowser plans to make another multimillion dollar investment in technology to provide a device for every student in grades 4, 7, and 10. To learn more about the devices, families can visit the District’s Empowered Learners Initiative website.

Source and photo: Office of the Mayor
Cover photo courtesy: Debbie Truong

* Resources for DCPS parents, teachers, and students are linked here.


** Related articles on BDPA-DC’s Tablets For Teens or National BDPA’s Mobile App Showcase programs are linked here.


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Select here for exciting careers in TECH and CYBER ...

BDPA Memphis Welcomes new Computer Science Graduates to Industry

New Cyber and STEM civilian careers with the Department of the Air Force

MEMPHIS, TN — BDPA Memphis Student Members graduated this week with Computer Science Degrees from the University of Memphis. Other BDPA Student Members not only graduated with Computer Science Degrees, some graduated from CodeCrew Code School and Tech901.

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According to BDPA Memphis, for students considering a future in IT, or want to learn more about technology, BDPA can help develop technical skills, make introductions to role models, and open doors to new tech internships or that first IT career opportunity.

bdpatoday | December 2019

For start-ups and entrepreneurs who provide IT-related services and products, a BDPA membership is an invaluable asset. BDPA introduces businesses to individuals with purchasing power. Interact with potential business partners, investors, and certified employees.

In 2018, nine students from National BDPA’s Memphis Chapter qualified to attend #BDPACon18, the annual BDPA National Technology Conference and Career Expo in New Orleans, LA.

Two mobile apps were presented at the conference: Microball Gaming (by Bryce Ellis), a three-in-one video game with augmented reality and real time multiplayer, and Edesia (by Kareem Dasilva), an app that finds nearby food trucks in real time.  Bryce won second place in the app competition, receiving a $2500 scholarship.

Three BDPA students won other scholarships (Jada Thomas, Monsanto Scholarship, $2500; Brandon Ellis, Oracle Scholarship, $2500; Cody Seymour, Oracle Scholarship, $2500), and three students participated in judging the High School Computer Coding Competition.  High school participant Milton Turner placed second in the Information Technology Showcase for his presentation on the risks of having a “smart city.”

BDPA Memphis’ advisor, CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe, was awarded the Individual Pace Setter Award for his leadership in developing STEM education in Memphis.

— Source and photos: BDPA Memphis

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BDPA Huntsville | 2020 Regional Conference

Microsoft and In3 host a STEM Open House for Parents and Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today in our Nation’s Capital near Howard University, the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3) and Blacks@Microsoft (BAM) invited area students to learn about new and exciting STEM workshops In3 will be hosting in 2019.

IMG_3173Local BDPA Student Members and NSBE Jr. Members who attended met Microsoft employees and small business executives to discuss and learn more about:

  • How to write code for computers and robots using Minecraft and OhBots (8+ years old)
  • An intro to Computer Science using Java (Middle School and beyond)
  • ManCode: The Microsoft career day program for young males (Middle and High School)

Microsoft believes their continued success depends on the diverse skills, experiences, and backgrounds employees bring to the company. To help foster diversity and inclusion, Microsoft has developed a very rich community of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) and Employee Networks (EN). These organizations provide career development, support, networking opportunities, mentoring, community participation such as this weekend’s Open House, product input, and assistance in activities that continue to promote cultural awareness. Their programs also include speaker series, scholarship programs, community service, development conferences, and heritage celebrations.

Founded in 1989 as the first Microsoft-sponsored ERG, Blacks@Microsoft host career speaker series, employee mentoring programs, college intern mentoring programs, minority student days, and a scholarship program for high school seniors with GPAs of 3.33 or higher.

For more information about BDPA and Microsoft in 2019, student computer and coding competition programs, or career development activities across the National Capital Region with BDPADC and In3, visit → BDPADC.org.

— Source: BDPA Greater Washington, D.C.

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2019 Rate Schedules | PTTV & bdpatoday

Industry Mission Partners receive top Tech and Community Awards

WASHINGTON (bdpatoday)—Industry mission partners received technology and

Download Awards Guide

community service awards on Saturday, November 19, 2016, from National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPA-DC). Recognition was provided for community involvement and direct support of cybersecurity workforce initiatives, information communications technology (ICT), gaming, and mobile application development programs for young adults across the National Capital Region and central Maryland.

Technology and Community Service Award Winners for 2016

  • 2016 BDPA-DC Lifetime Achievement Award:
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Terry Halvorsen (right); Department of Defense (DoD), Chief Information Officer (CIO)

  • 2016 BDPA-DC Entrepreneur of the Year:
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    Aaron Saunders; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Clearly Innovative, Inc.
  • 2016 BDPA-DC Member of the Year:
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    Thurman Jones (far right); Patriots Technology Training Center (PTTC)
  • 2016 Chapter President’s Awards:
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    Instructor Staff: H.O.P.E. Project DMV; “Helping Other People Excel
    (L-R) Raymond Bell, Dean Cook, Michael Smith, and David Reid
  • Mission Partner of the Year:
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     United States Air Force
    (L-R) Eric Bell, U.S. Department of the Air Force and Cadet Robinson, Howard University Air Force ROTC
  • Education Partner of the Year:
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     Bowie State University – Dr. Daryl Stone (right) Professor, Computer Science, receives this year’s award for the University on behalf of his staff, teams, and BDPA Student Members.
    nicciw-aswThis year’s Industry Keynote and opening remarks were provided by Ms. Nicci Williams (left), Senior Business Development Manager, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) for National Security, Defense, and Federal Civilian communities. Ms. Williams is a BDPA Member and encouraged students to remain persistent and embrace new challenges, while leveraging the best available technologies to add value for their customers.  Photos © bdpatoday
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Featured photo (top): Mr Terry Halvorsen, DoD CIO, congratulates 2014 National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) champions and scholarship winners from Washington, D.C. Led by Ms. Naomi Matthews, BDPA-DC’s HSCC Coordinator, BDPA-DC’s HSCC teams have captured eight consecutive Regional HSCC Championships on their way to National HSCC scholarship rounds.

National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter to Host Annual Tech Awards

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WASHINGTON (bdpatoday)
—National BDPA’s (NBDPA) Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPA-DC) will celebrate several milestones during this year’s annual technology and community service awards banquet. Chartered in 1978 to introduce underserved communities to “data processing”, computer sciences, or help bridge digital divides between industry, academia, and government, BDPA-DC also celebrates its 38th Anniversary in 2016.

hscc-champs14National High School Computer Competition (HSCC)  Launched 30 Years Ago 
The National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse L. Bemley, a National BDPA Life Member from Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) and Atlanta, GA (BDPA Atlanta) HSCC Teams has grown to over 25 teams of students from various high schools in BDPA Chapter cities throughout the nation. HSCC was designed to introduce Student Members to the field of data processing careers, now Information Communication and Technology (ICT), to encourage students to seek higher levels of training, certification, education, and groom them to become our nation’s next generation of ICT leaders and technical professionals.

bdpa-bigdata-predictbdpatoday Reaches 10-Year Milestone
BDPA-DC’s Communications Committee also reaches a new milestone this year with their serial publication, bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429), entering its tenth season. The first edition of bdpatoday was published in May of 2007 to promote information technology and cyber success stories through the lenses of underserved communities in advance of the annual National BDPA Technology Conference co-hosted in Washington D.C. that year.

2016 BDPA-DC Award Recipients
BDPA-DC’s 2016 Technology and Community Service Award recipients will be honored on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at the Washington Navy Yard Conference Center from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

This year’s Award Categories for the National Capital Region follow.

2016 BDPA-DC Lifetime Achievement Award:
  Terry Halvorsen; Department of Defense (DoD), Chief Information Officer (CIO)

2016 BDPA-DC Entrepreneur of the Year:
  Aaron Saunders; Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Clearly Innovative, Inc.

2016 BDPA-DC Member of the Year:
  Thurman Jones; Patriots Technology Training Center (PTTC)

2016 Chapter President’s Awards:
  Instructor Staff: H.O.P.E. Project DMV
Helping Other People Excel

Mission Partner of the Year:
   United States Air Force

Education Partner of the Year:
   Bowie State University

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Top cover photo:
(L-R) Terry Halvorsen (DoD); Aaron Saunders (Clearly Innovative, Inc.); Thurman Jones (Patriots Technology Training Center); Louis Shack (HSCC); Raymond Bell Jr.; Michael Smith; David Reid, and Dean Cook [not pictured] (H.O.P.E. Project DMV).

 —Photo credits: BDPA-DC, bdpatoday, and DoD
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