Top 25 Tech Stories from 2020

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WASHINGTON ―The wait is finally over for the very end of 2020. The latest lists from Industry of top stories in tech, cyber, and STEM likely will loom much larger in the fog of 2021. Topping the charts for 2020 during National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary year were stories directly and indirectly related to COVID-19Big TechCybersecurity, and Social Unrest amidst a wider and much deeper ‘Digital Chasm‘ connecting underserved communities with their respective populations during a pandemic.

The Top 25

Most of the top 25 stories highlighted below for 2020 previously were shared with Industry, communities of color, traditionally marginalized communities, and underserved communities inside or on the covers of weekly and monthly publications. 

25. Earth Day Tech Summit: BDPA and UDC Earth Day Summits go virtual due to COVID-19. [April 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

24. Digital Divide: 51,000 laptops with Internet services were provided to students in Detroit, MI. [bdpatoday.com]

23U.S. Naval Academy: Midshipman First Class Sydney Barber becomes the first Black female to lead Brigade of Midshipmen. Upon graduation in May of 2021, MIDN Barber will receive her commission as an officer in the United States Marine Corps. [bdpatoday 11.14.20 ICYMI edition]

22. Zoom: In order to meet exponential growth and unprecedented demand, Oracle is selected as a cloud infrastructure provider for Zoom meetings. [bdpatoday 05.02.20 ICYMI edition]

21. U.S. Navy: LTJG Madeline G. Swegle becomes the U.S. Navy’s first Black female Tactical Air (TACAIR) jet pilot. [July 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

20. NIST: The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Privacy Framework Version 1.0 was released to help organizations identify and manage privacy risk for building innovative products and services while protecting individuals’ privacy. [ bdpatoday 01.18.20 ICYMI edition]

19. Digital Divide: T-Mobile launches Project 10-Million. [bdpatoday 10.03.20 ICYMI edition]

18. COVID-19: Apple and Google partner on contact-tracing technology. [bdpatoday.com]

17. Tesla: Headquarters and Gigafactory moves are heading to Austin, TX. [bdpatoday.com]

16. HPC: Lewis Hamilton wins 7th FIA Formula One championship powered by edge-to-core analytics with high-performance computing (HPC) from HPE. [bdpatoday 11.28.20 ICYMI edition]

15. COBOL: Federal, State, and Local governments call for more COBOL programmers to assist staff with stimulus, relief, and unemployment checks. [bdpatoday 04.04.20 ICYMI edition]

14. Exascale Day!: October 18th is Exascale Day. HPE, JEF, and BDPA welcomed “10 to the 18th power” or “10^18” during Exascale Day Weekend launching a series of supercomputer, HPC, and artificial intelligence (Ai) webinars. [October 2020 edition of bdpatoday]

13. Digital Divide: Best Buy Foundation awards a community grant to BDPA’s Tablets For Teensprogram and regional initiatives. [bdpatoday.com]

12. BDPA2020: National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary, Annual Technology Conference, Diversity Career Fair, I.T. Showcase, Mobile App Showcase, and the annual National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) collectively go 100-percent virtual for the first time in the Association’s history. #BDPA2020 was successfully delivered across all mobile platforms. [August 2020 Special Edition of bdpatoday

11. USASMDC: The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and BDPA Huntsville launch a new Cyber Workforce initiative with the U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense Command (USASMDC.) [bdpatoday 10.31.20 ICYMI edition]

10. Digital Divide: Microsoft awards $15 million in Community Skills Grants, an investment over three years to fifty (50) Black- and African American-led nonprofits that are working to increase skill development and economic opportunities. The H.O.P.E. Project DMV in partnership with National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (bdpadc.org) are one of Microsoft’s grant recipients for 2020. [bdpatoday.com]

9. AFRL: In fiscal year 2021 (FY21), the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program seeks to ink new and innovative deals with emerging small businesses and HBCU mission partners to meet or exceed the Department of the Air Force’s (DAF) priorities. [bdpatoday May 2020 edition] 

8. Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin’s latest rise in 2020. For the first time in its history, Bitcoin reached $20,000. According to CNBC, the world’s most-valuable virtual currency traded 5.6% higher on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, to a new price of around $20,600, taking its year-to-date gains north of 180%! [bdpatoday.com]

7. SpaceX: The launch of two NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) marked the first private spaceflight company to send a crewed spacecraft into space. [bdpatoday June 2020 edition] 

6. SolarWinds: Government agencies ‘hacked’ again ― stories from Federal, State, and Local agencies are still unfolding as we venture deeper into 2021. [bdpatoday.com]

5. Wall Street: Nasdaq advances “diversity” as stocks in 2020 across most major indices reached record highs. Nasdaq soon may adopt new listing rules related to board diversity and disclosures. [bdpatoday.com]

4. White House: As the daughter of two immigrants from Jamaica and India, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris’ historic election breaks several barriers. “All eyes are on Georgia” as the next President of the Senate awaits Georgia’s runoff election results to determine control of the U.S. Senate. [bdpatoday November 2020 edition] 

3. Big Tech vs. Uncle Sam: On October 6, 2020, bdpatoday.com featured a story about the House Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee’s release of findings of its more than 16-month long investigation into the state of competition in the digital economy, especially the challenges presented by the dominance of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook and their business practices. On October 20, 2020, bdpatoday.com shared a story from the Department of Justice (DOJ.) DOJ — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. In 2021 and the foreseeable future, “Big Tech” will have its day in Congress and the Courts from at least two branches of government. In the pipeline will be renewed battles over Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 (at 47 U.S.C. § 230). “Section 230” provides immunity for content providers and website publishers from third-party content. [bdpatoday.com]

2. COVID-19: “All Hands On Deck” for scientists, engineers, physicians, logisticians, STEM technicians, and I.T. professionals. “Digital divides” and “heath desert” challenges across the globe in underserved communities are hampering vaccine distributions as 2020 fades away. [bdpatoday December 2020 edition]

Number 1. Digital Divide and Social Unrest: Black Data Matters, Black Tech Matters, Black Consumers Matter, all lives matter, every student ― #BDPAfuture ― really matters. Founded by Earl A. Pace, Jr. in Philadelphia, PA as Black Data Processing Associates, BDPA was established in 1975 to promote and share awareness across traditionally underserved or marginalized communities of new “Data Processing” careers with related technical job openings in “Computer Science” fields. Today, BDPA’s mission has not waivered.

The pandemic of 2020 coupled with civil unrest across several U.S. cities revealed widening ‘digital chasms’ with news deserts, health deserts, and food deserts in every corner of America leading up to our top stories for 2020. Systemic racism, cultural biases, social discord, oppression from deep within our society’s soul, and gerrymandered redlining transgressions still are shrewdly perpetuated today through outdated laws, discriminatory policies, algorithmic bias, obsolete technology, and dilapidated infrastructures. To this end, our lead success stories feature BDPA, its ICT Industry partners, major corporations, and local BDPA Chapter mission-partners making impact investments to help eliminate “deserts” within digitally divided communities as millions of students, teachers, and parents where forced home; many with little or no access to high speed Internet services. [bdpatoday.com]

In Memoriam

Last October, National BDPA celebrated the life of Vivian C. Wilson, the first women elected to the Association’s chief executive role of National BDPA President.

BDPA Nation also said goodbyes in 2020 to iconic Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman; Dr. George Robert Carruthers, an inventor, physicist, engineer and space scientist; Roderick “Rod” Wesley Flakes, former President, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter and engineer at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC); U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” Katherine Johnson; U.S. Representative John LewisNorman Shakespeare, former Vice President of Strategic Planning, BDPA (Boston) Mass MetroWest Chapter; model and restaurateur Barbara “B” Smith; and Charles “Chuck” Yeager, World War II ace fighter pilot and U.S. Air Force quintessential test pilot.

Up Next

2021 has arrived! In May 2021, bdpatoday (ISSN 1946-1429) launches its 15th year to proudly serve more I.T. technicians and cybersecurity professionals, new HBCU Chapters, new student members, and new consumers in every industry. To add your team’s success stories in tech, cyber, and STEM along with new campaigns or press releases, contact our team directly at: info@bdpatoday.org – or – press@bdpadc.org.

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Key words: #5G #Ai #AirForce #AFRL #Army #BDPA #bdpatoday #BigTech #Bitcoin #COBOL #cryptocurrency #cyber #DigitalDivide #diversity #DOD #DOJ #Gigafactory #hackers #HBCU #HPC #HSCC #Huntsville #ICT #innovation #MarineCorps #Navy #Nasdaq #SBIR #SEC #Section230 #SMDC #SpaceForce #STEM #STTR #supercomputer #tech #technology #USASMDC #WallStreet

BDPA-DC Receives New Grant from Best Buy Foundation to Support Local Tablets-For-Teens Projects

WASHINGTON—The Best Buy Foundation has approved a grant to BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of the association’s Tablets For Teens program.  Grant reporting and requirements for this next phase provide details on precisely how funds are used to support this rapidly emerging digital divide initiative.

BDPA-DC is supporting the following mission sets with Title-I schools across the National Capital Region collocated within our primary area of responsibility. Direct support includes distribution of free or low-cost computing devices to students and distribution of new cellular wireless hot spots to students with no broadband service at home.

This special grant also assists BDPA student members, students enrolled in National BDPA’s Student I.T. Education and Scholarship (SITES) activities, and local JROTC Cadets attending Title-I schools with new tablet PCs, notebook PCs, mobile hot-spots, or small single-board card-sized computers with accessories.  BDPA Student Members, Cadets, and local high school students may also receive community service hours supporting local BDPA SITES projects, webinars, technology events, and outreach activities with BDPA.

Best Buy has been a committed, valuable and engaged community partner and BDPA-DC enthusiastically looks forward to continuing our local, regional, and national relationships in the future.

BDPA Huntsville’s 2020 SITES Finalists receive new Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablets from the Association’s Tablets For Teens initiative after their technical showcase competitions during National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary and virtual BDPA2020 Annual Conference. Photo © 2020 BDPA Huntsville, AL. BDPA Detroit’s 2020 SITES Finalists are featured on our cover photo.

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA-DC’s projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities. Tablets For Teens is another program under the Chapter’s SITES-IV (“Industry 4.0” SITES) portfolio. 

Additional information for the national capital region is provided on the following two landing pages, bdpadc.org or tabletsforteens.org.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Tablets For Teens • Earth Day Tech Summit 2021 • TabletsForTeens.org

BDPA achieves new milestone with 45-year Anniversary and Virtual Youth Tech Camp

ST. LOUIS, MO (BDPA St. Louis)BDPA2020 is a wrap! This weekend, National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) finalists out of the Midwest Regional bracket from BDPA’s St. Louis Chapter successfully re-captured their national coding and app development championship title. The awards were virtually announced live Saturday, August 22, 2020 by the association’s Board Members and Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) Program Directors.

bdpatoday | June 2019

Winning two titles in the last three years, BDPA St. Louis achieved this feat with support, coaching, and passionate mentorship during COVID-19. This year’s challenges also included remote access for many communities to attend a “virtual” BDPACON20 during the Association’s annual Coding Combine and BDPA2020’s Youth Technology Camp (YTC).

Throughout the year, local chapters conduct SITES training programs for youth in their respective communities. SITES programs include, but are not limited to, HSCC, Mobile App Showcase, IT Showcase, YTC, and Tablets for Teens. Next school year (SY20-21), local SITES programs expand to include participating middle and high school Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) units. These programs are designed to expose young adults to computing and technical concepts while sharing with them expertise to develop mobile and web applications. Some chapters will participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students. Each BDPA chapter is able to send teams of 3 to 5 students to the association’s annual regional and national technology conferences to compete against teams from other chapters all over the country.

National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program was launched in 1986 by Dr. Jesse L. Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between the Chapter cities of Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. HSCC is designed to immediately introduce our youth to emerging fields of Information Technology and Cyber while encouraging them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

More coding and cyber teams for 2021 are forming in direct support of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with additional tech-inclusion programs for JROTC, Sea Cadets, and Civil Air Patrol cadets. Local sponsors and regional impact investments are welcomed.

Email JROTC@bdpa.dc for additional details. bt

STEM Conference honors Army CIO as 2020 Black Engineer of the Year

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WASHINGTON — Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, U.S. Army, who was sworn in as the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) on Aug. 1. 2017, was awarded the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for his outstanding efforts to mentor the next generation of American scientists, technologists, and engineers.

As the Army’s chief information officer and G-6, Lt. Gen. Crawford reports both to the secretary of the Army as CIO, and also to the chief of staff of the Army as G-6.

He sets the strategic direction of the Army network and supervises all command, control, communications, and computers (C4) and Information Technology (IT) functions. He also oversees the Army’s $12.2 billion IT programs, manages enterprise IT architecture, establishes and enforces IT policies, and directs the delivery of C4IT capabilities to support war-fighters and business users.

As the G-6, he advises the Chief of Staff of the Army on the network, communications, signal operations, information security, force structure, and equipping.

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JROTC photo at BEYA2020 courtesy Neal Daniels, Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he was commissioned through South Carolina State University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program on May 28, 1986, after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

ICYMI | bdpatoday 02.15.20During his 33 years of service, LTG Crawford served in leadership positions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. In previous assignments, he served as commanding general, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), director of C4/Cyber and Chief Information Officer, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), commanding general, 5th Signal Command (Theater); and G-6, U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Each year, the annual BEYA Conference hosts award ceremonies for people who create innovation and inspiration, opening up opportunities for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Black Engineer of the Year awards are made based upon peer-reviews of hundreds of nominations submitted by organizations and employers across the country.

— Sources, photos, and original articles: blackengineer.com and bdpatoday

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Implementing Diversity from the Top

Apply today for new civilian careers in Tech and Cyber with the Department of the Air Force.

LAS VEGAS, NV — Chief diversity officers (CDOs) from internationally-recognized brands in tech shared their best practices during CES® – the world’s largest and most influential tech event – for integrating diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives creating innovative cultures which have resulted in positive changes across their respective organizations.

One of industry’s new innovative initiatives cited included HP’s partnership with the National HBCU Business Deans RoundtableLesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for HP, shared with this year’s audience that HP’s business-case competition is one way her teams are “investing in students who are ready to step up and reinvent not only the business landscape, but mindsets as well.”

For over two decades HP has actively participated in National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) during BDPACon, National BDPA’s annual technology conferences and career expos, as a Platinum Sponsor and mission partner providing PCs, monitors, and equipment for National BDPA’s annual coding competitions.

High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Programs

Above, High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Junior Developers (Jr. Devs) and finalists from National BDPA’s Southern Minnesota Chapter from Rochester, MN.

Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch shared with her audience how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation among junior developers with community STEM programs such as First Robotics. As a Strategic Partner, Bosch has an opportunity to utilize its industry experience to offer insights for FIRST programs. In Detroit, MI and other cities, Bosch continues to provide funding, equipment, volunteers and more to enhance the reach and overall impact of FIRST.

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Above (L-R), Ms. Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch interviews with Mr. Maynard Okereke of Hip Hop Science in Los Angeles, CA. Ms. Yeizman shares how Bosch balances employee resource group (ERG) participation with community STEM programs such as FIRST Robotics.

National BDPA members onsite this year during CES® shared with Bosch that National BDPA’s Detroit Chapter is National BDPA’s Chapter of the Year for 2019. BDPA Detroit remains very excited about new collaboration efforts to align student programs  in direct support of inclusive initiatives. Industry needs a very strong workforce to “drive” more innovation into robotics, autonomous vehicles (AVs), and electric vehicles (EVs) across automotive sector OEMs and their supply chains.

ces2020j-ben-hasan-walmart-btAt Walmart, Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer, cites having and maintaining an outstanding relationship with corporate executives which at times include very candid diversity and inclusion conversations with recommendations. Mr. Hasan stated diversity and inclusion has pivoted from a compliance approach towards more social science and neuroscience approaches at Walmart. Similar to ERGs, Walmart operates nine associate resource groups (ARGs) in support of their diversity and inclusion mission sets.  This shift to operations, as an integral part of Walmart’s business units, affords ARGs inclusive educational curricula with opportunities to enhance both internal and external customer experiences.

Mr. Hasan is no stranger to BDPA.   During National BDPA’s Technology Conference and Career Expo in Raleigh, NC, he shared a breakfast with National BDPA’s HSCC finalists from the National Capital Region where he discussed his experiences in college and industry with Jr. Developer teams from BDPA-DC.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) just announced earlier this week during CES® that CTA will invest $10 million in venture firms and funds focused on women, people of color and other underrepresented startups and entrepreneurs.

“To continue to evolve and grow, the tech industry needs more equal access to venture funding,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Various research reports indicate diverse teams make better decisions and achieve greater profits. At CTA, this is one more tool we are deploying to help promote diversity in the technology industry.”

“The U.S. needs to invest in a diverse talent pool to capture great ideas and innovation and help birth more ‘unicorn’ companies,” said Tiffany Moore, senior vice president, political and industry affairs, CTA. “CTA is committed to this investment and will work with established funds and fund managers who focus on women, people of color and other underrepresented groups.”

Top cover photo (L-R) features Tiffany Moore, Senior Vice President, Consumer Technology Association (CTA), host and moderator; Carmalita Yeizman, North American Lead for Diversity and Inclusion at Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, Chief Diversity Officer for HP; and Ben Hasan, Senior Vice President and Chief Global Culture, Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Walmart, Inc.
— Photo © 2020 bdpatoday | Sources: CTA and BDPA, contributors Sarh Brown (CTA) and Perry Carter (BDPA).

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Tech ‘Team Mom’ is 2019’s Member of the Year

2019 Member of The Year (BDPA-DC)

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The Real SV: From Somerville to Silicon Valley

WASHINGTON — Terry Brox, a native of Philadelphia PA, holds degrees in Computer Science from La Salle University, Information Security from Peirce College and a Masters Certificate in Instructional Design from George Mason University. Employed by KPMG, she is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

terry-broxAs a child, Terry always wanted to be a teacher and although she started her career teaching computer programming in Philadelphia, PA, the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley as a Computer Scientist was the best decision she ever made. She currently resides in Northern Virginia, is married with three children, and has two grandchildren.

More “hidden figures” with countless success stories continue to evolve from Philadelphia’s Germantown and West Oak Lane communities in spite of known challenges chronicled from the late 1960’s through the turn of the century.  Skirmishes between Brickyard, Clang, Dogtown, Haines Street, Somerville, and other turf rivalries across Philadelphia were emblematic of the struggles of inner-city youth that transcended Ms. Brox’ childhood communities.

Founded in 1975 by Earl A. Pace, Jr. not too far away in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia, BDPA (formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates) gives Ms. Brox an opportunity to give back to her communities while doing something which she dreamed of doing since childhood.

This year as a volunteer and sponsor, Ms. Brox served as a Coach, a Mentor, and “Team Mom” to 2019’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from the National Capital Region. Training, coding, and application development sessions were conducted on weekends. BDPA-DC’s HSCC Student Member finalists successfully captured their third national HSCC coding championship in Atlanta, GA during BDPACon19.  Twelve other U.S. HSCC teams competed.

The trade association’s annual Tech and Media Reception and Community Technology Awards is Thursday evening, November 21, 2019, from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Samsung Electronics Future Center on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

— Source:  BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

RSVP before Monday November 18th

2019 Community Technology Awards

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WASHINGTON — National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org) is hosting an evening of professional networking and Holiday Soirée with Tech Industry executives on Thursday, November 21, 2019, at Samsung Electronics Executive Briefing Center, 700 PENN S.E., Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

2019 High School Computer Competition Champions
2019 National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Champions from Washington, D.C.

This year’s annual Tech & Media Reception, Community Technology Awards,  and Holiday Soirée is co-hosted by Samsung Electronics. In closing out this exciting decade, the association is honoring the region’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) national coding championship team (above), celebrating the 55th Anniversary of The Washington Informer, and celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the H.O.P.E. Project DMV.

2019 Community and Technology Award Winners

2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards

2019 Industry Sponsor of the Year

2019 Community Service Award

2019 Member of the Year

  • Terry Wilson-Brox, KPMG
    Tech ‘Team Mom‘ for 2019 National HSCC Coding Champions
    Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA).

2019 Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Ron Hamm , President, HCG
    Government Relations (GovRel) contributor to bdpatoday

2019 President’s Technical Career Awards

  • Anu Fomengia
  • Dernard Hawkins
  • Lynette Hinton
  • Sedley Randolph
  • Phyllis Ussery
  • Brittany Walker

Earl A, Pace, Jr. | Co-Founder, BDPASince 1975, BDPA’s mission sets continue to pay it forward into its fifth (5G) decade to bridge application development, cybersecurity, information technology (IT), and telecommunications competency gaps between Industry, Academia, governments and traditionally underserved communities.

Local BDPA Chapter goals across the National Capital Region (NCR) are set forth to provide access to technology and career training programs. Events with regional sponsors and mission partners include educational outreach programs for professionals, junior developers (Jr. Devs), young adults, and youth technology programs across the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area (DMV) in direct support of economic development, technology inclusion, and workforce development initiatives.

Reservations for this year’s reception and BDPA Professional Membership drives for 2020 remain open until Monday, November 18, 2019. Discover more by visiting the trade association’s landing pages, publications, and archives → https://bdpadc.org

Select here to RSVP before Monday, November 18th


Amazon’s Future Engineer Program funds High School Computer Science Courses

Jeff Bezos visits Dunbar High School in Washington,D.C. Amazon launches Future Engineer Program

SEATTLE, WA—Amazon today announced it reached a new milestone—through its Amazon Future Engineer program, it is funding computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country. Benefiting more than 100,000 high school students, from Nenana, Alaska to Washington, D.C., Amazon is funding full-year Intro and AP computer science courses, primarily for public Title I schools that have never offered AP computer science courses before. Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part, childhood-to-career program that works to inspire and educate 10 million children and young adults each year from underserved and underrepresented communities to try computer science.

“We applaud the teachers who took the initiative to bring these courses to their deserving students, and we are humbled to be a part of the important work they do in their classrooms across the country every single day,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “This is an important milestone for our Amazon Future Engineer program and its quest to make sure more students, especially those from underserved and underrepresented communities, have the access to and the opportunity to dive deep into an exciting computer science education.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a tiny minority from underprivileged backgrounds. Students from underprivileged backgrounds are 8 to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.

amazon-bezos-kindleAmazon Future Engineer provides access to computer science courses in more than 2,000 schools through its curriculum providers – Edhesive and Code.org. Since the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, the vast majority of the high schools accepted in the Amazon Future Engineer program are public schools that have received or are eligible for Title I funding.

“Having Amazon Future Engineer fund courses for our students in rural Oregon means we are able to give our students exposure to technology rich skills that directly impact their future career choice,” said Kyle Sipe, Instructional Coach and Robotics Mentor, Umatilla High School. “Because of this program, we can alter the knowledge base of our students and assist them to select a career that better suits our local job market’s needs. Amazon Future Engineer has given our kids the amazing opportunity to get relevant and applicable technology content.”

“We have future scientists, engineers, and inventors in our classrooms throughout the District, and I am proud that we have resources like Amazon’s Future Engineer program to provide them with the learning opportunities they need to achieve their goals,” said District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “We are excited to welcome the Amazon team to Dunbar High School to see our students in action, and their passion and excitement for computer science is what drives us to continue to expand our STEM programming through National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academies, courses, extracurricular activities, and more.”

“As demand for computer science skills impacts a wide range of industries from manufacturing to customer service, the demand for a diverse labor force equipped with technical capabilities also rises,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI). “It’s why we applaud all efforts from the public and private sector to increase access to a robust computer science education and to nurture the growth of our nation’s economy. I am looking forward to seeing all that the next generation of students in Michigan’s 11th district will achieve, as the Amazon Future Engineer program launches at high schools there and across the country.”

The Amazon Future Engineer high schools will receive funding from Amazon to offer Intro & AP computer science courses. Amazon’s funding also provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support every day of the week for both teachers and students. All educators and students participating in this program have access to a no-cost membership with AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students comprehensive resources for building skills in cloud technology. Students will receive content to learn about cloud computing and access to the AWS cloud for their coding projects.

Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire millions of kids to explore computer science; provides over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; awards 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offers guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.

Cover photo: Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, visits an Amazon-funded computer science class at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C.
— Source and photos: Amazon and NBC Washington

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BDPA-DC Captures National Coding Title

ATLANTA, GA—The High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team from National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC.org) captured this year’s national coding and app development title during BDPACon19, the Association’s annual coding combine, 41st National Technology Conference, and Tech Career Expo, hosted by National BDPA in Atlanta, Georgia.

This year, 12 teams advanced from their respective regions to compete nationally for scholarships and internships with National and local BDPA mission-partners and sponsors. For 2019, the top three teams (clockwise, L-R) are BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia), BDPA St. Louis (Missouri), and BDPA Southern Minnesota (Rochester, MN.) Click to enlarge photos.

Throughout the year, local BDPA chapters conduct Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) training programs for youth in their communities. These programs are designed to expose students to computing concepts, information technology, and provide them additional expertise to develop web or mobile applications. Some chapters participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students.

Regional HSCCIn May, Bowie State University co-hosted this year’s Regional Innovation Summit and HSCC with BDPA-DC and Patriots Technology Training Center. Participating BDPA chapters are able to send one team of 3 to 5 students to the annual national technology conference (BDPACon) and coding combine to compete against teams from other BDPA Chapters from other regions.

The National BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, GA has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It was designed to introduce youth to fields of Information Technology (IT), encourage them to seek technical certifications with higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

Corporate sponsors and mission-partners from the National Capital Region that helped paved the way toward this year’s national championship include AG Grace, Inc.; Assured Information Security, Inc. (AIS); Air Force Civilian Service (AFCS); Best Buy; Blacks In Cyber; Bowie State University; Connected2Tech, LLC.; D.C. Courts System; D.C. SBDC; Defender Academy; Eccalon, LLC; Enlightened, Inc.; Federal Government Experts, LLC; GDIT; H.O.P.E. Project DMV; Howard University; Inclusive Innovation Incubator (IN3); Joint Educational Facilities, Inc. (JEF); KPMG; The Microsoft Store;  Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC); Morton Media; National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Oracle; Patriots Technology Training Centers; Premier Enterprise Solutions, Inc.; R&K Cyber Solutions; Samsung USA; SiriusXM Radio, Inc.; U.S. Air Force; U.S. Army; U.S. Coast Guard; Vergo Productions; Washington Association of Black Journalists (WABJ); WOOD Consulting Services, Inc. and select Department of Defense (DOD) agencies.

The Team has scheduled a special open house and press conference on Saturday, August 10, 2019, from 9:00 am to 12 noon at their Gallery Place training facility in Washington, D.C. Invitations may be requested via email:  media@bdpadc.org or info@bdpadc.org.

For additional information, visit BDPAdc.org and BDPA2019.com.

— Photo credits: National BDPA and bdpatoday

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BDPA South Region: Moving On Up!

NASHVILLE, TN — MOVING ON UP!
National BDPA South Region Member SpotlightMr. Lancelot DaSilva
by Judy Y. Lane

lancelot-deloitte_bdpa-midtnIn the summer of 2005, Lancelot was a member of Inroads and was able to secure an internship with Deloitte. The position introduced him to the world of IT and the rest was technical history. He interned with Deloitte for five consecutive summers while pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering.

Upon graduation Lancelot was offered a full-time job at Deloitte, where he currently is a Lead Business Solution Analyst. During his tenure as an intern, he was introduced to National BDPA. In 2012, he became BDPA Middle Tennessee’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC) & S.I.T.E.S coordinator.

Throughout the year, local BDPA chapters conduct Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) training programs for youth in their communities. These programs are designed to expose our youth to the concepts of software development, high performance computing, rapid prototyping, and provide them full-stack web development expertise while enjoying the camaraderie of National BDPA’s professional and technical networks.

Lancelot firmly believes “children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”. Lancelot represents the future of IT and is the type of talent one will meet in person by attending this month’s annual BDPA South Regional Conference – June 21st-June 22nd, 2019 in Nashville, TN.  Select here for additional registration and partnering details.

—  Source and photos: BDPA Middle Tennessee
Cover photo: Deloitte’s CIO and ERG Members during BDPACon18
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