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

A Miracle out of Mayhem: 51,000 parents and children in Detroit get laptops and free Internet access

DETROIT, MI (NAACP Detroit) – Today it was announced that 51,000 Detroit school children and their parents will have access to laptops and the internet. A few weeks ago, this was only a thought in the minds of a few very dedicated people. Now children all around this city, regardless of economic, social or racial status will become more knowledgeable, more prepared, and more confident in their future.

Partners in this effort are the Detroit Branch NAACP, DTE Energy, DPSCD, Quicken Loans, The Skillman Foundation, City of Detroit, General Motors, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Every now and then, one gets the opportunity to do something much bigger which will last much longer than even they themselves. This is the historic moment. It is a kairos moment (when God has placed a special opportunity) to bless Detroit to come together to create order out of chaos. It has been said, “it is only during a storm that a tree knows how strong it is” Matshona Dhliwayo. Today, we are discovering how strong we can be as a people when we come together as a village. It is hard to believe that what started off as an idea, a suggestion, even a challenge has now evolved into a reality. This truly is the stuff of which dreams are made.

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51,000 Detroit school children and their parents will have access to laptops and the internet. A few weeks ago, this was only a thought in the minds of a few very dedicated people. Now children all around this city, regardless of economic, social or racial status will become more knowledgeable, more prepared, and more confident in their future. Education and information will be brought live and in living color directly into their homes. Detroit will become a national model of what can be done in various communities if the people have a mind to get it done.

It is appropriate and inspiring that the model begin in the city of Detroit. We continue to be a city of firsts. From the auto industry to the music industry, whether its labor or religion, we take a back seat to no one in creativity and innovation. As a community advocate and a person of faith, I do believe in miracles. The ability to raise nearly $20 million dollars in such a short time to have an impact for such a long time is indeed miraculous. This is one sure way of defeating COVID-19. The disease may have taken our bodies, but it can never take the spirit out of Detroit. I want to thank every company, every business, every foundation, the Mayor, and each person that has made this initiative possible.

hscc_conf09-HSCCstudents-2I say to the other companies, firms and foundations that are viewing this progress, now is the time for you to log in with us. Let’s make history together. It is historic because it has never been done before. The children of our city need you. If ever you wondered what you should do, just hook up to the Connected Futures and see all the good that you can do. May God bless you and the children, educators, parents, IT professionals and other staff that will lead us into the future.

– Statement by Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, President, Detroit Branch NAACP
Cover photo: Detroit Branch NAACP
Coding Competition photos: ©National BDPA and BDPA Detroit

BDPA Chapters may directly receive new tablets, laptops, Raspberry Pi PC kits, software, mobile hotspots, and cash donations locally or via BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF.org) to reduce digital divide challenges.

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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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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.

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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


Cyber Students attend Youth Conference of Network Defenders

COLUMBIA, MD — Student Members from National BDPA’s Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. Chapters attended a regional Youth Conference of Network Defenders (Y-CND) with other area students at DreamPort, a cyber innovation and mission accelerator near Ft. George Meade, Maryland.

The annual Youth Conference of Network Defenders (Y-CND) is a charter of events giving area teens and young adults an opportunity to network and submerge themselves with in the information technology and cyber communities. ​ The goal is to foster communication and collaboration while increasing the level of conversations impacting youth and tomorrow’s workforce.

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Powered by Defender Academy, Y-CND events explore the safety, standardization, tools, and diversity and inclusion of the information technology and cybersecurity community. This is their opportunity to ask questions, participate, and figure out their place in cybersecurity.

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According to their mission statement, Defender Academy inspires middle school and high school students to be a part of the team closing the gap in cyber security professionals. Founded on integrity, critical thinking and problem solving, the academy also ensures participating students are prepared and ready to protect and defend the Internet and assets that lie within.

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DreamPort, as a cyber innovation and mission accelerator, is a rapid prototyping facility  supporting United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) and other Department of Defense DOD, Intelligence Community (IC), and Federal agencies. DreamPort was launched by USCYBERCOM through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) awarded to the Maryland Innovation and Security Institute (MISI).

BDPA photos ©2019 bdpatoday

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#BDPACon19 | Atlanta, Georgia | August 1-3, 2019 | bdpa2019.com

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Since 1986 — an annual “Coding Combine” featuring collegiate, voc-tech, and high school IT Showcases

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National BDPA Hosts South Regional Technology Conference

NASHVILLE, TN — BDPA Chapter representatives from Atlanta, GA, Huntsville, AL, Memphis TN, and Middle Tennessee gathered at the David Lipscomb University’s Swang Business Center for the annual BDPA South Regional Conference held June 22nd and 23rd, 2018.

This year the event was hosted by National BDPA’s Middle Tennessee Chapter. The conference was informative and worthwhile. The primary goal of the conference was to bring together chapters in BDPA’s South Region to engage in learning and networking to increase regional collaboration with Industry and to achieve stronger camaraderie with BDPA in local communities and the workplace.

High School Computer Competition | #HSCC
Students from the BDPA Atlanta and BDPA Middle Tennessee chapters competed in this category. Each team had only three (3) hours to solve a finance problem and build a web-based application. Afterwards, each team presented their project to a team of judges. The winners were the BDPA Atlanta team who were presented with a gold medal.

Wilfred Powell, senior at Daniel McLaughlin Therrell High School
Christopher Ballenger, senior at Dekalb Early College Academy
Saleem Saafir, sophomore at Georgia Connections Academy Charter School
Sarah Gichuhi, soon-to-be freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology

Youth Technology Camp | #YTC
Students in attendance got a wonderfully opportunity to participate in two (2) events – Raspberry Pi and mobile app simulation “What if there is an App for That?”. For Raspberry Pi students created a game and for the mobile app simulation they brainstormed and created blueprints for apps.

South Regional winners for 2018 were:

• 1st Place – Elyse Seats, grade 6, who proposed a social media app for hair enthusiasts. It is called “Hair it Out”. You can take a picture of your face and try different hair styles. Also it will connect you to different salons to achieve desire look.
• 2nd Place – Sunny Singha, grade 7, who proposed a whistle-blowing app
for children to alert their parents of their siblings’ wrongdoing.
• Special recognition went to a six-year who proposed an app called Jungle
Chase – a temple-run game where the main character escapes a hungry bear.

2018 BDPA South Regional Officers

Professional Development Workshop
Adults in attendance networked and participated in technical and professional development workshops.

Kareem DaSilva, BDPA Memphis President, conducted the technical workshop. He presented on the topic “Build Innovative Apps with React Native”. He shared with the audience how to use React Native to build iOS and Android applications natively using JavaScript and React

Raphael Villas, 2013 alumni of Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, who conducted the professional development workshop – “Highlights of IT Careers”. He shared his experience working with the federal government, his career as a web generalist, a software developer working with non-profits, and Fortune 500 companies such as Groupon and VeggieTales. He stressed the importance of having interpersonal skills as well as technical skills to better suit the needs of one’s user base. Using his career path as an example, he shared how diverse the opportunities of the technology industry are, and how rewarding the public sector can be.

PepperSpecial Guest – “Pepper” The Humanoid Robot
Thanks to corporate sponsor, Deloitte LLP, everyone in attendance got an opportunity to meet The Humanoid Robot, Pepper. The creators of Pepper shared with everyone the ins and outs of what it took to build and program Pepper. Then we watched with excitement how the developers used code to have Pepper speak and dance.

The conference concluded with an award ceremony for the students who competed. Special acknowledgement went to all volunteers from BDPA Members, Deloitte LLP employees and to sponsors David Lipscomb University’s Swang Business Center for making the BDPA South Regional Conference a great success. We look forward to seeing everyone during the upcoming 40th annual National BDPA Technology Conference scheduled from August 9th to August 11th in New Orleans, LA.

submitted by Jada Evonne Thomas, BDPA Memphis
Source and photos: Host Chapter, BDPA Middle Tennessee

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