LAUREL, MD—BDPA Members, alumni, and regional students visit Capitol Technology University’s cyber labs during workshops, presentations, and Capture The Flag (CTF) activities during this weekend’s annual Cyber Saturday events.
Capitol Technology University is Washington D.C.’s premier STEM University–supplying human capital to America’s most technologically advanced government agencies and their private sector supply chains. In 2020, Capitol Tech was awarded a two-year grant from the National Security Agency (NSA) to lead the National Center of Academic Excellence (CAE) Northeast Regional Hub, which includes 14 states, the District of Columbia, and hundreds of institutions offering cybersecurity programs. BDPA’s relationships with Capitol Tech, staff, and alumni, span two decades.
Dr. Kellep Charles serves as an assistant professor and chairs the Capitol Technology University’s Cybersecurity department. He completed his Doctorate in Cybersecurity at Capitol Technology University. He also holds a Master of Science in Telecommunication Management from the University of Maryland University College and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Dr. Charles worked as a government contractor in the Washington, DC area as an information security analyst for over 20 years in the areas of incident response, computer forensics, security assessments, malware analysis, and security operations. He is the creator and executive editor of SecurityOrb.com, an information security and privacy knowledge-based website with the mission to share and raise awareness of the motives, tools, and tactics of the black-hat community, and provide best practices and countermeasures against malicious events.
NASHVILLE, TN—Tennessee’s General Assembly reconvened January 11, 2022 and on April 14, 2022 the Tennessee Senate unanimously passedSenate Bill 2406 (SB 2406) requiring their Department of Education (DOE) to adopt standards for computer science education by the 2023-2024 school year. Under the new bill, by the 2024-2025 school year all high school students in Tennessee would be required to take a full year of computer science education in order to graduate and middle schoolers would have to take at least one computer science course.
SB 2406 and its companion bill in the Tennessee House of Representatives, HB 2153, stipulates Tennessee [DOE] will provide in-person and online computer science courses for public school students at no charge by the start of the 2023-24 school year. To this end, DOE would also provide a computer science education professional development program at no cost to educators. Additionally, SB 2406/HB 2153 creates new computer science requirements and stronger academic standards for K-12 students with a requirement Tennessee schools implement these standards beginning in the 2024-25 school year when enacted.
Nebraska Advances High School Computer Science and Technology Bill
Nebraska lawmakers also approved a bill last month to ensure students receive computer science and technology education prior to high school graduation. Introduced by Senator Terrell McKinney of Omaha, LB 1112 would require every public school district in Nebraska to include computer science and technology education within legacy instructional programs of its elementary and middle schools beginning in school year 2024-25.
Nebraska’s students would be required to complete at least one five-credit high school course in computer science and technology prior to graduation. These courses can be provided across traditional in-person classroom settings or blended learning environments.
Upskilling JROTC with STEM Education and Cybersecurity Training for Workforce Pipelines
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2022, Public Law 117-81, authorized $187.6 million and modifies a grant program supporting science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in JROTC to include quantum information sciences. NDAA 2022 also requires the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) to submit to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate (SASC) and the House of Representatives (HASC) a briefing on the status of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs of each Armed Force. SECDEF’s briefing must include the following:
(1) an assessment of the current usage of the program, including the number of individuals enrolled in the program, the demographic information of individuals enrolled in the program, and the number of units established under the program
(2) a description of the efforts of the Armed Forces to meet current enrollment targets for the program
(3) If applicable, an explanation of the reasons such enrollment targets have not been met (4) a description of any obstacles preventing the Armed Forces from meeting such enrollment targets
(5) a comparison of the potential benefits and drawbacks of expanding the program; and
(6) a description of program-wide diversity and inclusion recruitment and retention efforts
Tech Industry Certifications Before High School Graduation
In Virginia, the commonwealth’s Board of Education has approved many exams for the purpose of awarding verified credit, specifically designated as “Student-Selected Verified Credit.” In Fairfax County, just outside of our Nation’s Capital, many Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses prepare students for industry certification opportunities. Students who desire this professional credential must pass an industry-developed, industry evaluated exam at the end of the CTE course. Earning an industry credential demonstrates professional skill levels students and JROTC cadets have achieved while providing industry-recognized proof that students are prepared for career-related responsibilities or post-secondary education or training.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) provides a broad range of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) opportunities and academic opportunities that support pathways to STEAM jobs and careers. In Fairfax County, and across the National Capital Region, the greatest job growth continues to come largely from STEAM-related professions.
Sources: Tennessee and Nebraska General Assemblies; FCPS; Code Crews; BDPA Memphis; and BDPA-DC. Cover photo credit: Charlie Perkins, National BDPA. BDPA Southern Minnesota Coding Team shown during National BDPA’s annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC).
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!
2022 Huntsville Data CenterGrant 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
• Villageof 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.
By Norman Mays, Kenneth Wilson, and Sharrarne Morton, BDPA
National BDPA photo by Charlie Perkins
LARGO, MD (BDPA) – Earl A. Pace, Jr., a computer programmer trainee at the Pennsylvania Railroad who went on to become an entrepreneur, an iconic figure of civil rights in the tech industry, and a staunch proponent of technology inclusion initiatives, died February 19, 2022, after enduring a long illness his family said in a statement. He was 79.
“All of us will miss his caring, his love and his sound wisdom as co-founder of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). The date and details of a memorial service will be announced in the near future. Please keep us in your hearts and prayers.”
A distinguished alum of The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), Mr. Pace has been in the Information Technology (IT) industry since 1965. He left the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1967. Over the next decade he rose through the ranks of programmer, programmer analyst, programming manager, and on to Vice President of a financial telecommunications company in Philadelphia, PA. He became a business owner in 1976 when he incorporated Pace Data Systems, a full service information technology firm providing services and support through its Philadelphia, PA and Washington, D.C. offices primarily to banks and savings banks.
In 1975, Mr. Pace co-founded BDPA in Philadelphia and operated as its president for two years. In 1978 he coordinated the formation of BDPA into a national organization and functioned as its first National President until 1980. National BDPA has grown into one of the largest professional organizations representing minorities across the IT industry. In 1992, the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF or BDPA Foundation) chaired by Mr. Pace, was founded to support the education and technical programs of BDPA. In 2011, Mr. Pace was the first IT Innovator honored during CompTIA’s IT Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Within BDPA and on a broader industrial scale, Mr. Pace was a vocal advocate for business ownership. His primary message since starting BDPA has always been minorities should strive to rise above just ‘getting a job’ while pursuing ownership, operating their own businesses, and landing a position on a Corporate Board of Directors.
BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science, data science, and related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975, BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members remain actively engaged in serving their respective communities through technology inclusion programs and STEM outreach events while charting the futures of IT and digital inclusivity with Industry.
This book was written to enrich lives. It is a story about helping people grow, build, and achieve greatness. The story of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) – a non-profit organization of African-American computer professionals growing, building, and achieving success together – is one of developing diverse talent and improving their career options in the Information Technology industry. BDPA was born in 1975 because its founders believed African Americans in particular were marginalized in the burgeoning field of data processing, known today as information technology (IT), STEM, and cyber.
LARGO, MD (NBDPA) — From BDPA’s annual National Conferences, BDPA Tech & Career Talks, and other methods of engagement, networking, and mentorship, this new program will provide special offerings for cloud engineering and architecture. National BDPA seeks to create the next generation of Black technology thought-leaders deeply interested in the cloud space through this virtual series alongside the 12-week Cloud Academy.
The BDPA Cloud Academy is a 12-week program that will provide 50 College Students and Early Career Professionals (ECPs) the opportunity to learn about key cloud computing and technology concepts, get hands on experience with leading software from the leading Cloud providers, and get some experience applying core cloud concepts and technology to use cases based on Real World Evidence and current industry problems/situations.
Upon “graduation” students receive a BDPA Cloud Associate certification with an Industry Specialization and will have the opportunity to get a Google Cloud Digital Leader certification. There will be post-academy Fireside Chats that will allow program graduates the opportunity to interface with industry leaders and discuss the future of technology, society, and innovation.
ECPs or new BDPA Members may directly register their interests for the Academy’s next sessions by using this interest form.
— Source and graphic: National BDPA Top Photo: Google
HENRY E. FORD Garfield Heights, Ohio January 16, 1941 – September 8, 2021
GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (BDPA Cleveland)—During his 36 years employment and consulting with a world leader in the manufacture of earthmoving equipment, Henry Ford grew through the challenges of adapting to the corporate cultures of General Motors, White Motors, Daimler-Benz, Volvo, Clark Equipment Company, and Hitachi.
He survived many downsizings and reorganizations, and at retirement was retained as a long-term consultant. While still working, Henry began preparing for a second career, enrolling at Capital University, obtaining a degree in Business/Communications, and graduating magna cum laude.
An author, speaker, consultant and publisher of VISIONS Newsletter, Henry connected to audiences through personal examples, historical references and insightful vision. He inspired and challenged diverse audiences from the lectern, in his writings, and through inspirational messages shared around the world using the tools of Social Media, Internet Blogs and Opt-in Mailings.
A U.S, Army veteran, Henry’s community service included several years with REACT, helping insure safety on the nation’s highways; former board member of NAIC’s Northeast Ohio Council; a former Deputy Director of the 9th Street Project’s 1000 Churches Program, an initiative of Rainbow PUSH; and over 20 years of active involvement with National BDPA and BDPA’s Cleveland Chapter.
He was the recipient of the distinguished IEI award, Excellent Service in Education, Member of The Year BDPA-Cleveland, Achievement in Life, Bud Strong Achiever, and others. He has been recognized by the late author Alex Haley, five former members of Congress, and others. His work in Investment Education was acknowledged in the book, It’s About The Money. Henry also held an Insurance License in the State of Ohio. He was a member of the Mt. Zion Church of Oakwood Village. As a member of Eagles of Success International and People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards (PDHA), Henry continued his services to the community.
New Program Provides Funding to Schools and Libraries Critical to Closing the Homework Gap
WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted final rules to implement the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. This $7.17 billion program, funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, will enable schools and libraries to purchase laptop and tablet computers, Wi-Fi hotspots, and broadband connectivity for students, school staff, and library patrons in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Far too often, students, teachers, and library patrons lack the access they need to broadband and connected devices. This need has become even more apparent during these unprecedented times,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, Acting Chairwoman of the FCC. “Between this Emergency Connectivity Fund Program and the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, we are investing more than $10 billion in American students and households. These investments will help more Americans access online education, healthcare, and employment resources. They will help close the Homework Gap for students nationwide and give so many more households the ability to connect, communicate, and more fully participate in modern life.”
The Report and Order adopted today establishes the rules and policies governing the Emergency Connectivity Fund Program. The new rules define eligible equipment and services, service locations, eligible uses, and reasonable support amounts for funding provided. It designates the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) as the program administrator with FCC oversight, and leverages the processes and structures used in the ERate program for the benefit of schools and libraries already familiar with the E-Rate program. It also adopts procedures to protect the limited funding from waste, fraud, and abuse.
Recent estimates suggest there may be as many as 17 million children struggling without the broadband access they need for remote learning. The Acting Chairwoman has long made closing the Homework Gap a priority during her tenure at the Commission.
— Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Top photo: GettyImages
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 Schooland Tech901.
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.
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.
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 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.
HUNTSVILLE, AL — National BDPA’s Huntsville Chapter was given the opportunity to train students about STEM at Mae Jemison High School. BDPA Members Bernard Nealy, Brandon Fields, Pat King and Jason Bradshaw were the instructors for this training session.
The training session included high school seniors from Mae Jemison, one high school senior and two elementary students from Birmingham who were guests of the instructors. During the session the students had the opportunity experience electrical engineering by connecting a Raspberry Pi microcomputer to a CAMJam Kit breadboard by wiring the two devices together. While also installing resistors, and red, green, & yellow lights to the breadboard.
Once the students completed wiring the two devices together they connected the Raspberry Pi to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. After it was safely connected the students then were able to connect power to the Pi and proceed to use Python programming to complete the project. Once they completed the code which dictates how the Pi provides power to the breadboard, to each light, and when to halt from sending electrical current, then their results would either be red, yellow, or the green lights to power on.
Participating students really enjoyed the training and asked when the next training sessions would be held. These students are our inspiration to do what we do.