Raymond Bell, Jr. Elected BDPA-DC President and Executive Committee Chair

WASHINGTON — Raymond Bell, Jr. has been elected to fill the vacancy of Vice President Business Management and President Elect for BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC). Bell will assume President of BDPA-DC and Chair the Chapter’s Executive Committee on January 1, 2022.

Raymond Bell, Jr.He will succeed outgoing President and Chair, Perry Carter,

who supports Federal and DOD/IC portfolios for National BDPA.  Carter will expand his role in direct support of the Association’s Golden Anniversary Events in 2025, and National BDPA Local Chapter engagements in CONUS with JROTC Units, HBCU/MIs, and CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) Tech 2025 FED/SLED (state and local government and education) initiatives.

Bell is the founder of R. Emmanuel Bell Consulting, a training and facilitation company. Mr. Bell is a social entrepreneur, keynote speaker and facilitator. He is devoted to teaching and coaching young adults how to become I.T. professionals. Through his workshops, courses and coaching programs Bell shows young adults how to get out of  unemployment lines and onto rewarding career paths.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019
H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019

Bell’s passion is to empower young people to take ownership and control of their own destiny. In 2009 Bell founded The H.O.P.E. Project, also known as the “Harvard of the Hood”, an I.T. career training program. The H.O.P.E. Project has been called one of the best I.T. career training programs in the country by the President of the Help Desk Institute (HDI). Graduates earn an average annual salary of $62,500, working on major government contracts with prime contractors such as Lockheed Martin, World Bank, and CACI to name a few. To date, nearly forty H.O.P.E. Project graduates have accepted annual salaries at and north of $100,000.

Raymond Bell, Jr. is considered one of the leading experts in I.T. career training and workforce development in the United States. Mr. Bell has received numerous awards for his work including the a HDI Top 25 Thought Leader, BDPA-DC Member of the Year, National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and Nation Builder Award Recipient, for his outstanding work developing world class I.T. professionals.

HOPE Project DMV IT Summits and Community Info-Sessions

Bell launched hopeprojectonline in 2021 to help over 1,000 people launch new careers in Information Technology. Bell has been seen on and/or featured in Ebony, ABC, CBS, WHUR, NewOne Now, Bloomberg News, Washington Post, National Public Radio, National Journal, BET and many other media outlets. Bell will lead his new board alongside Sedley Randolph, who transitioned to the Chapter’s new Chief of Staff role. Randolph is a 2019 BDPA-DC President’s Community Technology Award recipient.

With BDPA-DC Chapter’s latest rounds of new impact funding from Microsoft and OCTO, Bell is recruiting more Veterans, professionals, students, and interns from the National Capital Region (DMV) to join and actively participate in new committees. He wants to offer more technical coaching, mentorship, training, and certification programs to meet and exceed emerging cybersecurity and “Smart City” requirements. Adjacent to BDPA-DC, National BDPA also seeks immediate growth and new members in Annapolis, MD; Baltimore, MD; Northern Virginia; Richmond, VA; and new BDPA Chapters collocated with regional HBCUs and MSIs.

Annual IT Summit
H.O.P.E. Project DC Annual IT Summit in Washington, D.C.

Nominations are now open to current or new BDPA-DC Members for the election of new officers and committee chairs for BDPA-DC’s FY22/FY23 board.  New BDPA-DC Members may apply for and join as full or student memberships through the Association’s portal at BDPA.org.  Current BDPA-DC Members may renew or update membership profiles for current NBDPA career opporiutntiies, industry news, and local events.

Annual Community Technology Awards with America’s 2019 National High School Computer Coding Competition team from Washington, D.C.

About BDPA

BDPA, formerly known as Black Data Processing Associates, was founded in Philadelphia, PA in 1975. Today, BDPA is an international organization with a remarkably diverse membership of professionals and students in the fields of information and communications technology (ICT), computer science, data science, and related S.T.E.M. fields. Local BDPA Chapters and BDPA Members are actively engaged in serving their respective communities through outreach engagements while charting the future of ICT industries.

BDPA Memphis Chapter with Bryce Ellis, Naim Hakeem, Kareem Dasilva, Judy Lane, Melaati Jayah, Jada Thorium and Mykaila Johnson.

Association U.S., Canada, and Local Reference Links

BDPA – bdpa.org and BDPA-DC – BDPAdc.org

Youth Tech Programs and High School Coding Competitions – DCHSCC.org

Tablets For Teens – tabletsforteens.org

bdpatoday – bdpatoday.com

PTTV – populartechnology.tv

LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/bdpatoday

Archives – pinterest.com/bdpatoday

H.O.P.E. DMV Alumnae Receive 2015’s President’s Awards

hope-37bMERCEDES SNYDER | President’s Award

Here is Mercedes’ Story

“When you’ve worked hard, and done well and walked through the doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it behind you. You reach back and you give folks the same chances that helped you succeed.

— Michelle Obama

Mercedes Snyder is a Help Desk Manager and has only been in the IT field since October of 2013. Mercedes was born in Washington, D.C. and had lived in DC majority of her life. At the age of 16 she moved to Texas with her mother. When Mercedes turned 20 she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy Jayden. Mercedes had worked for Walmart from 2007 to 2010. During this time, Mercedes was dealing with domestic violence at home and was constantly told she will never accomplish anything.

She decided to move back to Washington, D.C. to get out of that situation. Unfortunately, she had to leave her child in Texas because she could not afford to take care of him. As soon as Mercedes returned to the District, she took the first job she could get her hands on,” McDonalds”.

Working at McDonald’s she only made $7.80 per hour. With a promotion to a production manager she finally made $8.00 per hour.  At $8.00 per hour, Mercedes feared she may never be able to get her son back.

One day, Mercedes’ cousin Alyssia Suarez informed her of a program called the H.O.P.E. Project. She stated that the program helped her to make $45 K without a college degree and it was within the DMV area. Excited about this information, Mercedes attended the very next available H.O.P.E. Info-Session for this program.

After going through various stages of consideration such as a telephone interview, an essay, a face-to-face interview, and a test on a white page, Mercedes was finally selected for this opportunity, but initially was denied.

Not willing to give up, six months later Mercedes tried again when H.O.P.E. Project announced another class was about to begin. She was accepted into the program this time around! Within her first week she received a job working for HP, a BDPA Platinum Sponsor, supporting  Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) with a public trust Clearance.

Excited about this opportunity and how quickly things were changing, Mercedes knew that this way to get her son back and out of poverty. Being in the HOPE project took a lot of work having to study and research on a completely new field other than retail. The day before graduation she received an offer letter to work for Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA).  Soon, Mercedes was able to get her son back soon after that.

While being in the IT field, Mercedes knew that she had to keep pushing because that was not enough money to get a place on her own. Six months later she received a new opportunity to support Defense Health Agency (DHA)  and within eight months of being at the help desk level she was promoted to Help Desk Shift Manager.

The HOPE project has taught Mercedes how to take control of her life as well as to give back to her community. Mercedes is active mentor for new H.O.P.E. Project students.  Mercedes is now able to provide for her son and so much more.  She doesn’t just have job, she has a career!

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people live.” 

— Michelle Obama



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