Monday, June 29, 2015

KENWOOD ACADEMY STUDENT ACCEPTED TO 26 UNIVERSITIES


CHICAGO (WLS) -- Kenwood Academy's valedictorian, Arianna Alexander, wants to go to college to learn about business. As it turns out, she has a number of options.

"It was a lot to take in. I received emails, letters. It was just like, 'Come here, come here!' They were bombarding me with all this information," Arianna said.

Arianna hails from Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. She graduated with a 5.1 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

She was accepted to 26 universities, including six Ivy League schools. Her scholarship offers total more than $3 million.

"I feel like it means I can afford college and I don't have to worry about it. I feel like that's an issue for a lot of people my age," Arianna said.

Her father encouraged her, after another Kenwood student was offered more than $1 million in scholarships a few years ago.

"I planted the seed in Arianna's mind that you can do the same thing. So when the process got started and a million was achieved, let's go for two. I said let's go for three and she did it," said Pierre Alexander, Arianna's father.

Arianna is the baby of the family. She has three older siblings.

"It was a big blessing, because I've already put three through college. Now I don't have to worry too much about her," Pierre said.

Arianna has also picked a school, thanks to Paul Brush, one of her teachers. She plans to attend University of Pennsylvania.

"He said, 'Do you know about the Wharton School of Business?' I said, 'I have no idea what you're talking about,'" Arianna said.

"As teachers, we have a big moment to play with the lives that we have in our classrooms," Brush said.

Her family has also influenced her. Arianna recounted her dad's words: "Work hard, pray on it, and don't give up. No matter what happens, you did your best."

"My wife and I have always stressed to her, if you do your best, you will be the best. So we try to make sure she upholds to that," Pierre said.

"So as long as you work hard, I feel like there is always a way for you," Arianna said.

After all, there is still more to achieve besides high school.

"When she graduates from Penn, that will be a second goal. We expect bigger and better things for her," he said.

Monday, June 1, 2015

National Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA)


BDPA is an international organization with a diverse membership of professionals and students at all levels in the fields of information technology, computer science and related S.T.E.M fields. Members are actively engaged in serving the community through outreach and charting the future of the IT industry.

Our Successes:

  • BDPA co-founder Earl Pace is inducted into the CompTIA IT Hall of Fame. More..
  • BDPA is celebrating its 40th year anniversary in 2015 location: Washington, DC More...
  • BDPA is the largest professional technology organization for Blacks/ African Americans and other minorities in the United States.
  • BDPA has grown to 45 chapters across the United States, which provides a safe environment for minorities in IT to network with other IT professionals, gain exclusive boardroom leadership experience at the local chapter & national levels, and strengthening the skills necessary to advancing in their respective IT careers.
  • BDPA has become a critical pipeline of diverse talent for employers across all industries requiring qualified Information Technology professionals in the United States. 
  • BDPA trains 800 to 1200 high school students across the nation every year in computer programming and web development; BDPA has trained more students to write code than any other non-profit organization in the United States since 1986; period.
  • BDPA has an awesome scholarship program which is generously supported through sponsorships, and offers over $100,000 annually in cash awards to high school and college students.
  • BDPA amasses the most significant accumulation of minority IT professionals in the United States at its annual National Technology Conference.


Our History

Founded as the Black Data Processing Associates in 1975 by Earl Pace and David Wimberly (Photo not available), BDPA was created to bring underrepresented minorities together who were working in the information technology and computer science field for the purpose of professional development and academic enrichment.

Our Mission

BDPA is a global member focused technology organization that delivers programs and services for the professional well-being of its stakeholders.

Our Vision

Be a powerful advocate for our stakeholders' interests within the global technology industry.

BDPA Strategic Priorities

1. Operational Cleanup – Fiscally sound practices and improved productivity.
2. Transformational Change – Organizationally aligned for significant membership growth.
3. Value Proposition – A premier provider of programs and service for all stakeholders.

What Does BDPA Offer?
Since 1975, BDPA has been a champion for the next generation of IT leadership. As an organization of highly respected Information and Technology professionals BDPA offers a unique opportunity to connect with others to share knowledge amongst a community of peers through:

Annual National BDPA Technology Conference - For the past 35 years, BDPA Conferences have provided opportunities for innovators to get the knowledge, access, and resources that are critical to stay on top. Click here to see a list of past National BDPA Conferences.

Local Chapter Events - With over 40 chapters nationwide, IT professionals are able to meet face to face and network.

Continuing Education & Professional Development (Events) - Cutting edge technologies and certifications. Webinars and articles that speak to best practices and the latest trends in Information technology. Online tools and publications: Professional Publications, Job Board, Diversity/Careers Magazine, bdpatoday and BDPA iRadio.

Academic Scholarships and Mentoring - For students and professionals Scholarships made available through the BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF). BETF is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity.

Career Opportunities - As a member you have access to the latest job announcements, have your resume seen by recruiters as a part of our member database. Connections are made at every BDPA Conference and online. Attend the Career Fair Expo and meet representatives from sponsoring corporations, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and graduate schools, to learn about the latest technologies and career options in the STEM fields. And much more!

Corporate Sponsorship Opportunities - BDPA's Corporate Sponsorship Program develops formal alliances with corporate America that enables us to succeed in our mission. We collaborate with our corporate partners in four key areas:

Recruitment:
Our recruiting resources reach all levels of a national pool of qualified information technology professionals to support your efforts to maintain a diverse workforce. Employers click here to post a job.

Retention:
Our career development services enhance the technical and professional skills of your current and future minority IT professionals to accelerate their value to your company. Click here to learn about our prestigious Corporate Eplison and Best Companies for Blacks in Technology Award Programs.

Community Outreach:
We foster partnerships with our sponsors to build their recognition within the community through activities that help close the digital divide, and increase community proficiency using technology.

Supplier Diversity:
We provide networking opportunities to share expertise and creating business opportunities between our sponsors and BDPA's entrepreneur members.

The BDPA Corporate Sponsorship Program offers corporations an opportunity to partner with BDPA to meet corporate goals and objectives for recruiting, employee development, and philanthropic endeavors. Please click here for more information on corporate sponsorship opportunities.

Community Outreach - National BDPA Student Programs - Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) & National High School Computer Competitions (HSCC) and Youth Technology Camp (YTC) - African American students are only awarded three percent of all Computer Science & Engineering related degrees. The BDPA HSCC program is standing in that gap and has become a pipeline for future Computer Science & Engineering students. Designed to introduce Middle School and High School Students to concepts of Information Technology and Business Acumen. Students will have the opportunity to participate in training sessions on compete on a national level for scholarships. Please click here to read HSCC student testimonials. Professionals who love to give back to their communities by volunteering their time can be recognized via the Presidents Volunteer Service Awards.

Opportunities for leadership - Be a part of the leadership team shaping the future of the organization.
Social Network Communities - BDPA has a Social Networking Community of over 70,000+ IT industry connections.

Join BDPA!
Be part of a national movement and make a difference in the lives of African American information technology professionals as we work together to create the changes needed for diverse work environments and supportive communities.

So the next time someone asks, Where are the Blacks in Information Technology? Where are the Blacks In Technology? Where are Information Technology Thought Leaders? Where are the Blacks In STEM? Where are the Black Digital Leaders of the future? Tell them they are all in BDPA!

Advantages of BDPA Membership
Learn More About Membership
Read Our Privacy Statement

BDPA National Headquarters:

9500 Arena Drive
Suite 106
Largo, Maryland 20774
Office Number (301) 584-3135
Office Fax (301) 560-8300
info@bdpa.org

Source: http://www.bdpa.org/

Friday, May 1, 2015

9-Year-Old Nigerian Becomes World’s Youngest Microsoft Certified Professional

Nigeria has come on the global scene in the information communication technology sector, as 9-year-old Jomiloju Tunde-Oladipo joined the community of achievers when he became one of the world’s youngest 2013 certified Microsoft Office specialists for Office Word 2010.

Jomiloju, a primary 6 pupil of Role Model School, owned by DayStar Christian Centre, Oregun, Ikeja Lagos, broke the record created in 2012 by 10-year-old JSS1 student, Seyi-Ojo Anjolaoluwa, who was adjudged the youngest Nigerian and one of the youngest people in the world to have become a Microsoft certified professional.

Jomiloju took the July 2013 examination while in primary 5, after passing all the preparatory stages leading to the final examinations following intense teachings in school and trainings he received from United Global Resources Ltd, an accredited ICT training firm.

Odion Oyakhire, the center manager in charge of the school noted that his firm, “encourages pupils to learn ICT and get certified.”

Oyakhire explained that his firm coordinates the certification examinations for several schools and was proud to associate with Jomiloju and Role Model School on this feat. He said that the certification examination is an online, real-time test.

Before setting this new record in Nigeria for the certification examination, Jomiloju led his school to glory in June 2013, when they won an ICT quiz competition with 15 participating school in Lagos. The competition was put together by United Global Resources.

The examination report showed Jomiloju scored 769 points, 69 points higher than the required 700 to be recognized as a Microsoft Office Specialist.

http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/10/15/9-year-old-boy-becomes-nigerias-youngest-microsoft-certified-professional/

Monday, April 20, 2015

Meet Jasmine: She Graduated High School With 3 College Degrees, Has Won Civic Award

The town of Flint, Michigan is home to an amazing young woman. At just 19 years of age Jasmine Cofield has accomplished more than many do in an entire lifetime. She graduated from high school last year but before she was handed her diploma she already had three college degrees under her belt. She is currently a senior in Central Michigan University. This year she was named the 2015 Newman Civic Fellow.

The award is handed out to college students that demonstrate empathy for others. They show that they are capable of finding real-world solutions to problems that affect the communities around them and make sure that they help the community by implementing those solutions. This year Cofield will be traveling with Global Bridges to Honduras to help volunteer in clinics that provide much needed services to the communities that are struggling with health issues. She has been all over the country with a program called the Alternative Break program which is sponsored by the Mary Ellen Brandell Volunteer Center. With this group Cofield has gone to help rebuild homes that were destroyed in the South by Hurricane Katrina. She has helped in facilities that treat HIV/AIDS patients in Atlanta by helping to restore the facilities to a more modern place.

While attending Mott Middle College, which is where she completed all of her high school courses, Cofield also studied at Mott Community College. The Middle College is a transitional program that integrates high school classes and college classes. The students end up graduating from the Middle College with a high school diploma and 15 college credits. Cofield ended up with three Associate degrees from Mott Community College before she even got her diploma. She kept a 4.0 average all through college and ended high school with a 3.97 GPA. She did so well in her schooling that she earned enough money in scholarships to cover her Bachelor’s degree studies at Central Michigan University. She is studying to become a Physician’s Assistant in Neuroscience.

Source: http://www.theblackhomeschool.com/2015/04/07/meet-jasmine-she-graduated-high-school-with-3-college-degrees-has-won-civic-award/

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Compton's Mayor Aja Brown Promises 'the Best Is Yet to Come'



Inside a new community center in Compton, California, music can be heard. It’s the very first song played at a new after-school program designed to keep children safe and sound in the city that’s come to be associated with gangs and violence.

But Compton is undergoing a change.

Juan Ruiz, an instructor, said he developed the program with the help of the city’s mayor, Aja Brown.

Now, the 32-year-old Brown, a Democrat, has injected more than just music into the city since she was elected in 2013.

Horse Program Keeps Hartford Youth Out of Trouble
Brown’s own grandmother was murdered in a home invasion in the city before Brown was born.

“I was able to see the impact it had on my entire family and especially my mother,” she said.

After she graduated from the University of Southern California with honors, Brown worked behind the scenes in urban planning for 10 years before being elected as mayor in 2012. She beat her opponents -- the incumbent and a former mayor -- handily, and hit the ground running.

In city development meetings, Brown said, she’s usually the only woman.

Her greatest lesson comes from her own mother, who taught her to “be committed and to make sacrifices and ... put something in front of you, do something bigger than yourself,” she said.

Brown ended cronyism by making city fiscal business contract decisions and choices and invoices fully transparent and public. And that's not all.

“Our crime rate is down 25 percent," she said. "Our unemployment rate [is] down 5 percent, and we have nearly 1,000 new jobs coming into the community.”

Today, the sound of urban renewal -- jackhammers and construction -- can be heard throughout the city.

“We’re actually bringing major, major retail to the city of Compton, as we speak,” Brown said.

Ruiz credited Brown with the progress in the city.

“We are proud of our mayor,” he said, adding that Brown is loved and is changing lives.

“You can feel it,” he said.

Brown shares his enthusiasm.

“I’m proud of the work that we’ve been able to accomplish here, and I’m excited because I know that the best is yet to come,” she said.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/comptons-mayor-aja-brown-promises-best/story?id=28597609

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Virginia Calculator: Thomas Fuller, African ”Slave” And Mathematical Genius

Thomas Fuller, familiarly known as the Virginia Calculator, was a native of Africa. At the age of fourteen he was stolen, and sold into slavery in Virginia, where he found himself the property of a planter residing about four miles from Alexandria. He did not understand the art of reading or writing, but by a marvellous faculty was able to perform the most difficult calculations.

Dr. Benjamin Rush of Philadelphia, Penn., in a letter addressed to a gentleman residing in Manchester, Eng., says that hearing of the phenomenal mathematical powers of “Negro Tom,” he, in company with other gentlemen passing through Virginia, sent for him. One of the gentlemen asked him how many seconds a man of seventy years, some odd months, weeks, and days, had lived, he gave the exact number in a minute and a half. The gentleman took a pen, and after some figuring told Tom he must be mistaken, as the number was too great. “‘Top, massa!” exclaimed Tom, “you hab left out de leap-years!” And sure enough, on including the leap-years in the calculation, the number given by Tom was correct.

“He was visited by William Hartshorn and Samuel Coates,” says Mr. Needles, “of this city (Philadelphia), and gave correct answers to all their questions such as, How many seconds there are in a year and a half? In two minutes he answered 47,304,000. How many seconds in seventy years, seventeen days, twelve hours? In one minute and a half, 2,110,500,800.”

That he was a prodigy, no one will question. He was the wonder of the age. The following appeared in several newspapers at the time of his death.

Present day thinking is that Fuller learned to calculate in Africa before he was brought to the United States as a slave. Supporting evidence for this comes from a passage written by Thomas Clarkson in 1788 describing the purchase of African slaves:

It is astonishing with what facility the African brokers reckon up the exchange of European goods for slaves. One of these brokers has ten slaves to sell , and for each of these he demands ten different articles. He reduces them immediately by the head to bars, coppers, ounces… and immediately strikes the balance. The European, on the other hand, takes his pen, and with great deliberation, and with all the advantage of arithmetic and letters, begin to estimate also. He is so unfortunate, as to make a mistake: but he no sooner errs, than he is detected by this man of inferior capacity, whom he can neither deceive in the name or quality of his goods, nor in the balance of his account.

Despite Fuller’s calculating abilities he was never taught to read or write and again this is evidence that he did not learn to calculate while in the United States. When someone who had witnessed his calculating abilities remarked that it was a pity he had not been educated, Fuller replied: ‘It is best I got no learning; for many learned men be great fools.’



Source:http://blackthen.com/the-virginia-calculator-thomas-fuller-african-slave-and-mathematical-genius/

- See more at: http://blackthen.com/the-virginia-calculator-thomas-fuller-african-slave-and-mathematical-genius/#sthash.cBK7X9be.dpuf

Sunday, March 1, 2015

James Jones Tells His Story

I grew up homeless for the first 15 years of my life. I was in and out of homeless shelters, in and out of motels. My mother and father were heavy drug users. Actually, a lot of my family members were heavy drug users. It was a rough childhood. Nobody knew how hard my situation was but me.
I moved in with my grandmother when I was going into high school. By moving in with her, I was able to go to the same high school for all four years, able to have the same friends, have the same home to live in, have some stability for the first time in my whole life.

My main inspiration and my main hunger to be successful was my mom. When I was real young, I want to say maybe four or five years old, I told my mom that I was going to make it to the NFL and buy her a home. I had a vision and a belief that no matter what happened, no matter what anybody said, I was going to make it to the NFL. And that was my main drive. I’m not saying I was the perfect kid and I didn’t get in trouble, but there were a lot times when my friends were going to do drugs or going to sell this or that, and my mom’s face would flash in my head. That would remind me to go the other way or go to the gym. I was extremely motivated to change the whole situation.

Like I say all the time, I’ve played with a lot of guys who may have had more talent than me, but weren’t willing to sacrifice the things that I sacrificed to make it. I had a hunger that I was not going to be denied. And any situation that presented itself that was going to take me off of that course, well, then I went the other way. I told my buddies I’m not drinking, I’m not smoking, I’m not going with you all to do this or that. I stood by that and was truly determined to change my situation. And I did go and buy my mom that home after my rookie year in the league.


I truly think that growing up homeless helps you appreciate the little things a lot more, helps you be grateful for so many things because you grew up wanting what everyone else had. Even now, when I walk into the stadium in the mornings and see that we have an all-you-can-eat breakfast every day, I still can’t believe it. And sometimes I hear guys complaining that they serve the same thing all the time, and in my head, I’m like, ‘Man, what in the world?! This is a blessing. I don’t care if I have to eat a waffle everyday, at least I have something to eat.’

Just like with my kids now. They have their own room, their own bed. They are able to do swim class, play sports and do the things they want to do, everything I didn’t have the opportunity to do when I was growing up. I just appreciate those things a lot more because I’m able to see what my kids have. It’s humbling, but I’m very grateful for all the little things. I think that’s one of the main things I took from being homeless; just appreciate the little things and be humble because at any time it all could be taken away from you.

Today, I do so much in the homeless community because I was once one of them. I understand all of the things that they are struggling with, all of the things that they are going through. When I was living in a homeless shelter, there were so many days that I woke up and wanted to quit or woke up and wanted to do something bad. But, when you have a positive influence in your life or can see someone who has been there – been homeless – doing something positive with their life now…I think it helps people.

To me, it’s more important to touch somebody’s life than to catch touchdowns on the football field. When I first got drafted, when I first made it to the National Football League, I told my wife that I wanted to start a foundation to give back because you can throw for as many yards as you want to throw for, catch as many touchdowns as you want to catch, but at the end of the day, I felt that God put me in this position to help and change other people’s lives. And I felt like if I wasn’t doing that, I wasn’t truly using all of the ability God gave me. I felt like he blessed me to make it to the NFL to do such things as help the homeless shelters because that’s the way I grew up. It means a lot more to me to change somebody’s life, to change a little kid’s life, than to go on the football field and win games or catch 1,000 touchdowns. It means more when I see little kids light up and when I’m able to change their lives and inspire them with my story.

Since I’ve been in the NFL, I’ve been giving back to homeless shelters. But the last couple years I really started telling my story and doing more. My Foundation, Love Jones 4 Kids, throws a fundraiser for the local homeless shelter every year called Toast to Success, where we have a live auction and a wine tasting. When I played for the Packers, the event benefitted a couple of the homeless shelters there. And now that I’m out here, back near where I grew up, we are working with the homeless shelters in this area. It’s not the same shelter I was once in (they actually built a new one that’s way nicer than the one I stayed in), but it’s around the same area. We’re also setting up another event now to donate to a homeless shelter in Oakland. My wife (who runs the Foundation) is getting that set up; to raise some money and donate a meal to them. I have another initiative called 89 Wishes, where we grant 89 wishes to kids who write in to our Foundation. You know, 89 is a lucky number because that’s my football number.

Like I told my wife when we first started the Foundation, I never wanted to have one of these organizations where we just dish out money, but don’t have any relationships with the people. So I go to the shelters as much as I can to talk to the people. My family and I donate a meal to the families there whenever we get a chance. I make sure that my family knows that we are truly blessed. My mother and father help too. We were once in this position, so the least we can do is give back and try to change some people’s lives.

When I serve a meal at a shelter, I sit them all down and talk to them, let them know I’ve sat in the same seats they are sitting in. I tell them not to make any excuses and don’t give up because it can’t get worse than this. Keep striving to do better. Any time that I can get out there and share my story, feed the homeless, talk to them, help give them a positive word and some inspiration that ‘yeah, it’s hard right now, but keep on fighting, it’s going to get better’…that’s what I try to do.

And I really like to have a relationship with the kids. That’s why everything I do through the Foundation is free. When I was in Green Bay, I threw football camps and I always host one in California. Everything is free. And I do it that way because when I was little, my mom didn’t have the money to pay for me to participate in any camps or anything like that. I try to reach out to the kids that way.

Sometimes people ask what type of mark I want to leave on the Bay Area homeless community. To be honest with you, if you were to walk into a homeless shelter and ask the people there, ‘What does James mean to you?’, I would want them to say that he loves us, he cares about us. It’s beyond football or money or any of that. It’s about changing their lives. I just want them to know I care.
Long story short, that is my life story.

Going through all of this is what I truly believe made me the man I am today, and I always feel like God put me in that situation because he felt like I could handle it. It’s a touchy subject in my heart, which is why I try to go out there and inspire people who are homeless today to keep fighting and do great things.

Source: http://www.raiders.com/news/article-1/James-Jones-Tells-His-Story/64f47263-0ca9-450b-b6aa-102ac56badc9

Jones also runs a foundation with his wife. It’s called “Love Jones 4 kids”

http://lovejones4kids.com/