An annual ceremony held on Jan. 9 this year in Minneapolis presented awards and highlighted the achievements of high school and college students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This event by the Twin Cities Chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) celebrated 25 years of education and innovation recognizing students, volunteers and sponsors.
Award presentations and scholarships went to participants in the 2014 High School Technology Program and program alumni from the classes of 2005-2013. The “circle of learning” continues as alumni return to teach and coach new students.
The BDPA student training programs held on Saturdays are free and available to all students with a passion for learning about technology. This annual event recognizes the youth for completing the program.
Keynote speaker Bill Roddy, co-founder and executive director of Osiris Organization, spoke on “mentoring youth through life training, computer technology, and being an entrepreneur. We all need an Aunt Ida to motivate and inspire us to be the best.”
Michael Wulf, BDPA Midwest region vice president, said, “We are passionate about educating the innovators of tomorrow who will shape the future of technology. We partner with school districts and educators to prepare students to be job-ready in computers, science, math and technology.”
Xcel Energy’s Foundation awarded a $5,000 educational grant for the BDPA youth technology programs, which provide a range of learning for high school students, from developing basic websites to building applications and computer programming. BDPA’s Twin Cities’ national high school computer competition team will participate in the national BDPA conference in Washington, D.C. in August 2015.
Lacy Johnson, senior solutions analyst and BDPA corporate marketing committee co-chair, accepted the gold sponsor award on behalf of Xcel Energy. Xcel Energy has been a sponsor of the event since 2010 and has been recognized four years in a row for their commitment, support and involvement.
In addition to Xcel Energy, the BDPA program sponsors included Best Buy, Delta, KCS, Minnesota Twins, Medtronic, UnitedHealth Group, and Up Net. BDPA Twin Cities Chapter is a nonprofit providing professional growth and technical development in the information technology industry.
Information and photo courtesy of BDP.