A diverse group of students representing the St. Louis Chapter of the Black Data Processing Associates earned 2nd place in the High School Computer competition at the 2012 National BDPA conference held recently in Baltimore, Maryland.
The High School Computer Competition is a national competition of students solving a business problem using web technology. Each St Louis student will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
"Students coming together from different economic, geographical, educational and ethnic backgrounds is diversity at its best," says Toni Love, BDPA’s coordinator.
The students representing the St. Louis Chapter were Samuel Mahone – Clyde C. Miller; Della Anjeh – Visitation Academy; Christine Miller – Visitation Academy; Jacqueline Nobbe – Visitation Academy; James Fields – Eureka High School; and Darian Granderson – Hazelwood Central, who was the alternate.
“It was remarkable to see how driven the students were to succeed, and as a result, they achieved St Louis' highest placement to date in the competition,” says Oseyi G Ikuenobe of Monsanto.
The top five teams receive the highest team scores in the three phases of the HSCC competition (Oral, Written, and Programming competitions). These teams win Jesse Bemley scholarships. Throughout the year, BDPA conducts training programs designed to expose St Louis students to the concepts of computers and give them the expertise to develop web applications.
This year the St. Louis Chapter had several sites for training including Computer Village, Clyde C. Miller and Visitation Academy. Students from the various sites participated in a local competition. Fourteen students were selected from the various sites to receive extensive training at Monsanto. Of these, five students and one alternate were selected to participate in the national competition.
BDPA volunteers encouraged these young people to seek higher levels of education, and groomed them to become our next generation of IT professionals.
The trainers and coordinators were Tiffany Jones, Al Ware, John Cooper, Raymond Elangovan and Oseyi Ikuenobe, all Monsanto employees, Tom Bast of Clyde C. Miller, Beverly Byrd and John Cooper of Visitation Academy, and Don Holt of Computer Village. Toni Love of Ameren was the High School Computer Competition coordinator of the St. Louis BDPA Chapter.
“To see the joy and sense of pride on the students' faces when they won was priceless,” says Vince Shorter, senior director at Monsanto. “They were and should be proud of the return on many hours they invested over the past year.”
In addition, the students won 1st place in the t-shirt contest. Their trip was sponsored by Monsanto Corporation.
BDPA is a non-profit organization of professionals working in or having an interest in the Computer Science and Information Technology fields. BDPA has a diverse representation of information technology professionals including programmers, analysts, engineers, managers, instructors and entrepreneurs.
BDPA was formed out of a concern that minorities were not adequately represented in the information technology industry. Currently, there are more than 40 active chapters across the U.S.