High School Computer Competition Testimonial

Kenneth McCune, Jr.: HSCC Alumni (2008) BDPA Chicago

My name is Kenneth McCune Jr. I'm the son of an UPS truck driver and an elementary school teacher. At an early age I was surrounded and interacted with technology … from video games to the Internet. I was persistent to master them in my childhood. In elementary school, I learned how to type 100 words per minute and how to connect to AOL dial-up. Up until my sophomore year in high school, I had no clue how websites were made and published onto the internet. So I was interested when my cousins, Lee Reed and Carlton Means, told me about BDPA and the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) program. They told me that the HSCC program was fun and earned them scholarship money.

I joined the program in January 2007. I must admit that my first year was extremely rough due to the large amount of information that I was receiving. Programming code was literally scary for me to even look at. I didn't make the national HSCC team that represented Chicago in the 2007 HSCC championships. However, I was very motivated to step it up and make the team the next year.

My cousins helped me improve my coding, and soon I was able to grasp the languages of HTML, JSTL, and CSS. I made the national HSCC team from Chicago in 2008 … and it was an experience I will never forget. The hotel where the conference took place was amazing, from the front door to the elevators, everything was first class. The National BDPA HSCC championship took place in Atlanta, Georgia and I was very excited to take part in the event. We had some veterans on our team who were part of the 2006 national BDPA HSCC championship team … so we were very confident. Our team earned 3rd place in 2008 … we finished behind the teams from Southern Minnesota and Washington DC. Each member of our team earned a $1,500 Jesse Bemley Scholarship that year!

My experiences with BDPA influenced me to become a web developer when I was 16 years old. I now attend Southern Illinois University in Carbondale (SIUC). Here I am majoring in Information Systems Technology, and I plan on becoming a website developer or a database manager. I currently manage and build websites for the SIUC Director of Minority Affairs. BDPA most definitely influenced my major choice and my future career field, and I will do my part to support BDPA in any way possible.

I would like to give thanks to BDPA for expanding my knowledge of information technology and exposing me to the many amazing people I have met over the years. I would like to give special thanks to the people like Gibran McDuffie, Pamela Norfleet, Bryan Moore, Yvette Graham and the other BDPA members and volunteers who have helped me shape out the plan for the rest of my life.