High School Computer Competition Testimonial

Pengtao 'Mac' Teng [Greater Tampa Bay: 2002-2003, 2005, 2007]

I can say for a fact that BDPA changed my life. Prior to my experience with the Tampa Bay chapter, I was an ordinary middle school student who was complacent with what I was learning in class. I did not know anything about computers, much less how to make a web page, and my parents were not in the IT industry. My BDPA instructors taught me things I never would have learned in school, and their immense professionalism made a huge impact on my personal development. My BDPA training taught me to think like an engineer, and for a young kid, being able to see your ideas materialize in a web page was mind-blowing.

Going to the national competition, at the time, was a cool and fun experience. Now that I am in college, I have come to realize how extraordinary it was that I, as a rising high-school student, was able to meet leaders of industry at a professional conference  My experience with the high school computer competition is an opportunity that many of my peers would fight tooth and nail for today. Attending the various national BDPA conferences and competing in the national competition allowed me to see that nothing is impossible through hard work and a little bit of luck.

BDPA has not only developed my academic interests -- I am studying engineering at Penn -- but also made me realize the importance of community and of giving back. I remind myself that I am who I am today because of all the efforts of other people who devoted time and energy for my benefit, and I try to do the same by reaching out in my spare time to be a resource for young students through volunteer organizations.