High School Computer Competition Testimonial

Mackale Joyner: Kansas City (1996)

The BDPA national computer competition was very exciting and the conference affirmed my desire to pursue a career in software engineering.  I enjoyed learning a new language and spending months preparing for the competition.  It was encouraging to see so many people at the competition with my background that shared similar interests.   I would later learn that the BDPA national competition was a good experience for college as I had to learn several new programming languages while in college in a short time span.  I am greatly appreciative for all those involved in sending the Kansas City team to the national conference, especially our coaches who spent many hours helping us prepare for the competition.

The BDPA has made a vital impact in my education endeavors.  After I was accepted to Rice University, I was given the opportunity to visit Rice during Owl weekend.  Owl weekend is a weekend in April where all accepted high school seniors are invited to stay on campus to experience what college life is like at Rice.  This is a good opportunity for seniors who haven't decided on a college to experience what life might be like at a particular university. 

When I arrived at Rice, I was greeted by someone from the admission office.  When I told her my name, she immediately identified me as the person who competed in a national computer programming competition. She was referring to the BDPA national competition that I competed in the summer after my junior year in high school.   She [went] on to tell me that the competition really distinguished my application from others and was one of the main reasons why I was accepted into Rice.   The door that the BDPA helped open at Rice subsequently led to other doors being opened which enabled me to complete my PhD in Computer Science at Rice University.