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HSCC Alumni, Julia Berg - Boston

HSCC Alumni, Julia Berg

"You have eight hours to create an online DVD rental store. You will be judged on teamwork, solution elegance, unique Graphic User Interface (GUI), and the completeness of the application. You may use your choice of Sun Microsystems Java Technology, Microsoft ASP, Open Source Software PHP, or Microsoft.NET, as your database technology. READY..SET..GO!"

The doors were closed and locked shut. Suddenly there I was...a tiny Latina from Boston in a large, strange, hotel ballroom in Dallas, Texas. The room was packed with adolescents, separated by state into small groups and assigned to computer stations. Even after six months of Information Technology (IT) training, I knew my knowledge from school courses and my creativity were about to be pushed to the limits...

SITES Program Details

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Student Information Technology Education & Scholarships (SITES)

BDPA SITES Program Background

The SITES, Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship, Initiative is designed to introduce K-12 students of African Descent, and underserved communities to the field of Information Technology through training, encourage them to seek higher levels of education by providing incentives through scholarships, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals. There are several programs established to meet these objectives:

  1. Youth Computer Training
  2. High School Computer Competition (HSCC)
  3. Youth Technology Conference

With these programs, we expose our youth to Information Technology at a young age and give them the skills to compete and succeed in a college environment or technical workforce. In addition, we encourage them to pursue a college education and provide support for the endeavor. We also help them in the transition from college to the work force via our College Student/Young Professional programs.

The SITES initiative started over 20 years ago when BDPA encouraged students from two chapter cities to gather to demonstrate their skills and compete in a National High School Computer Competition (HSCC). This program has grown extensively over those years with a record number of twenty-six teams from as many cities across the United States competing in the year 2002. In 2004, the SITES initiative trained over 600 students in Web Application Development utilizing such advanced level technologies as ASP, .NET, PHP and Java.

The students learn basic computer concepts, development methodologies, HTML, and project management, in chapters across the United States as diverse as Atlanta, Chicago, Hartford, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. Each chapter trains an average of 25 students over the course of six months using computer text books as the basis for the introductory instruction and Web Application Development.

High School students then compete nationally against other high school students from across the country for trophies, awards and college scholarships.