The Dr. Jesse Bemley Scholarship

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Dr. Jesse BemleyDr. Jesse Bemley, a former National BDPA Education Chairperson, developed the High School Computer competition (HSCC) program in 1986. BDPA has been engaged in coding and hack-a-thons for decades.  Thousands of students have been impacted over the past 30 years by the vision of Dr. Bemley.  Dr. Bemley noted the large number of minority students who had little or no computer literacy skills. With the ever-growing need to possess basic computer skills in the current job market, Dr. Bemley realized that in the future, individuals without these skills would be left with no employment opportunities. Dr. Bemley has worked since the early 1980s to get students, especially from high school, involved in national and international computing and engineering conferences, meetings, conferences and symposia. He has written numerous articles on computer topics. The purpose of this scholarship fund program is to serve as the vehicle for BDPA to increase the interest of minority youth in technology and to help facilitate the emergence of minorities into the technology industry.

Chapters are invited to bring one team of students to compete in the HSCC at the National Conference event. The top five winning teams win Jesse Bemley scholarships.

Award Process

The Jesse Bemley Scholarship goes to the top-performing high school student teams competing in the annual High School Computer Competition (HSCC) at the National BDPA Technology Conference. The top teams are those that received the highest team scores in the three phases of the HSCC competition (Oral, Written, and Programming competitions).

Monetary awards for the 2015 competition are:

  • Five 1st place winners each receive $2,000 for a total of $10,000
  • Five 2nd place winners each receive $1,500 for a total of $ 7,500
  • Five 3rd place winners each receive $1,000 for a total of $5,000
  • Five 4th place winners each receive $ 750 for a total of $3,750
  • Five 5th place winners each receive $ 500 for a total of $2,500


Students who receive The Jesse Bemley Scholarship at the BDPA National Conference will be
eligible for their awards once they fulfill the following three requirements:

  1. Complete High School Graduation;
  2. Gain Acceptance to an Accredited College Program;
  3. Request the scholarship funds from BETF within two years after High School graduation, or six years from the date of The Jesse Bemley Scholarship Award, whichever is sooner.

Application Procedure

When a Jesse Bemley Scholarship award winning student graduates from High School and is accepted into an accredited college program, he or she needs to apply for funds as follows:

  1. Notify BETF
    Use regular mail, e-mail, or fax of your acceptance to an accredited college or university. This alerts BETF to expect your application.
  2. Submit the following:
    1. A Brief Biography: Be sure to include your career goals, current major, current school, and employment experience, if any.
    2. An Electronic Photograph: Be sure it is a good quality, passport style photo.
    3. An HSCC Testimonial: Be sure to include your most memorable HSCC moments and what impact participating in HSCC has had on you. Review current HSCC Alumni Testimonials for examples.
  3. Complete the Application
    Download and complete the Jesse Bemley Scholarship Application. Sign the application, then mail or fax the application to BETF. This form contains personal information and should not be sent via email. NOTE: The Application asks for two additional pieces of information:
    1. Copy of either your Award Certificate or Award Letter
    2. Proof of Enrollment at the College or University. Proof of Enrollment can be class registration, transcript or other official correspondence from the school.

Upon receipt of the student’s application BETF will:

  1. Verify eligibility and notify you upon completion of the verification process
  2. Remit the award funds to the College or University on your behalf and notify you when the payment is sent.