IT professionals to honor Michigan high school students
By TAYLOR TRAMMELL
Students who participated in the Detroit chapter of Black Data Processing Associates’ high school training camp will see the fruits of months of hard work tonight when they are honored at a scholarship and education awards banquet at Compuware Corp. at 7 tonight.
Matthew Clark, a senior at Cass Technical High School; Darryn Brundage-Forrest, a sophomore at Renaissance High School; Daniel Rothchild, a freshman at Pioneer High School, and Jourdan West, a freshman at Michigan State University, represented the chapter at BDPA’s 32nd National Technology Conference in Raleigh, N.C., in August. The team competed against more than 25 other chapters and won second place in Web design at the conference.
To prepare for the competition, the students trained for four to six hours every Saturday from January to August. Brundage-Forrest called it vigorous.
“They gave Quiz Factory questions to practice, which is the basic software they use at the competition,” he said. “We studied books on HTML, Java and CSS.”
For West and Clark, the training wasn’t new. Both students participated in the program in 2008 and came back for more.
“Last year we came in 10th place,” West said. “That was my main motivation to come back because I am not a 10th-place person. With a lot of hard work and determination, we did pretty good.”
At the conference, the students attended assemblies and programming sessions to further prepare them for the competition.
“It was definitely worthwhile,” Rothchild said. “I haven’t been able to see other kids who were also interested in computer science, so it was good to meet people with the same interests as me.”
All four students received a $2,000 scholarship to any university, and they already have plans for how to use their awards.
Clark plans to go to Ferris State University and study architecture. Brundage-Forrest plans to attend Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University to study engineering, information technology or medicine. Rothchild hasn’t picked a college but plans to study computer science. West graduated from Cass Tech in June and is a civil engineering major at Michigan State University.
The BDPA high school training camp “is a very good program because it gives students a chance to do something different,” Clark said. “Instead of playing basketball all day, they gave us an opportunity to learn and have fun.”
The banquet is to start at 7 p.m. at Compuware Corp., 1 Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. For tickets, go to www.bdpa-detroit.org/HSCC2009.html. Advance tickets are $40 for adults, $30 for students with proper ID. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $50.
Taylor Trammell is a senior and editor at Mumford High School's student newspaper, Mumford Times. She also was an apprentice at the Free Press this summer. See more of her work at FreepHigh.com.