High School Computer Competition Testimonial

Stephanie Lampkin: Washington, DC

As my junior year in college steadily approaches, my experiences involved in BDPA’s HSCC-DC as a junior in high school seem more like fond childhood memories.  I’m sure most think I can still be considered a “child” and wonder how much could have possibly changed in less than four years. Well, contrary to what most think, a lot has changed and in the next four years even more will change because I’m on the fast track. However, I can’t nearly take all the credit for what I’ve accomplished because there have been organizations such as BDPA and the amazingly altruistic people involved who have helped me stay on the right track and focus my energies in areas most beneficial to my future.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t hesitate to say that BDPA was the first organization to uk replica watches reach out to me and provide me with the tools necessary to lay down the foundation of which I will continually build upon to reach my goals in life.

My passion for computers and technology are what initially drew me into the HSCC program and what I took away from the experience was more than I expected.  Though our team did not perform well during the competitions, it did not take away from the empowerment and encouragement I felt when I saw hundreds of African American professional women and men representing success, leadership, and cultural responsibility.  People who were committed to ensuring that kids like me, who did not come from the most uplifting environments, would still have the opportunity to explore a vastly growing field with endless possibilities.  From that point on I knew I wanted to be one of those sharp professional Black women who didn’t let the obstacles of their race or gender hinder their path towards success in replica watches uk an industry where they are disproportionately underrepresented.

My path towards this goal started and continues in the classroom.  As a sophomore in high school, I started doing college and scholarship searches on the internet, going to bookstores and libraries to find related books, and making regular visits to my guidance counselor.  By junior year, I had a good idea of what schools I wanted to apply to and how to get in them:  stellar academics, community involvement, exceptional standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities.  So, by senior year I enrolled in seven Advanced Placement courses, one of which (AP Computer Science), was every Saturday morning from 8:00AM – 12:00Noon.  Seven AP classes were unprecedented in Westlake High School history and it’s such a rigorous course load that most schools only allow you to take four, but I still managed to get straight A’s in all of them. On top of that, I ran and was elected senior class president, participated in our school’s Computer Bowl team, Math team, National Honor Society, and various community service organizations like Best Buddies.  My motto was “Short-term sacrifices for Long-term goals!”   I scored 1370 on my SAT by studying vocabulary flash cards over the summer and taking advantage of free SAT tutorials.  During this plight, I unfortunately experienced adversity and discouragement from envious friends and a few Caucasian teachers of mine who claimed I “wasn’t that smart” and “shouldn’t try so hard to do well because I’ll get in college through affirmative action anyway.”  But I had to let all that negativity fuel my fire.  I was accepted into all five schools that I applied to with full scholarships:  University of Maryland (College Park), Spelman College, Columbia University, Duke University, and Stanford University. 

Currently, I attend Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, also known as Silicon Valley. I’m majoring in Management Science & Engineering (MS&E) with a focus in Technology and Organizations and a minor in Computer Science.   As a freshman, last year I landed a great internship with Northrop Grumman as an Information Systems Intern and played an active role in on campus organizations such as National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Stanford Undergraduate Minority Business Association (SUMBA), and Business Association for Stanford Engineering Students (BASES).  I aspire to swiss replica watches work in Business Management/Technology Consulting for a few years leading up to graduate studies at the Harvard Business School where I’ll attain my MBA.  Hopefully, not too long thereafter I will be in a position to start my own entrepreneurial pursuits because I don’t aspire to help build any one else’s company but my own. 

I’ve given my testimonial to just give a small example of how BDPA is impacting the community on a large scale.  It has helped me and many others like me in so many ways by merely sparking the flame that will always burn and in time will be sparked in other aspiring youth.  It’s a gift that never stops giving.  So I encourage anyone in a position to give their support and be a part of BDPA to do so knowing that it can make a world of difference.