Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA), a professional organization that provides volunteer, hands-on IT training to students, has named Metropolitan State University and Advance IT Minnesota as their 2015 BDPA Community Supporter of the Year. The award acknowledges efforts in support of BDPA’s mission of increasing the participation of people of color in the IT field.
Russ Fraenkel, IT Career Pathways and Partnerships director, Advance IT Minnesota accepted the award on behalf of both organizations for his continued support and for being BDPA’s primary advocate. The award was accepted Jan. 8, 2016 in Bloomington.
“BDPA Twin Cities is an amazing volunteer organization that inspires and prepares students of color to become our next, best Minnesota-grown technologists. MnSCU is honored to provide access to community facilities and resources to help make this happen,” Fraenkel says about the partnership.
Advance IT and Metropolitan State have provided financial support and technology equipped classrooms at the Saint Paul Campus. This support over the last few years has allowed BDPA to train hundreds of Twin City-area middle and high school students and expose them to new ideas and career options in software engineering and technology.
“It gives students an opportunity to demystify any fears and experience what taking classes on a college campus feels like. The invaluable experiences have been wonderful and we appreciate Russell and his team for their support over the past few years,” says Kelly Martin, on-campus youth technology training leader, BDPA Twin Cities.