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Press Release

NFL Star to Keynote Tampa BDPA At-Risk Youth Charity Event, 12 Sep 2009

Tampa Bay BDPA hosts youth charity awards breakfast at Intercontinental Hotel, Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Tampa Bay Chapter of the Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) in conjunction with Computer Mentors Group Inc, (CMG) and Lives Under Construction (LUC) is planning its first youth charity awards breakfast at the Tampa Intercontinental Hotel, Saturday, September 12, 2009.

The event, to support the training and motivation of underprivileged Tampa Bay youth in computer technology, entrepreneurship and health and fitness, will include an appearance and keynote by a former Tampa Bay Bucs and Atlanta Falcons player.  The former NFL star will give a personal account of his struggles as a child growing up in a single parent household and how faith, discipline and perseverance launched his 12-year NFL career.

Proceeds of the event will go to benefit the participating non-profit organizations and to send a group of teenage youth to the Tampa Bay Tech Bowl and the 2010 BDPA National Conference to compete -- using their learned computer and business skills -- against other teens from around the country. "It's an honor to be affiliated with the likes of BDPA, Lives Under Construction and others who want to impact and encourage youths toward excellence," said Ralph Smith, Executive Director for CMG.  Each year CMG and BDPA reach over 100 students and their parents through its technology, life skills and business training programs. "The 15 high school students that just completed our four month training program permitted us to send a team to represent the Greater Tampa Bay Area at the national BDPA High School Computer Competition earlier this month.  We could not have been prouder of the students and the support we received of companies such as The Nielsen Company, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, APEX Digital Imaging and O'Brien Management Services, noted Tampa BDPA president, Frank Shines.

BDPA, CMG and LUC are 501c3 charity organizations who are committed to training the next generation of IT and business professionals and giving back to the committee.  All donations are 100% tax deductible.  Please visit our website for more details on participation and sponsorship availability. Thank you in advance for your support. 


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 Computer Mentors Group, Inc. is a "digital divide" non-profit organization comprised of computer professionals, and others interested in the future job opportunities of disadvantaged youths.  The groups primary program is called the Youth Computer Certification & Ownership Program. Youths in the program build a computer to take home and have the opportunity of earning a college credit by completing the 6-month course and passing the certification test. The group also provides scholarships, through the Eckerd Family Foundation, and has a summer internship job program for the youth that have achieved certification.

Tampa Bay BDPA is a non-profit professional association which advances diversity in technology and business by providing training, development, networking and motivation to undeserved communities.  Its vision is "advancing careers, from classroom to boardroom."

Lives Under Construction, Inc. is a  non-profit organization which uses youth sports as a platform for building character, discipline and focus on community service.

More Stories By Frank Shines

A former Air Force officer, IBM executive and Ernst & Young consultant, Frank Shines has flown Air Force jets, trained and competed with Olympic athletes and traveled the world as an award-winning business adviser to Fortune 500 executives. He has been published by John Wiley & Sons (The Controller's Function: "Performance Measurement" Chapter, 1999) and is the author of a book examining the impact of the next generation of the Internet on individuals and organizations (The New Science of Success: How to Outsource Proof Your Job in a Web 2.0 Economy, 2007). He is the founder of Skill of Success, a Services 2.0 consulting firm.