By Angela M. Coggs
Black Future Leaders, Inc. held their 32th Annual Summer Residential Program at California State University, San Bernardino from Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10. This year’s focus was Information Technology.
The program was attended by 35 students from several school districts, including San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles. They were given the opportunity to explore Arrowhead United Way’s sponsored STEM activities. The program was open to students who complete an application, provide a recent transcript or report card, and has maintained a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
On Saturday, September 10, the students participated in a one-day informative technology seminar where they learned (1) how to build a technologically responsive website using share point, (2) the role of mobile technology in a business environment and (3) how to disassemble and rebuild computer servers.
The scholars were placed in groups and participated in a healthy, academic challenge. Each group was responsible for organizing and preparing a Financial Analysis Project. Students were asked to pick a company and analyze its stock market performance. The top two groups did their company research on Johnson & Johnson and Chevron.?
First Place – Johnson & Johnson Group: Anaya James, Nenna Obih and Lyric Page
Second Place – Chevron Group: Kelly Gadsden, Yonathan Habermariam, Nia Howard, and Darnell Smith
In order for the students to obtain their dorm room key for the weekend, they had to submit an essay as part of the programs requirements. The topic varies each year but expectations remain the same. Students are asked to write a 500 word essay entitled “Hidden Figures, A History to Inform the Future.” The BFL Board of Directors believe with the book and movie “Hidden Figures” students should continue the focus on areas of study such as the careers of the future. This year’s Hidden Figures Essay winners were as follows:
1st place- Danielle Lilley
2nd place- Yonathan Habtermariam
3rd place– Jamin Garbutt
It is evident in today’s society that life will continue to be concentrated in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.). Former President Barack Obama advised that these areas define the way to win the future and made these critical areas his priority during his time in the White House and also now through the Obama Foundation. African-American youth are seldom seen in the science classrooms or at the science fairs. Black Future Leader’s goal is still to change the paradigm.
Black Future Leaders, Inc. was sponsored by Arrowhead United Way and Southern California Edison.
CEO and President of Arrowhead United Way Doug Rowand stated, “The opportunity for students to be exposed to STEM education is an important step in their future careers.” He added, “We are proud to support the engineers of our future.”?
Black Future Leaders, Inc. is a program for African American students designed to develop leadership skills and build self-esteem to help them reach their full academic potential. Mrs. Lois Carson is one of the founders who are still active in the BFL program. The educational assistance program was designed for high school achievers from both Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Students must have and maintain a 3.0 GPA to participate. The idea for the program came from Dr. Jean Peacock, professor at California State University, San Bernardino and it was incorporated in 1985.