October 12, 2010

Good News Tuesday: Ahmed Mahamad - Future Face of Technology

I've watched Ahmed Mahamad over the past few years as he came to the annual BDPA Technology Conferences. He has been a student representative of our BDPA chapter from Rochester, MN. He began his BDPA legacy as a high school student ... and continued it this year as a student participant in the college division of the BDPA IT Showcase.

Here is Ahmed's story:

As a University of Minnesota student, majoring in Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences, Ahmed Mahamad finds tremendous satisfaction helping his peers achieve their own successes. In 2006 Ahmed joined the BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter Youth Computer Training Program (YCTP). The YCTP class is focused on teaching advanced web programming to high school students. BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter trains over sixty students each year, meeting for three hours each Saturday over nine months. At the end of a rigorous training season, the top five students are chosen to represent Southern Minnesota chapter at the National BDPA High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Championship.

In Ahmed's first year participating in YCTP he immediately excelled in the class, quickly learning each programming language that was taught, including HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP server side scripting and MySQL relational databases. What stood out most about Ahmed was his intense effort and motivation. He eagerly met every challenge and displayed immense creativity. Ahmed was awarded a spot as an alternate on the chapter’s National HSCC team, a rare achievement for a first year student.

After his successful “rookie” season in YCTP, Ahmed continued to grow in confidence, ability, and leadership. By his 2nd year in the program, Ahmed’s technical abilities and natural charisma drove him to become a leader among his peers. He served as a role model and mentor to other students, putting aside his own ambitions to help others succeed in this difficult course. His leadership and technical knowledge earned him a position on the 2007 National Competition team.

To prepare for the National HSCC Championship in 2007, the students worked with trainers for up to 30 hours per week throughout their summer vacations, practicing computer programming, project management, presentation, and teamwork. Ahmed's hard work paid off as he helped guide BDPA Southern Minnesota chapter to a first place finish in the nation at the 2007 National BDPA HSCC Championships in Washington D.C.

Ahmed continued to demonstrate leadership and technical acumen as he again earned a position on the 2008 National Competition team and guided the chapter to its second consecutive first place finish at the National BDPA HSCC Championships held in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon returning to Minnesota, Ahmed's endearing personality made him a favorite among local reporters.

After two consecutive first place finishes at the Nationals, Ahmed was determined to lead his chapter to their third consecutive national championship at Raleigh, North Carolina. BDPA Southern Minnesota has earned its place as one of the most respected chapters in BDPA nation.

This year Ahmed competed in the BDPA IT Showcase with a paper, presentation and poster on Robotics Bioinformatics and Medicine.  It is the first time in BDPA Southern Minnesota history that a student has participated in this challenging event.   At the same time, Ahmed served as Southern Minnesota’s first student instructor.

Our hope is that BDPA Education and Technology Foundation (BETF) will be able to provide scholarships for IT Showcase students in the future ... and we would love to provide full 4-year scholarships to HSCC champions. Please contact us if you have ideas on how we can 'make it so'!

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