November 17th, 2011
08:26 AM ET

Building more minority engineers – as early as elementary school

Editor's note: Soledad O'Brien chronicles the NewMe Accelerator journey in "Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," at 8 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. ET November 19 on CNN.  There is an Educator and Parent Guide  for this program, provided by CNN Student News.

(CNN) – As a young teen, Wesley Williams believed his only career option was to work at a local warehouse in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

“I wasn’t planning on going to college, I wasn’t planning on graduating high school, I was planning on doing nothing with my life,” he said.

Now, nearly 10 years later, he is a college graduate and an IT administrator and developer.

“I would be either dead or in jail," he said. "Those would have been my options had it not been for BDPA.”

BDPA, formerly known as the Black Data Processing Associates, is a non-profit organization founded to increase the number of minorities in information technology related industries.

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Filed under: Economy • In America • STEM • Technology
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