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“Faith of a Mustard Seed” – President’s Letter

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As I reminisced over the past 20 months, I felt all kinds of emotions, both highs, and lows, as I contemplated the tough decisions we had to make in March 2020 in the wake of COVID-19. I remembered CABPES having to design virtual programs from scratch. Would we be successful teaching our students online engineering and math classes? Would our students, parents, and volunteers buy into this new way of learning that was thrust upon all humanity with no warning and no preparation? 

Then, I thought about our survival and sustainability, realizing for the first time in 39 years, we would not be able to host our largest fundraiser in 2020, which was our Annual Student Awards Banquet. My concern was about our students not dressing up in their lovely attire and showcasing the engineering projects they had tirelessly worked on. I thought about our graduating seniors missing out on their senior prom. Also, I thought about our seniors not walking up to the banquet stage to give their long-awaited speech discussing their experiences in CABPES and future plans in front of hundreds of people.

Little did I know, with the “Faith of a Mustard Seed,” our programs would thrive! Tirelessly, we designed virtual programs that met the needs of our students in both the Junior Engineers, Tomorrow’s Scientists (JETS) Program and the Math Enrichment Program (MEP). We served more students during the Pandemic than in the history of our organization. Also, we hosted a first-ever virtual banquet and raised more funds at this event than ever before. This past summer, we added a summer Book Club to our suite of STEM programs.

CABPES engaged in many Zoom discussions and meetings on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in large part because of the earth-shaking murder of Mr. George Floyd. As an organization founded and built on African Americans’ struggles and lived experiences working in STEM, we welcomed a seat at the table on this topic. I met with companies and colleges throughout Colorado sharing how our vision and mission focused on DEI beginning in 1980. DEI is not new to the CABPES organization.

As the summer ended and school began, CABPES made a courageous decision to resume in-person programming in September 2021. We are off to a great start with our math tutoring program, SAT/ACT College Preparatory Program, and preparing a cohort of middle school students to compete in the Future City Competition in late January 2022.

Finally, we are planning to have an in-person JETS program starting in January 2022. Companies and colleges are excited in supporting us as we teach the students about “Engineering and Designing Smart Cities for Americans with Disabilities.” We plan to enroll 100 students in the JETS program. Be on the lookout, registration will start soon!

Blessings,

Dewey F. Brigham, Jr., Ph.D.
CABPES President and Executive Director

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CABPES in the Community

CABPES Awarded Grant from the University of Colorado

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CABPES was awarded a $15,000 grant from the University of Colorado to finance a purchase of new Chromebooks, graphing calculators and lap tops. These supplies will serve the 200+ students that CABPES enrolls annually in our STEM programs.

CABPES is proud to partner with the University of Colorado in our joint work to encourage and assist African American and other underrepresented minority youth in their pursuit of STEM careers.

 

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CABPES in the Community

CABPES Partner Makes a Major Donation

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CABPES is proud to partner with PDC Energy. PDC Energy has stepped up to really elevate the reach and impact of CABPES in 2021 by providing a $40,000 gift earmarked for scholarship support of current students and future students of CABPES programs. “PDC is a proud sponsor of CABPES. CABPES is an incredible organization that gets students excited about STEM and STEM related jobs. Their programs are well-structured and interactive for the students.”
 
Thank you for your partnership this year, and each year PDC Energy!

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Opportunities

Apply Now for the Daniels Fund Scholarship

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The Daniels Scholarship Program provides the opportunity for highly motivated students to earn a bachelor’s degree that helps them build a successful career and rewarding life. Daniels Scholars® demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities. Bill Daniels would also want his scholars to be proud Americans who value our free enterprise system and are prepared to give the world their very best shot. Apply here.

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CABPES in the Community

CABPES Awarded Strategic Investment Grant from Mile High United Way

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The Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists (CABPES) and Mile High United Way are creating change in Metro Denver. CABPES was awarded a $40,000 grant from Mile High United Way to support our after-school STEM programs to encourage and assist African American and other underrepresented youth in the pursuit of STEM careers.

 

CABPES was selected for funding through a competitive, data-driven community selection process by Mile High United Way.  “Mile High United Way is incredibly proud to partner with CABPES in this capacity to serve our community. In alignment with our strategic vision, we are proud to serve the individuals, children, and families in our seven-county footprint to ensure their needs are met; and we can’t do it alone. This partnership allows us to come together as a Community United and leverage our resources during an especially trying year,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO, Mile High United Way.

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Newsletter

See It Through- President’s Letter

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The 2020/2021 school year was one of the most challenging times of my 35 years of involvement with the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists. The uncertainty of the pandemic left all of us fighting for survival. In a two-month time frame, CABPES learned how to develop and administer afterschool Virtual STEM Programs to serve our students effectively. In addition, we sponsored a Virtual HBCU Roundtable Event, a Virtual STEM Career Fair, and a Virtual Women’s Table-Talk Event. Finally, we ended the school year with our Virtual Student Awards Banquet and Silent Auction. All of these events were enormously successful!

There are no words to express the grit that our students, parents, and volunteers demonstrated in helping CABPES successfully navigate through these challenges. But now that it is all over, I am trying to figure out what made us succeed against all odds? I am reminded of a poem I learned at Prairie View A&M University when I pledged the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, in the fall of 1972. The poem is entitled, “See It Through,” by Edgar A. Guest.

When you’re up against a trouble,

Meet it squarely, face to face;

Lift your chin and set your shoulders

Plant your feet and take a brace;

When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer,

See it Through!

 

Black may be the clouds about you

And your future may seem grim,

But don’t let your nerve desert you;

Keep yourself in fighting trim.

If the worst is bound to happen,

In spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you,

See it Through!

 

Even hope may seem but futile

When with troubles you’re beset

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;

Don’t give up, whatever you do

Eyes front, head high to the finish

See it Through!

 

Because we “Saw it Through,” CABPES served more students in 2020/2021 than in the history of the organization. Our funders worked with us to ensure we had the funds to manage and run our afterschool virtual STEM programs effectively. In other words, our fundraising was at an all-time high. We recruited a cohort of new STEM firms excited about supporting our afterschool STEM programs as we move back to in-person learning. We are already registering new students and volunteers to join us in the fall. Because of the support and encouragement from all of you, our future is brighter than ever. Thank you for believing in CABPES!

 

Blessings,

Dewey F. Brigham, Jr., Ph.D.
CABPES President and Executive Director

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Newsletter

Advocacy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – President’s Letter

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In February 2021, Americans came together to celebrate Black History Month. CABPES, like many American companies and nonprofit organizations, paid homage to historical Black pioneers and today’s African American leaders that played a significant role in shaping how Black people are viewed and treated by the majority race in the United States. The CABPES website presented information on Black historical figures, Black music, poetry, and inspirational speeches by Black leaders. CABPES highlighted on its website the pain and sufferings that Black people endured to teach the world about diversity, equity, and inclusion. In other words, a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion are nothing new to African American people.

Black people have been fighting for diversity, equity, and inclusion since Slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Senseless hangings and killings of young Black males like Emmett Till, Rodney King, and Trayvon Martin were not enough to awaken the American consciousness to the injustices of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the United States of America. Ruthless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery erased all doubt in many Americans’ minds that racism, social injustice, and police brutality exist in the United States, especially in large cities where there are large demographics of African American people. It was not until the world saw an evil person press his knee on the neck of Mr. George Floyd as he begged for his mother while dying that many Americans finally acknowledged that enough was enough. There was no denying the hatred and systemic racism in America.

The aftermath of these cruel atrocities led companies and mainstream nonprofit organizations to have a change of heart in terms of diversity, equity, and inclusion. These companies are interested in learning about Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). They want to create internship positions for students of color in high school and college. Companies want to hire professionals of color to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations.

CABPES sought to bring these companies together during Black History Month by hosting its first-ever Virtual Career Fair. Sixteen companies participated in the Career Fair. The Aerospace Industry, the Oil & Gas Industry, Consulting Engineering Firms, Construction Companies, and the City & County of Denver put on a magnificent display of STEM presentations to over 150 people. The audience included students, parents, STEM professionals, educators, and representatives from HBCUs. We had presenters and guests from all over the United States, Australia and the Philippines. The Career Fair was an excellent show of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Our parents emailed and called to thank CABPES and let us know how mesmerized their children were to see such high-quality STEM presentations demonstrated by people of all races, gender, and nationalities. Collectively, we showed when people come together for the common good, racism, ignorance, and fear must take a backseat to redemptive goodwill and service to humanity. CABPES will continue to be a drum major in the fight for diversity, equity, and inclusion. We encourage our funders and corporate partners to join us to educate others on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Blessings,
Dewey F. Brigham, Jr., Ph.D.
CABPES President and Executive Director

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Newsletter

CABPES Awarded Grant from State Farm

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CABPES has been awarded a $25,000 grant from State Farm! The State Farm grant will be applied toward the Junior Engineers Tomorrow’s Scientists programming.

“CABPES STEM program is a great fit with State Farm’s focus on education,” said Louis Materre, State Farm agent and longtime advocate for CABPES. “We have a commitment to support local organizations and provide students with experiences and training to ready them for college and/or their future occupations.”

The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams.

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CABPES in the Community

“Every Month is Black History Month”

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The Nonprofit Strategy Group discusses the importance of past, present and future Black leaders and the core foundation of CABPES- teaching students to overcome, achieve and accomplish. Read more here.

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CABPES in the Community

40 Years Later the Dream Continues for the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists

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CABPES supporter and community partner, Central Park finds out what gives CABPES such longevity in our community. Read more about the history of CABPES and how we keep our mission alive here.