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November 12th, 2011
10:24 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., 11 p.m., and 2 a.m. ET on February 11 and February 12 on CNN.

(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: Black in America • Documentaries • Education • Technology