I have always struggled with sharing information about myself beyond basketball.. However after listening to the founder of Black Girls Code speak today, I’ve decided to share more of the other side of me.. The information Kimberly Bryant exposed me to today was shocking.. Yet it shouldn’t have because I’ve been living it for almost 20 years. First I want to say that the founder of the international organization, Black Girls Code, is from Memphis. She graduated from Central High School and she got an Engineering degree from Vanderbilt…Second I want to share the other side of me…. Basketball is my passion.. Everybody knows that…LOL… However, my career for over 17 years has been in Information Technology more specifically in web development…. My business degree from the University of Memphis is in Management Information Systems.
— Dan Laird (@DanLaird) October 17, 2016
After learning the numbers today on the decrease of women getting degrees in computer science (and getting involved in Technology), I decided that I have to use my voice. I have to let the young ladies in my city, from my neighborhood and that look up to me because of basketball, know that although I excelled in basketball, I talk about basketball, I preach do this and do that in basketball…ACADEMICS was always my Number 1 priority.. In high school, If I didn’t score a certain amount of points my coach was upset with me.. But if I didn’t have AT LEAST a 3.6 GPA each 6 weeks, I was upset with myself. I grew up in Bethel Grove; lived in The Airways Apartments, The Skylane, Kimble Cabana, The Windsor; hung out in the Pendleton Place and Lamar Terrace; attended Bethel Grove Elementary, Sherwood Jr High, Hamilton High School and was bused to Newberry Elementary AND I HAVE AN OVER 17 YEAR CAREER in Information Technology.. If you only knew MY STORY. I mentioned before—I have a Testimony!!! As I reflect, I’m amazed at myself… When I first heard that the founder of Black Girls Code, Kimberly Bryant, was from Memphis. I got so excited. Then I learned that she would be speaking at a conference that I was attending.. So you know I had to meet her.. BUT— I never expected the impact her speech would have on me….. Never!!!