Bedford’s Benjamin Beekman -- Future Programmer and BOCES’ Student of Distinction



Pictured Above: From left to right, Career Academy Principal James Bellucci; Tech Center teacher Dr. Joseph Di Cicco; Ben’s mother Aimee O’Malley; Ben Beekman; Ben’s father Bill Beekman; Dr. James Ryan, Superintendent of Putnam / Northern Westchester BOCES; and Richard Kreps, President of Putnam / Northern Westchester BOCES Board.

For Benjamin Beekman playing video games and learning computer programming began as a hobby but it has turned into something much more meaningful.

At the Tech Center at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES, this Bedford senior has learned that the pastime he passionately enjoys can -- and will -- shape his career path. Ben, as he likes to be called, has been a student at the Tech Center for two years, studying microcomputer programming for two hours each school day. He received the honor of being named a Student of nDistinction June 2017 for his efforts and skills.

“I like games that make you think and make you plan,” Ben said. Going further he added that he likes games that test the player’s strategies and force a bit of competition among characters. To learn to program and create games, he said “he had to learn a whole new language, the language of coding.”

“You have to work hard, and have a teacher like Dr. De Cicco,” he said.

Dr. Joseph De Cicco clearly thinks Ben has a bright future.

“Ben has what it takes to become a game programmer,” the microcomputing teacher said. “One day he will be famous. And I hope he comes back to inspire others.”

Ben’s father Bill Beekman credited the BOCES Tech Center, which held a graduation for more than 400 students earlier this month at its Yorktown campus, with inspiring his son and providing necessary skill training.

“There he got a chance to test things out and find a direction.” Added his mother Aimee O’Malley: “The Tech Center was the best move we could have made for Ben.”

District Superintendent Dr. James Ryan thanked the Bedford Central School Board for taking the time to “recognize one of our outstanding students.”

The appreciation went both ways with Bedford Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christopher Manno praising BOCES for offering options to local students. He joined in presenting Benjamin with a medal and certificate during the June 21 Board of Education meeting of Bedford schools.

“BOCES is a valuable resource,” he said, “and we are proud of Ben.”