Since 2016, The Palisadoes Foundation has been assisting STEM students to become globally competitive in software engineering.
Equitable access to life opportunities for STEM education recipients.
We promote software engineering education internships for university students in under-served communities.
- Our demographic focus is on Black, Brown, Latinx and indigenous groups.
- Our geographic focus is on the North American and the Caribbean regions.
- We aim to cover all our operating costs through revenue generated by our software projects.
Palisadoes was created by a group of expatriate Jamaican information and communication technology (ICT) professionals. They wanted to assist the continued development of new and existing technologies for the benefit of the island.
The Foundation quickly realized that there was universal need for these services in underserved North American communities where the Jamaican diaspora live. We have expanded our service region to include them.
The ICT sector is a dynamic, growing, and critical international industry that can provide significant financial growth and opportunity for these communities. Our internship programs provide equitable access for local ICT professionals to globally compete.
We started in 2016, with a pilot internship program in Jamaican universities where academic and student leadership wanted greater practical exposure to the latest technology in solving issues graduates would face when employed.
After five years of success, we expanded the program to the USA. The digital divide in education is very visible in the San Francisco metropolitan area where we are based. We feel that our experience in the developing world will be useful in aiding this community too.
Our Internship Programs
The Calico Challenge summer internship program inspires university students to contribute to open source software projects under the guidance of IT professional mentors. Stipends are paid upon achieving predefined goals. Past participants have been hired by Apple and WordPress; others have pursued postgraduate studies in North America and Europe. We work with university professors, student groups, and our past Calico Challenge participants to track the impact of the program.
We have provided over 30 software development internships for Jamaican university students sponsored by Jamaican companies and the Jamaican immigrant community in North America.
Calico is very closely modeled on the Google Summer of Code (GSoC) initiative, which has very similar goals. Google has run GSoC since 2005 and in 2016 over 1,500 students around the world participated. Unlike Google:
- All our funding comes from donations from interested individuals and companies.
- Employees of many sponsors are often mentors for our students
- Students work on projects managed by the Palisadoes Foundation itself, not third parties.
- Many Calico students get hired by our corporate sponsors
Our Software Projects
Interns work on innovative open source software projects aimed at being locally relevant to the communities we serve. This allows both individuals and companies to rally behind our work. They realize that the internship experience translates into valuable skills and performance for the participant and their communities.
Work in Jamaica
We collaborate with numerous student, academic and business organizations on the island. These include:
- The IEEE student branch at the University of Technology, Jamaica. The branch’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity.
- The UWI Computing Society which is a launching pad for the development and exposure of the computing students of the University of the West Indies, with particular focus on undergraduate students. This Society aims to make the university population and the wider society more computer literate as well as educated in the efficient use of ICT in the industry and the wider society.
- The Jamaica Computer Society whose mission is to provide leadership in the promotion of the efficient and effective use of Information Technology in Jamaica. JCS conferences have been distinguished by the participation of presenters and attendees from across the globe including the Caribbean, USA, Canada, UK and Europe.
Work in the USA
We have contacted numerous student organizations and academic staff to find the best way to provide software internships in our home, the San Francisco Bay Area.