The Palisadoes Foundation Featured on the Jamaica Information Service

We are proud to have been featured as part of the Jamaica Diaspora Conference coverage by the Jamaica Information Service.

Correction: The Palisadoes Foundation is only affiliated with the Jamaica Diaspora Taskforce. Peter Harrison is not the head as stated in the podcast.

The 2019 Calico Challenge Gains GraceKennedy Foundation Sponsorship

Santa Clara, California: June 24, 2019 – The GraceKennedy Foundation announces its part sponsorship of the Palisadoes Foundation’s fourth annual Calico Challenge. This step furthers the GraceKennedy mission of enhancing the well-being of Jamaicans through educational opportunities. In addition, this commitment celebrates the successful collaboration between GraceKennedy, the Jamaica Computing Society, the Palisadoes Foundation, the UWI Computing Society and the University of Technology IEEE Student Branch.

The Calico Challenge is a summer work study program for computer science students in Jamaica. Each selected student works on enhancing open source software used internationally under the guidance of a Jamaican mentor. Participating students receive US$1,500 for their successful progress. This stipend is incrementally paid based upon the achievement of specified milestones. Calico is also a feeder program for the similar Google Summer of Code.

The GraceKennedy Foundation’s contribution was used to both fund student stipends and special awards to be announced.

“This emphasizes how Jamaican organizations are taking new approaches to advancing technical education. GraceKennedy’s endorsement of the Calico Challenge will help augment an already strong talent base by helping students transition to the working world for Jamaica’s benefit,” said Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes Foundation, “We are proud that GraceKennedy
is willing to expose young Jamaicans to the rapid software development cycles and large scale collaboration that Jamaica needs to both compete and flourish.”

More information can be found on the Palisadoes Foundation website: http://www.palisadoes.org

About the Calico Challenge
Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. There has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Computing, Mona; the UWI Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch to identify open source projects, student sub-projects and mentors.

About the GraceKennedy Foundation
The GraceKennedy Foundation aims to have a positive impact on the quality of people’s lives by actively promoting well-being, primarily by supporting educational and environmental programmes and processes.

The GraceKennedy Group is one of the Caribbean’s largest diversified conglomerates. It comprises a varied network of some 60 subsidiaries and associated companies located across the Caribbean; North and Central America; and the United Kingdom. Their operations span the food distribution, financial, insurance, remittance, hardware retailing and food-processing industries.

About the Palisadoes Foundation
The California-based Palisadoes Foundation aims to provide new avenues of promoting Jamaica’s technology businesses and talent by using a series of programs which create increased awareness of the island’s abilities in the global marketplace.

About the University of Technology IEEE Student Branch
Like the IEEE, the branch’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is the first IEEE student branch to be registered in Jamaica and meets regularly to develop the young minds that will create a better Jamaica.

About the UWI Computing Society
The vision for this society is to become 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 is also envisioned to be a medium by which the university population and the wider society may become more computer literate as well as educated in the efficient use of ICT in the industry and the wider society.

About the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force
The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force is a group of expatriate Jamaicans interested in assisting in the continued development of new and existing technologies in Jamaica. It is a member of the Jamaica Diaspora Movement

Rachelle Trotman – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Rachelle Trotman one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.  Rachelle is from Barbados and is participating this year through our international partner Automattic.

My name is Rachelle Trotman and I am from one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands surrounded by golden sands and crystal blue waters. This island is Barbados. While my life in the gem of the Caribbean Sea has been nothing short of amazing, I chose to leave to pursue a degree in Computer Science at the University of the West Indies Mona Campus, Jamaica.

I live in code; coding computer programs has been a way of expressing myself. It is satisfying to be able to command a program to do what I want it to do using languages such as python, java and c, just to name a few. There is much zest in knowing that I can use something I am passionate about to solve a problem or fulfill a societal need.

Most areas of Computer Science intrigue me but my top three areas are Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Language Processors. Soon, I hope to pursue a master’s degree in Computer Science in Europe. My goal is to have a successful career in computing and in doing so, I hope to use all the skills I would have garnered to impact lives regionally and internationally, through both charitable organizations and my substantive career.

I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to be a participant in the Calico Challenge 2019, specifically with Automattic. I look forward to everything it has to offer.

Tevon Davis – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Tevon Davis one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

My name is Tevon Davis a young web developer from Spanish Town, St Catherine pursuing his computer science degree. I began coding in late 2014 before I was a graphic designer which transitions to what I mostly dabble in when coding as a hobby which along side reading are two of my favourite past times.

My interests include data visualization, WebGl, Web assembly, Progressive Web Apps, Graphql and Micro-services as of current or just all things web related. I believe that the web is the most accessible and open platform for software to be delivered to end users and I’m always looking out for the next best thing in the browser or web community.

I’ve only recently been involved in the open source community as a developer, from what I’ve experienced there are a lot of amazing software that we really on everyday powered by open-source communities, working with open-source gives us all a chance to grow even further and be apart of something great and rewarding whatever your field from AI to AR, as such I’m grateful to the Palisadoes Foundation for providing me and many other young Jamaicans with a gateway to the world open-source. If your reading this early 2020 be sure to apply.

Dimitri Johnson – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Dimitri Johnson one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

I’m Dimitri Johnson, from St. Catherine in Jamaica. My Alma Mater Glenmuir High school was where I first got a feel for Computer Science. If i’m being honest it left a bad taste in my mouth the time round. That’s explains why i spent my first two years of university studying industrial engineering. At the end of those two years though i had something of an epiphany and I am now a proud student of computing at the University of the West Indies. I could write a lot about the inadequacies of Jamaica’s education system, and at one point i would have, but I’m of the opinion that it the responsibility to improve it lies with us, the students.

My current interests include the field of machine learning and AI. My hope is gain the expertise to then use this technology to improve my country’s economic situation. And this is likely the the best time to be entering the industry, taking into consideration the recent advancements that have been and continue being made frequently. And also to apply my skills wherever possible that can be of great impact.

Phillip Llewellyn – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Phillip Llewellyn one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

Phillip Llewellyn Biography. My name is Phillip Llewellyn. I am a first-year student of the University of the West Indies, Mona pursuing my Bachelor of science degree in Computer Science. I am a past student of the Calabar High. I was intrigued by computers and technology ever since I was young. However, my first step in achieving my dream was made in grade 9 when I started to teach myself the C language. Currently, I am 20 years-old growing software developer with a passion for technology and innovation. I am inquisitive about learning and trying new ideas and methods. My passion for software developing is fueled by its inventive potential without being super rigorous and ability to be done by anyone. One of my biggest dreams is to ultimately create the world leading software development company based in Jamaica. It would develop software that is accessible and useful for young developers and businesses.

Additionally, I would like to venture into robotics and artificial intelligence. Otherwise from the negative connotations, I believe that robotics although not new with the help of artificial intelligence would play a vital role in our future. I believe instead of being a replacement, it should be more of an assistant to help us humans in areas we may fall. I coached the Calabar robotics as well as the Jamaican National robotics team in 2018 and 2019 and was a member of the National Team in 2017. These experiences taught me many valuable lessons and enlighten my views on the usefulness of robotics. AI and Robotics are getting better every year and I will try to keep myself up to speed while pulling the younger ones with me. Eventually being able to reduce the casualties experienced by workers who risk their lives every day.

Most of all I believe Open sourcing is utmost important. I was introduced to contributing to open source through working with Drupal, and from ever since I had liked it. Otherwise from helping to create a free software or getting access without paying a cent, the chance to be able to contribute to something big no matter how small your help gives a surreal feeling. I was selected to be one of the interns for the 2019 Palisadoes Calico and I am grateful for the opportunity. I am excited to be able to help all summer on a project that may become useful for someone, maybe for the next big Google.

Javier Bryan – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we Javier Bryan one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

My name is Javier Bryan, an aspiring robotics engineer. I attended Glenmuir High School and I am currently a first year student attending the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Electronics.

I am very grateful to be selected to be a student participant in the fourth annual Calico Challenge. I have always had a passion for computer programming ranging from embedded systems programming to game development and also mobile and web development. I was very excited when I got word of a program that seeks to promote growth and allow students to gain valuable experience in the field during the summer holiday. This will be my first time participating in and contributing to an open source project and I really look forward to the experience.

Symptai Consulting Sponsors the 2019 Calico Challenge

Santa Clara, California: April 29, 2019 – Symptai Consulting Ltd announced its USD1500 sponsorship of the Palisadoes Foundation’s fourth annual Calico Challenge. This marks the conclusion of a successful collaboration between Symptai, the Jamaica Computing Society, the Palisadoes Foundation, the UWI Computing Society and the University of Technology IEEE Student Branch.

The Calico Challenge is a summer work study program for computer science students in Jamaica. Each selected student works on enhancing open source software used internationally under the guidance of a Jamaican mentor. Students receive a USD1500 stipend for their participation which is incrementally paid upon the achievement of specified milestones. Calico is also a feeder program for the similar Google Summer of Code.

“We welcome Symptai’s support of Calico in our common goal of developing a stronger nation through the empowerment of the future Jamaican technical workforce.” said Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes Foundation, “The endorsement clearly illustrates how Jamaicans around the world can collaborate in outreach activities to make an impact in not just in education but in engineering too.”

More information can be found on the Palisadoes Foundation website: http://www.palisadoes.org

About the Calico Challenge
Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. There has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the University of the West Indies (UWI) Department of Computing, Mona; the UWI Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch to identify open source projects, student sub-projects and mentors.

About Symptai Consulting
Founded in 1998, Symptai Consulting Ltd is an IT Advisory and Assurance Company that is tremendously experienced in delivering advisory and assurance services.

Symptai has offices in Kingston, Jamaica, and Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Symptai has contributed greatly to improving the perception of auditors and control professionals in the Caribbean. This has resulted in auditors with increased efficiency and effectiveness through the introduction of new data analysis techniques and concepts, and automating their control functions.

Symptai possess an enviable track record; performing highly technical information systems audits for clients over the past eighteen (18) years. Symptai also provides mentoring to government ministries and agencies. For years the company has delivered software and lecturers to dominant universities in Jamaica.

About the Palisadoes Foundation
The California based Palisadoes Foundation aims to provide new avenues to promote Jamaica’s technology businesses and talent using a series of programs aimed at creating increased awareness of the island’s abilities in the global marketplace.

About the University of Technology IEEE Student Branch
Like the IEEE, the branch’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. It is the first IEEE student branch to be registered in Jamaica and meets regularly to develop the young minds that will create a better Jamaica.

About the UWI Computing Society
The vision for this society is to become 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 is also envisioned to be a medium by which the university population and the wider society may become more computer literate as well as educated in the efficient use of ICT in the industry and the wider society.

About the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force
The Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force is a group of expatriate Jamaicans interested in assisting in the continued development of new and existing technologies in Jamaica. It is a member of the Jamaica Diaspora Movement

Matthew Patterson – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Matthew Patterson one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

My name is Matthew Andrew Oswald Patterson. I attended St. George’s College and I am now pursuing a degree in Computer Science at the University of The West Indies (UWI) Mona. I applied to the Calico program so that I can receive guidance as to how to approach and contribute to open source projects. Time didn’t allow me to do it before. Whether this is an excuse or not, throwing myself in the deep end or doing it alone, without mentorship were not grand ideas to me. Thus, Calico presented the perfect opportunity to capitalize this aspiration.

I am predominantly interested in animation, literature, storytelling and all strains of technology. Ultimately, I would like to become a game developer, or a major contributor to new game releases, as well as, an author. I am a very dynamic and unstructured person; I am still amazed that I have reached this far. However, my pride and dreams continue to propel me further in the field of Computer Science, along with the motivations of my loved ones. The opportunity to learn new things, refine and expand my skillset is amazingly fun and invaluable, especially when combined with the opportunity to meet and network with new people, who are doing great things. I would wish such a blessing for even my worst enemy. What is competition when one side is incompetent?

Ranil Wallace – 2019 Calico Challenge Participant

Today we feature Ranil Wallace one of our 2019 Calico Challenge participants.

My name is Ranil Wallace, a second year student at the University of Technology, Jamaica, pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. One of my favourite things to do is problem solving. It is something that I am good at, which is why I enjoy programming so much. I have experience in Javascript, and it’s frameworks such as React JS, React Native and Angular. I also have experience in NoSQL databases such as mongoDB, as well as the Javascript runtime environment NodeJS. Recently, I have been venturing into user-interface design. I look forward to Calico, as it will allow me to gain more experience in the open-source community, as well as improve my teamwork skills and problem solving abilities.