JPS Foundation Sponsors 2017 Calico Challenge Student Meet Up

On July 28, 2017 the JPS Foundation held a combination meet up and corporate introduction to the Calico Challenge. The JPS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Jamaica’s Energy Partner, the Jamaica Public Service (JPS). It is the main channel for employee outreach and community development projects, cementing its commitment to community and national development. The JPS Foundation, which has been a 2 year sponsor for the Calico Challenge, hosted the event to formally introduce Calico to the JPS family. It was the 3rd in a series of monthly meetups hosted by corporate sponsors for the Calico participants.

(L-R) Phillip Jarrett (JPS Foundation Board Member), Kevin White, Xavier Bryson, Luke Chen Shui, Scott Allen (RealDecoy), Jhamali Vassell, Jacinth Morgan-Collie (Manager JPS Foundation), Levor Dacosta (Marketing Researcher JPS Foundation)

The event began with Jacinth Morgan-Collie addressing the audience. She explained why the JPS Foundation got involved with the Calico project and how it aligns exactly with the goals of the foundation. This was directly followed by a video presentation by Alexander Nicholson, a past participant, explaining his experiences with Calico and how skills gained while working on the Material UI project taught him key concepts which he now uses at work.

Luke Chen Shui spoke briefly about his project JResume as well as his experience being a mentor & student. Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes, joined via a video call and gave a brief talk about Calico now and the direction it is heading.

There were small presentations by current Calico participants along with short demonstrations of the projects they are contributing to. Members of the audience were then given the opportunity to speak to persons individually. As the event came to a close Phillip Jarrett expressed the Board’s support in the partnership and reiterated sentiments previously expressed by Jacinth along with a vote of thanks to everyone for attending.

About the Calico Challenge
The Calico Challenge is an annual event where Jamaican university students work on large scale open source software projects with a Jamaican flavor. They are assigned a mentor and are provided with a stipend upon meeting predefined project goals.

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 School of Computing and Information Technology, University of Technology, Jamaica; the UWI Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch.

About the JPS Foundation
The JPS Foundation expands the Jamaica Public Service Company’s role beyond a utility company to include community outreach and the consistent support of Jamaica’s National Development plans.

Since 2013 the JPS Foundation has been the philanthropic arm tasked with the responsibility to help create positive change and prosperity as the leader in Jamaica’s energy sector. Its mission is to improve lives and empower Jamaicans through charitable development projects in Energy Education, Conservation and Innovation.

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.

Reported by Collette Bailey, Palisadoes Volunteer