The Palisadoes Foundation Announces the Calico Challenge 2016 Awardees

Santa Clara, CA: April 29, 2016 – The Palisadoes Foundation today announced the 8 student awardees to participate in the first annual Calico Challenge.

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 US$500 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.

Calico was conceived by The Palisadoes Foundation in conjunction with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. Over the past year there has been close technical collaboration between the Foundation; the Department of Computing, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; the UWI (Mona) Computing Society; and the University of Technology IEEE Students Branch. Work included the identification of open source projects, student sub-projects and mentors.

The Calico Challenge students will be working on adding software features to MaterialUI, that makes it easier to create mobile and web apps; HarvestAPI, aimed at helping farmers optimize their yields; and Infoset, that provides status reports on the operations of computer equipment connected to the Internet.

The Calico Challenge awardees are:

  1. Kimberly Simmonds
  2. Luke Chen Shui
  3. Brandon Hinds
  4. Javon Davis
  5. JeVaughn Ferguson
  6. Christopher Lee Murray
  7. Alexander Nicholson
  8. Jerene Ricketts

“The proud achievement of this milestone is important to Jamaica’s growing role in the international IT community”, said Peter Harrison, President of the Palisadoes Foundation, “The collaboration of so many diverse stakeholders, including academia, students, and businesses in both Jamaica and overseas is truly remarkable in getting us this far. I look forward to the future.”

“This is yet another milestone in a string of successes by our hardworking and capable students. These achievements of our students truly make us extremely proud. Keep up the good work! Your Department is solidly behind you.” Dr. Ezra K. Mugisa, Head of Department, UWI Department of Computing, UWI (Mona).

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

About the UWI Department of Computing

The Department of Computing is home to 589 undergraduate students and 76 postgraduate students. As of 2015 the department had produced over 1145 Bachelor’s degree holders and over 186 graduates with MSc, MPhil and PhD degrees.

About the Palisadoes Foundation

The 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 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.

Twenty Four Students Sign Up for Calico 2016

Santa Clara, CA: March 26, 2016 — The Palisadoes Foundation, with the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force, announce the initial application statistics for the 2016 Calico Challenge.

Applications closed on March 25 after a sustained campus education campaign by the UWI Computing Society and the UTech IEEE Student Branch student clubs. Activities included promotions on the Palisadoes Foundation’s Facebook and Twitter accounts,  email campaigns to the computer science student bodies at both universities, and weekly education sessions held as part of the student clubs days.

The interest in all three Calico Challenge projects was strong:

  • Harvest API: 3 Students.
  • Material-UI: 8 Students
  • Infoset: 13 Students

Student applicants ranged from high schools to university. All undergraduate years of tertiary education were represented from UWI and UTech.

“The level of interest really exceeded our expectations from the beginning. The Calico launch in February attracted over 120 students which has resulted in us receiving 24 applications. Of that number, 5 were from women in technology,” remarked Peter Harrison, President of The Palisadoes Foundation. “We hope to see similarly strong numbers of applicants for the Google Summer of Code, for which Calico is a stepping stone. This is very encouraging.”

Over the next week students will work with their mentors to clarify the scope of their proposed summer projects and will submit their formal proposals on April 1, for review by the Acceptance Committee.

Details on each project can be found at: http://calico.palisadoes.org/

 

About the Calico Challenge

The Calico Challenge is a partnership between The Palisadoes Foundation and the Jamaica Diaspora Technology Task Force. It 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 Diaspora mentor. Calico is also a feeder program for the similar Google Summer of Code.

 

About the Palisadoes Foundation

The 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 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.

Jamaicans Replicating Google’s Summer of Code

The Palisadoes Foundation was featured in the Jamaica Observer today in an article titled “Jamaicans replicating Google’s Summer of Code“. You can download the PDF version here.

Here are some key observations from our student organizers in Jamaica.

“The programme has mentorships and workshops and it was right up UTech’s alley because at the time that was what we were working on. The expansion, however, has widened the horizon of what we can offer to students,” Chairman of UTech IEEE Student Branch, Jordan Jones.

 

“We were searching for a project that aligns with our vision and one that would make an impact on a cross section of students and not just members of the club”, Shane Richards, president of the UWI, Mona Computing Society, “we are eager to show others that a project like this can be successfully completed by students and it is not as difficult as it appears to be.”

About the Palisadoes Initiative

The Palisadoes initiative 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.

Project Calico Announces Software Projects for 2016

Santa Clara, CA: The Palisadoes Foundation announces the initial software projects for Calico 2016.

Calico is an initiative to foster active software development among Jamaicans by sponsoring summer scholarship internships where students can contribute to a variety of open source software projects.

Detailed information on Calico’s entry requirements can be found on the Calico FAQ page at http://www.palisadoes.org/calico. Technical details of the approved projects can be found at
http://calico.palisadoes.org

The Palisadoes Foundation is proud of this accomplishment and encourages readers to both sponsor our students and encourage students to participate.

About the Palisadoes Foundation

The 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.

Project Calico Featured on TVJ’s Smile Jamaica Morning Show

Santa Clara, CA: The Palisadoes Foundation’s Project Calico was featured on the TVJ Smile Jamaica morning show.

During the show, Project Calico was outlined as the equivalent of a summer long student scholarship. The award is US$500.

  1. During this time the students add desirable new features to approved software projects.
  2. The software projects are approved by The Palisadoes Foundation and the UWI / UTech student computing societies.
  3. All the projects are open source, meaning that they are free to use, download, and examine over the web. Software developers donate their time to these projects free of charge to enhance their skills, resumes and international credentials.
  4. Students will have mentors from these projects to ensure they meet international standards.
  5. Scholarship stipends would only be paid upon meeting mentor defined milestones.
  6. Sponsors will have continued visibility into all student contributions, not just the ones they sponsor.
  7. The features students add will be visible to the world for peers and potential employers to evaluate.

Project Calico is a feeder program into the international Google Summer of Code project. We encourage students to apply to both GSoC and Calico. Details can be found on the Calico page.

About the Palisadoes Foundation

The 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.