HOW I GOT INTO THE WORLD OF IT

My IT journey started in October 2016 when I decided that I wanted to sit the IT CSEC exam in one year. I must admit, I didn’t really like the subject but I was willing to give it a shot. By April, I had fallen in love with the subject and loved coding especially and I knew I wanted to pursue some kind of career in coding.

A representative from Girls in ICT in Jamaica approached my teacher to ask Campion to enter their upcoming hackathon competition. My teacher first asked me if I would be interested in joining and being team captain. My team had never worked together before and being fourth formers, we were the youngest team there. We had no clue what to expect but we did our best (and hoped for the best). We developed a game for children to raise awareness about marine pollution and show them the effects it has on animals. AND WE WON! This victory really helped to make me love IT more because it showed me that I could be good at it.

At the same time I was a dancer with Campion College Dance Society. In the last rehearsal we had before our break for June exams I decided to go full out. In doing this I ended up completely tearing my ACL. It was gone. Because of this I had to get surgery and my mom hasn’t allowed me to go back to dancing. I was and still am upset but everything happens for a reason, right?

That summer, I was approached by Nerdina, a US based organization that promotes developing schoolgirls into young women leaders in technology, who asked if I was willing to open up a “branch” here in Jamaica. I accepted immediately because it was a way to show girls that they can play an important role in the technological world too and I mean I needed something to do with all this new free time I had.. Last September, a new club was formed at Campion: Nerdina/Campion Coders which is an all girls technology based club where I am President and the exec board is made up of the team members. To date we have 20 inspired girls and we won “Best New Club” at Campion’s Club Expo.

The world of IT has created so many opportunities for me. I was able to make a team of 20 girls from Campion to go to the International Women’s Day Symposium where I was one of the recipients of the Girls in STEM Award. We were able to send another team to Girls in ICT Day where they came third!!! I even got to be among the group of students who went down to Norman Manley High School to help some 5th form students in an IT Workshop that they had. One of my favourite opportunities however would have to be getting the chance to sign up for the Women in IT Mentorship program with YCDI and also becoming an ambassador. It is a wonderful organization that promotes youth in IT and I can’t wait to see what other opportunities I will get.

If little me could see me now she would never believe it. I would have never thought I’d be so strongly passionate about IT and I honestly couldn’t be happier. I hope that one day I can inspire girls to pursue or discover their hidden dreams whether in IT or any other area of life.

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