Four I Believe Initiative (IBI) Ambassadors received support for their technology-driven projects from the Flow Foundation in the recently held Governor-General’s Programme for Excellence (GGPE) Pitch for Tech Competition.
The Ambassadors – Sheldon Millington, Shanese Watson, Leneka Rhoden and Neville Charlton – all had the opportunity to ‘pitch’ their ideas for a chance to win Samsung LTE tablets and Samsung Smartphones.
The IBI is a values-based initiative that aims to encourage all Jamaicans to develop a sense of self-assurance and national pride. It has three key pillars designed to promote national development: youth, family and education. The Pitch for Tech Competition, which promotes mission-driven work, was held as part of the IBI’s 3rd Annual General Meeting on May 1 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
In his remarks, Governor General Sir Patrick Allen noted: “I commend the work of the IBI Ambassadors who are successfully coordinating their projects using technology within their various communities even within the constraints of a national pandemic. It is heartening to see our youths committed to making a difference in the lives of so many Jamaicans. I believe it augurs well for our future and exemplif ies our principle of using what is right with Jamaica to f ix what is wrong with Jamaica.”
Sheldon Millington, Director - House of SDM, an organisation dedicated to advancing health, education, employment, human rights and community development, won first place with his pitch to provide tablets to primary-aged students in underserved communities in order to stem the educational loss caused by lack of devices. Shanese Watson, Founder - Young Scholars Inc, took second place with her Tech Bloc Coding Bootcamp. Next was Leneka Rhoden, Coordinator - Commonwealth Youth Climate Change, with her virtual environmental summer camp geared towards 9 - 17 year olds. Fourth place went to Neville Charlton, Founder - Youths Inspiring Positive Change JA Limited, which offers online digital education in conflict resolution to youths in underserved communities of Tivoli Gardens, Trench Town, Denham Town, Rae Town, Jones Town, Cavalier District and Waterhouse.
Since its launch in 2011, the IBI has appointed more than 340 ambassadors participating in the programme both locally and overseas. The IBI ambassadors are encouraged to undertake and execute individual projects aimed at providing resources to help persons at the community level. The IBI is open to all Jamaicans 18 years and older and seeks to engender the spirit of volunteerism in our nation’s youth.
The Flow Foundation is a proud sponsor of the GGPE, which has administered the I Believe Initiative for the past five years. The GGPE forms part of the Governor-General’s Social Programme and is aligned with the foundation’s support of the empowerment of the nation’s youth through various initiatives and partnerships.