Growing up in a lower middle class family in Kingston, Jamaica has its highs and lows. From unbounded laughter, joy and dancing to debilitating poverty, desperation and hopelessness.
I can remember, as a young boy, falling asleep while reading books on the history of mathematics and wondering what was in store for me. Nights spent looking up at the stars, hidden in the plants by the front gate, wondering about the cruelty of the human experience and how it was going to get better. Unsure of how mathematics was going to be relevant or help in 'anything'. What I did know was what my family emphasized 'Education is key'. I had to always be learning.
It wasn’t till my third year in high school when a light bulb went off. That was the year that my school got a bank of computers and started an inaugural class to figure those computing things out. For the first time, I knew what it was to be a magician; what it felt like to create something (useless or fun) out of thin air. This was it. This was how I would be able to help.
Three decades, three degrees, and many certificates later and I am finally using computing for social good – helping make healthcare systems more secure, advocating for human rights, leveraging data to address inequality, homelessness, and crime.