Majesty Gardens youth wants to be top coder

January 19, 2021
Shemar Stewart
Shemar Stewart

Shamar Stewart is an enthusiast for technology and software systems. The Norman Manley High graduate said he only secured three subjects in the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate (CSEC) in 2016. He said his next move was enrolling at the Vocational Training Development Institute, but he was deferred a space at the institution.

The Majesty Gardens, St Andrew, resident enrolled in a customer service supervision course at the HEART Trust/NSTA Eastern TVET Institute , and it was while there he was urged to take a shot at the Amber HEART Coding Academy.

Today, he boasts himself as being among the first group of participants being trained as software developers through the Amber HEART Coding Academy.

Amber Group, in collaboration with the HEART Trust/NSTA and Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme last week launched their coding academy, aimed at training thousands of Jamaicans in software development.


"I enrolled in this programme, not only to learn coding, but also to learn how to build myself and help to build others," said the 22-year-old, who is among 50 youngsters now domiciled at the Stony Hill HEART Trust/NSTA campus for the one-year residential training programme.

Participants will be taught by master coders from the Amber Group in the first six months of the programme after which they will undergo a six-month internship. Stewart told THE STAR he is grateful for the opportunity to change his future. He has set his sights on becoming a noted software coder out of Jamaica, and thus contributing to the rewriting of the narrative about the tough inner-city community where he has spent most of his life.

Stewart lives by the mantra, 'Train your mind to see the good in every situation,' and is encouraging youths who may be facing similar situations to never lose focus.

"You have to practise some of the talents that you have and really see which one you can master, and achieve the goals in your plans," he said.

Prime Minister Andrew Holness launched the Amber HEART Coding Academy last Thursday. It is a partnership between the HEART Trust/NSTA and the Amber Group, in collaboration with the Housing, Opportunity, Production and Employment Programme and the Art of Living Foundation. Holness said that the coding academy will significantly improve the employability of citizens, particularly the nation's youth, and serve as the catalyst for a new age of digital transformation locally.

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