UTech, Jamaica Students Shine at Huawei “Seeds for the Future” 2021 Programme

Professor Nilza Aples (left), Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing (FENC), Dr. Andrew Isaacs (right), Vice Dean, FENC and Professor Sean Thorpe (center, second row), Head, School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT), pose with outstanding FENC students who participated in the 2021 Huawei “Seeds for the Future” programme, at the programme’ s graduation ceremony on Friday, November 26, 2021 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

Seventeen University of Technology, Jamaica students from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing who successfully completed the Huawei “Seeds for the Future” 2021 virtual programme were praised for their outstanding performance at the graduation ceremony for the programme hosted by Huawei Technologies, Jamaica on Friday, November 26, 2021 at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston.

The graduation ceremony recognized 29 students from UTech, Jamaica and The University of the West Indies (Mona) who participated in the eight-day Seeds for the Future programme hosted virtually by Huawei from October 25 to November 2, 2021.The virtual programme consisted of online courses, live stream sessions, a 'Tech4Good' project which challenged students to leverage technology to address social and environmental issues,  and unlimited access to discovering Huawei advanced technologies, as well as exposure to trending businesses, and a cultural programme. The overall 2021 Seeds for the Future programme comprised a total of 112 students from Ghana (58), Jamaica (29), Trinidad and Tobago (20), and Suriname (5). The students will all have the opportunity to participate in the global competition at the end of the year.

Seven UTech, Jamaica students, along with three students of the UWI, Mona, won the Tech4Good Project challenge. The winning group comprised UTech, Jamaica students Jayan Williams, Ashleigh Austin, Elliot Tyndale, Khamali Powell, Odane Swaby, Shawn Vassell and Toni-Ann Gray along with UWI, Mona students Shanoya Heywood, Rasheed Senior and Lois-Ann Hall. The team developed an app called “EcoCLean Jamaica” which aims to improve waste collection to promote a sanitary environment.

Jayan Williams, 3rd Year Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking and Security, School of Computing and Information Technology (SCIT) student makes a presentation on her team’s EcoClean Jamaica app which won the “Tech4Good” Group Project award.

The Most Honourable Juliet Holness (6th from left), Member of Parliament for East Rural St. Andrew and Mr. Allen Chen (left), Huawei Technologies’ Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Central America and Caribbean congratulate “Tech4Good” Group Project award recipients (from left) Shawn Vassell, Ashleigh Austin, Shanoya Heywood (UWI, Mona), Jayan Williams, Rasheed Senior (UWI, Mona), Lois-Ann Hall (UWI, Mona), Toni-Ann Gray, Khamali Powell, Odane Swaby and Elliot Tyndale.

Huawei Seeds Scholarship Announcement

During the programme Huawei Technologies, Jamaica also announced its inaugural Huawei Seeds Scholarship programme, totaling $4,000,000.00 JMD, to “provide financial support to Jamaican students involved in the ICT industry and to promote ICT talent within this country.”  First place was awarded to UTech, Jamaica’s Shawn Vassell, Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering 4th year student, who achieved one of the highest overall scores for the Jamaican group. UTech, Jamaica students Khamali Powell, Jayan Williams, Chloe Campbell and Shanya Connell were among those also awarded scholarship for their performance, including their overall examination scores, their participation and examination rate, and project results during the “Seeds for the Future” programme.

His Excellency, Tian Qi (right), Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Jamaica presents Shawn Vassell, UTech, Jamaica’s Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering student, with his Huawei Seeds Scholarship certificate for his outstanding performance during the “Huawei Seeds for the Future” programme.

Shawn Vassell, in providing feedback on the “Seeds for the Future” programme, noted the valuable lessons he has learned in ICT, and in business, expressing his thanks to Huawei Technologies for hosting the students and providing the opportunity for scholarship.

Dr. Andrew Isaacs, Vice Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Computing, who delivered congratulations on behalf of Professor Colin Gyles, Acting President, UTech, Jamaica had hearty commendations for the graduates of the “Seeds for the Future” programme.  He encouraged the students to continue to be “good ambassadors of your respective institution and your country, as you continue on your journey as ICT professionals.  I also encourage all our graduates to share what you have learned with others which will undoubtedly contribute to a brighter future for Jamaica, the region and beyond.”

Mr. Bob Zhou, CEO, Huawei Technologies, Jamaica in expressing his congratulations to the graduates of the programme, reiterated the company’s commitment to continuing to foster ICT talent in the region. Endorsements for the programme were also received from The Most Honourable Juliet Holness, MP for East Rural St. Andrew and Dr. Tamika Benjamin, National Mathematics Coordinator, from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The event also included the signing of Memoranda of Understanding between Huawei Technologies, Jamaica and UWI, Mona to establish a Jamaica ICT Talent Hub.

Congratulations to all our outstanding Huawei “Seeds for the Future” 2021 scholars from the Faculty of Engineering and Computing:

B.Eng. Industrial Engineering
Shawn Vassell, 4th Year

BSc. Animation and Production Development
Chloe Campbell, 3rd Year

BSc. Computer Science
Jada Bailey, 3rd Year
Shanya Connell, 4th Year
Darren Beckford, 3rd Year
Kemani Young, 4th Year
Zachary Clarke, 3rd Year
Ashleigh Austin, 3rd Year
Khamali Powell, 3rd Year

BSc. Computing
Jaycia Williams, 4th Year

BSc. Computer Networking and Security
Jayan Williams, 3rd Year

B.Eng. Electrical and Computer Engineering
Antonio Johnson, 4th Year
Nicholai Watson, 4th Year
Odane Swaby, 4th Year
Rick Darby, 4th Year
Toni-Ann Gray, 3rd Year
Elliot Tyndale, 3rd Year


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 876 970-5299 
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm