What happened this year in CCST

It’s been a wonderful year filled with support from our 200+ members. We ended this 2019 with a meet-up at Di Grill Shack in Jamaica on Dec18th. It was filled with food and laughter. At the meet up some members received some complimentary 256GB flash drives. We also had a brand new CompTIA Security+ book, which will soon be in the hands of Abygayle Ivey, a member of both CCST and WISC (Women in Security Caribbean) to help her begin her journey in Information Security.

Books and flash drives for CCST members

December marks 9 months since CCST was co-launched by Tanisha Mitchell and Gavin Dennis. CCST is an initiative within The Gavin Dennis Foundation Ltd, a registered non-profit organization in Jamaica supporting the Caribbean. The Foundation has been successful through financial sponsorship from G5 Cybersecurity, Inc., a Cyber Security and Data Privacy consulting company (https://g5cybersecurity.com).

Our community (CCST) now hosts Caribbean members from various areas of IT and at different stages in their career. CCST supports students, enthusiasts, administrators, consultants, supervisors, managers, directors with both non-technical, technical backgrounds. CCST is a whole support system for Caribbean people in IT across the world.

The community initially started as a WhatsApp group and blossomed into a multi-channel community on the Discord platform. The community was designed to support members to grow and achieve their goals and we’ve had some very positive accomplishments so far such as:

  • Members landing new jobs
  • Members passing certifications
  • Diverse conversations across Caribbean countries
  • Giveaways from sponsorship funding which includes books, flash drives, online training courses, face2face meet-ups.

Conversations at the CCST meet-up in Jamaica

It’s not easy maintaining a community but with support from the community, we’ve been consistently focused on getting several small things right. Small things can have a big impact and we realized this from early and capitalised so our members could benefit from things like:

  • Monthly online meetings to help everyone get acquainted, especially with new members (since the last meeting).
  • General respect for them regardless of their gender, religion, race, sex, or political affiliation.
  • Having their feedback taken seriously
  • Conversations across multiple Caribbean nationalities in different territories.
  • a structured personal development program to help members achieve their goals, find mentors and coaches.

Sponsors

Since September 2019 we signed our first corporate sponsor, G5 Cyber Security, Inc. G5 Cyber Security is a consulting company providing services in Cyber Security and Data Privacy primarily to the Caribbean.  Visit their website at  g5cybersecurity.com.

Through this sponsorship, we’ve been able to cover all our operating expenses and keep our website secure. In 2020 we aim to have more corporate sponsors on board who believe in our goals. If you believe your company might be interested in a cool group like ours, please contact us.

Looking ahead

For 2020, we will continue to invest in the community by:

  • Adding corporate sponsors who believe in our goals
  • Building out a virtual lab for our members
  • Providing opportunities for product and software reviews
  • Providing more opportunities for members to share their thoughts with the world through our blog.
  • Providing premium proofreading software to help members perfect their documents
  • Several more but you need to be a member to find out.

Thank you

Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far and we will deliberately strive to make 2020 an even greater year for our members.

Thank you also to Dwayne K. Smith, Photographer for capturing our moments both inside and outside of the meetup. We truly appreciate it.

  • If you’re interested in contracting a professional photographer in Jamaica, please visit his website at https://www.dwayneksmith.photography/
  • You can also chat within Dwayne within the CCST group.

A collaborative group on Discord for Caribbean people in IT. Our group is on the Discord Platform. To join, log in through the Discord App or with a browser.