When a family member becomes incarcerated, there becomes a disconnect, especially when that person’s a mother or father. Jay’Aina “Jay Jay” Patton and her father Antoine, an ex-prisoner, developed Photo Patch, a program and mobile app that connects incarcerated parents to their children, reports Afro Tech. Due to their personal experience with the unjust and oppressive prison system, Jay Jay and Antoine are now changing the way that children can communicate with their loved ones who are currently incarcerated. On a recent appearance on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show, the founders gave more insight on the company’s mission, which is also to help more girls of color get into tech.
“Right now, I’m on a mission to help 10,000 girls of color get into the world of tech and start their career path,” shared Jay Jay. “Just for me, there’s not much representation of people who look like me in the world of tech and I know other little girls want to get into this world. They don’t see that they can do it. So, I want to be that guide and help them do it — and just start them off with their career. I actually have a scholarship fund as well that we’re raising awareness for to help these women and girls start their career.”
More than 2.7 million children have been torn away from a parent due to incarceration, but thanks to the Photo Patch app, children can send letters, postcards, photos and drawings to their incarcerated parents.
During the episode, the pair also received quite a surprise. Not only were they greeted by Ludacris, but he also gifted the pair with $10,000 in funding to continue their mission.
“I love what you guys are doing,” said Ludacris during the show. “[I] absolutely love what you’re doing. I have family members that are incarcerated and all they ever ask for is pictures. You guys are connecting the world. I have my own foundation that helps facilitate dreams for young ladies like yourself. I came here personally because I want to donate $10,000 to what you’re doing.”