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He's Young And Wired
A kid helps Jamaica get computer-savvy
Minister of Technology Phillip Paulwell is Jamaica's highest authority on high tech. But last year the nation's official website needed major updating, and no one in his entire office could do it.
Whom did he turn to? A 13-year-old Jamaican kid named Makonnen David Blake Hannah. Makonnen (Mah-cone-en) happened to be visiting the office with his mother, who had a business meeting with Paulwell. He quickly uploaded new information for the website. Paulwell was so impressed that he gave Makonnen a job as adviser.
Makonnen helps find ways to bring high-tech education and jobs to Jamaica. "The simplest computer job pays better than the toughest unskilled labor," he says. "If we build a computer-educated work force, it will draw companies that need these skills to Jamaica."
Every Monday morning he reports to Paulwell on the latest technology news from the Web and computer magazines, and offers his own suggestions for teaching Jamaicans to be more computer-smart.
Makonnen began toying with his mother's computer when he was very young. "I'd press a button to see what would happen," he says. Makonnen soon found that Web bulletin boards were a good place to meet kids. He spent hours typing to his online friends. "Then when I'd mess something up on the computer, I had to learn to fix it," he says.
Jamaica's youngest government adviser takes his job seriously, but he still likes to play. His favorite computer games: Diablo, Starcraft, Duke Nukem 3-D, Quake and Need for Speed. When he is older, he hopes to start a PC-game-design company. "I have many goals," says the computer whiz. "I would like to change the world--especially Jamaica."
Makonnen Timeforkids.com: He's Young and Wired Quoted From: http://www.pathfinder.com/TFK/archive/v4n14/v4n14_wired.htm Used with permission from TIME For Kids magazine, Copyright 1999You've reached the end of this story...
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