Ludacris surprised Jay’Aina “Jay Jay” Patton and her father Antoine, the father-daughter combo behind the Photo Patch Foundation, on The Ellen Show recently. They collaborated to create an app that allows children to send photographs and letters to their parents who are incarcerated, with the group assisting over 70,000 families in sending over a million photos to far.
With Antoine serving seven years in prison while Jay Jay was just three years old, the foundation’s mission is particularly poignant. In reality, Antoine learnt to code while incarcerated and passed on his expertise to his daughter once he was released. Jay Jay’s success with the Photo Patch Foundation has inspired her to urge more Black women to pursue careers in technology.
“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,” she said. “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, but 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. We actually have a scholarship fund as well that we’re raising awareness for to help these women and girls start their career and just let them know that they can do.”
Ludacris was brought onto the stage by Ellen Degeneres to applaud the duo’s efforts and award them with a $10,000 cheque.
“I love what you guys are doing, absolutely love what you’re doing,” he said. “I have family members that are incarcerated – all they ever ask for are pictures. You guys are connecting the world. I have my own foundation that helps facilitate dreams for young ladies like yourself.