Lianne McNaughton came to Boys Town on a mission. She wanted to spread the word and inspire the children with the fact that “You can do I.T.”. Lianne McNaughton is the founder of the Youth Can Do I.T. which is an initiative started in 2016 that seeks to equip youth with the right skills and tools to turn their dreams into reality. This objective is done via workshops, hands-on and interactive learning initiatives.
Lianne introduced herself to the Grade 4, 5 and 6 and then went around the room and asking the class what they aspired to be. The students gave a mixture of answers; Doctor, Fireman, Mechanic, Professional Footballer, and the future Prime Minister of Jamaica. Lianne asked the class about the various games they played and heard that at school, they played spelling games as well as multiples games and also have played games such as Ludo, drafts and Chess. She used this as way to introduce the concept of Information Technology to the class and told them about designing and creating games and programs using technology. Lianne told the class the first step in achieving anything is first believing in yourself and believing that you can do anything you want to do. The Grade 4 and Grade 5 class determined that with the help of Lianne and the Youth Can Do I.T. Foundation that they wanted to create a new website for their school to showcase all the amazing things that they are doing at Boys Town.
Lianne taught the class about the process to design programs; this was received by eager little faces. The students had many interesting comments and questions for Lianne. With this in mind, she told the class that they need to determine what they want their program to do. The class offered up many different answers. After Lianne asked the class who they want their program to help, you realized how much the students of Boys Town have an innate desire to help build their school and community. The children wanted to design things that could help solve problems they face in their communities and at school. It was both impressive and heart-warming to hear such altruism from the among.
Lianne told the students that through hard work and a belief that they can do anything, they will achieve anything. This was reinforced by Charles Hyatt of the Charles Hyatt Foundation who told the students at Boys Town that they can become an expert on any topic if they read about it alone for 6 months straight. Lianne took the time to tell all in attendance that she genuinely believes that the students can achieve anything they set their minds to and that she believes in what they can do. Lianne asked the class who believed in themselves and had the entire room in an uproar as they all jumped and chanted that they do. From ‘the mouths of babes’ as is said, when asked who believes with confidence and pride the classroom turned into a symphony of “I DO.”