Antoine Patton and his 13-year-old daughter Jay Jay Patton were guests on “Steve” on Wednesday, March 20, and they blew the host Steve Harvey away with their story.
Patton, who lives in Southwest Florida but grew up in Buffalo, N.Y., served an 8-year prison sentence for carrying an illegal firearm. Jay Jay was just a little girl at the time, and they would mainly communicate through written letters.
But Patton explained there would be long gaps from when his daughter wrote a letter and when he received it, mainly because adults had to help her package it and mail it, since she was so young.
So when Patton was released from prison in 2015, he and his daughter teamed up to create an app called “Photo Patch” that allows inmates to receive letters and pictures from their children much faster. Plus, it’s so user friendly, children of all ages can use it to communicate with mom, dad or another family member.
“Once you download the app, you can choose to send letters, and then once you do that you will click a button that leads you to sign up,” Jay Jay told Harvey. “And you will sign up and put all your information, all the person’s information that is in the prison and the prison information and from there you will be able to type a letter and send photos to the person you want to send it to.”
“When they click send, it comes to our team,” Patton added. “We print it, we package it, we ship it off to the prison. They get a physical letter. The family doesn’t have to pay anything for it. We pay for everything based on donations we raise from the community.”
Patton explained that he learned how to code while taking college courses in prison, and it’s something his daughter picked up as well.
Currently, they both teach thousands of people how to code through free online classes, and Patton said it’s his way of paying it forward.
Harvey was nearly speechless when Jay Jay clarified that she isn’t taking a coding course but teaches one online. He then gave her a computer as a gift, which made her beam with smiles and appreciation.
In a separate interview with Southwest Florida’s Fox 4, Patton revealed he and Jay Jay have a goal to teach 220,000 how to code by 2020.
You can check out “Photo Patch” here.