A Clojure "Scholarship": Let's send Raynes to the Conj!

If you're a Clojure (or other FP language) programmer, you might know Anthony Grimes already.  Notable projects of his include sexpbot, irclj, and the guts behind try-clojure.org. He goes by IORayne on twitter, and Raynes in #clojure on freenode irc, where he's been a positive, helpful presence.

It turns out that he's 16 years old, is home-schooled in Eldridge, AL (remarkably, population 184!)…and he would like to attend the first Clojure Conj next month in Durham, NC, but he simply doesn't have the funds to do so.

When I found out about this, I knew there had to be a way to "make it right".  Now, I don't know Anthony personally and I can't "vouch" for him in any traditional sense of the word, but he seems like a fine fellow given my interactions with him on irc: bright, eager to learn, and extraordinarily capable for his age (or, to be fair, for any age). Fundamentally, it seems that helping to get him to the Conj is the right thing to do.  And, at least to some extent, I can relate to his situation – I remember times when I was young(er), strapped for cash, and wishing I could participate in things more typically reserved for older folk in more fashionable locales that were over-employed compared to myself.

So, I talked with the other distinguished invited speakers at the Conj about potentially standing up a fundraiser to help get Anthony to the Conj.  The response was uniformly positive, and Relevance, the conference host and cradle of the Clojure/core team, has graciously offered to take care of his hotel accommodations and admission to the conference (huge thanks to Alan, Justin, David, and anyone else at Relevance that had any hand in making that happen!).

All that’s left to do is raise enough money to pay for transportation (the 10-hour drive between Eldridge and Durham would seem to be unnecessarily epic) and miscellaneous travel expenses (food, cabs, the forgotten toothbrush, whatever).  Either Anthony's mother or his brother will be traveling and staying with him (definitely necessary for legal and liability reasons), so I figure we’re looking at a $1,000 fundraising target, which will cover:

It's a sizable sum, but I think this is a worthy cause, and I suspect the Clojure community will concur.

I've set up a PayPal donation button below, along with a progress bar.  Some FYIs:

If you have any questions at all, leave a comment here, or don't hesitate to contact me if it your question involves confidential details (payment issues, etc).

We did it! Details, numbers, and thanks you's to all who donated.