In 2009, RLabs started a programme for the youth called DigiKids with the focus of teaching basic computing skills. Fast forward to 2016, just seven years later, that very programme has evolved to become Generation Z with a total of twelve courses and just over two hundred and fifty applicants.
What an amazing accomplishment for the faculty!
In 2016, I had the privilege of leading the Generation Z Faculty and to tell you that it was short of amazing would be a lie and a disservice to everyone involved. Never in my life have I worked with such an amazing group of passionate, energetic young souls like I did with Generation Z. Every day, every session was filled with laughs, hugs and so much love. Each facilitator knew exactly what their students needed and provided them with exactly that and so much more.
I believe that there is nothing greater than being able to work with the future generations, our future lawyers, soccer players, change makers. The amount of potential that exists within the minds of our youth is phenomenal and all it takes is for one person to show a little love and belief in them for their passion to be unleashed. During the past year we have worked with students as young as 13 years old who have dropped out of school for a plethora of reasons. We have worked with students who have learning disabilities as well as students who just wanted to know more about themselves, the world and about life in general. It has been such a joy to get to know the students as one teenager is never the same as the next.
Here at RLabs, we believe that all individuals are equal, regardless of their race, gender, and orientation or educational abilities – it is not just something that we say, but something that we pride ourselves on. It is something that we practice and that we instil in others, “treat others as you would want to be treated”.
We believe in teaching empathy, reciprocity and discovering passion. We help others see the potential in themselves and the community in which they reside.
Generation Z isn’t just about empowering the youth – it is about building a better community, moulding hungry, passionate people and equipping the youth with hope that never fades.
Written by: Simone Rustin