(2014 GLA Graduate from Elsies River)
My name is Brendan Cupido, I was raised in a gang ridden community called Elsies River. After I matriculated in 2011, I was accepted to study Computer Science at CTI Education Group in Durbanville in the year of 2012. I spent a full year there and then had to leave due to financial reasons. Unable to complete my studies I then went on to work part time at a courier company for a year.
I found out about RLabs through a family relative and was intrigued to find out more about RLabs. I needed to find out more as I knew I wanted to gain more knowledge and RLabs offered me an opportunity to gain Knowledge without having to worry about fees, I was then accepted for the Mxit Application course that ran through the RLabs Academy Program during my course I then found out about the Grow Leadership Academy Course and applied for it.
In 2014 I got the full scholarship for the Grow Leadership Academy Programme, back then it was a 9 month program where it focused on Digital, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Training. During that period while attending the course my parents informed me that they would not be able to pay for my traveling to RLabs so I took the liberty of finding myself a part time job.
I found employment in Koeberg where I worked in the dispatch unit for a uniform clothing company Gina@Work. I found myself working for 3 days including weekends and attending the Grow Leadership Academy program during the remanding 2 days.
Being a student in the Grow Leadership Academy provided me with many opportunities. It advanced my digital skills, taught me to believe in myself and also provided me knowledge in entrepreneurship. RLabs provided an internship opportunity during the final stage of the Grow Leadership Academy training. I applied for the position and received a call that I was accepted for an interview the Monday.
In 2015 I started my 6 months internship where I found myself co-facilitating the digital classes. During that year I was employed by the organization as a full time staff member. In 2016 a group of us was chosen to do a Java Course. I was approached to then join the RLabs Dev Team as an intern mid that year.
While working alongside the developers on applications I was inspired to use the skills that I have obtained to build something I am passionate about. in 2017 I found myself managing an artist where I met many upcoming artist. I then built TrackGrab an online dashboard that allowing artist to share, upload and view number of downloads and plays per track.
I then applied for the Innovia Incubator Program for the last 3 months of the year. I find myself now employed as a self-taught software developer at RLabs and running my own startup.