Loved the Apps for Good course? You won’t regret becoming a mentor!

Tanya, an Apps for Good Fellow and former student of Wick High School, is passionate about helping others get into technology. Last November she returned to Wick High School to help Apps for Good students with their ideas.  

I’ve met many inspirational students, teachers and industry experts!

This autumn I returned to my former high school in Wick, Scotland to meet the current Apps for Good students. I was joined by Bob Schukai, Head of Applied Innovation at Thomson Reuters and we spent a busy day working with all of the teams and listening to their impressive ideas. Throughout the day, each group took turns presenting to us. The students did a fantastic job, especially considering they only had 30 minutes to prepare!

Afterwards we spoke with each class and took questions from the students. I was overwhelmed with the number of questions I received about university. It’s really cool to see 14 year old students are already thinking about their bright futures.

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Tanya and Bob Schukai listening to students describe their apps.

Computing is definitely not just for guys.

What I found even more inspiring was the number of girls on the Apps for Good course.  At my university, only 1 out of 5 of students on my course is female.  It’s fantastic to see so many girls taking an interest in technology, and we definitely need more girls taking this interest further.

I noticed while talking to the students that there is still a stereotype that computing is ‘a guy’s thing.’ There are also still perceptions that girls aren’t smart or good enough, especially when it comes to programming. One thing was made clear at Wick High School: computing is definitely not just for guys.

I understand first-hand how intimidating it can be going into a field that is still male dominated, and I’m not going to say that my experience has been completely positive. However, this should never stop anyone from taking their passion for computing further!

What needs to stop is the extra self-doubt. I know because I’m definitely guilty of doing this too. I think it’s important to realise that everyone learns differently, and it’s okay if you don’t quite understand something yet.  There’s never harm in asking for help – it doesn’t make you weak.

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If you loved the course, you won’t regret becoming a mentor!

Mentoring alongside teachers delivering the Apps for Good programme has been such a rewarding experience. I’ve met so many inspirational students, teachers and industry experts. When I first moved to Edinburgh I didn’t know of any local schools delivering Apps for Good, and I genuinely missed mentoring. Going into the classroom to help students and teachers used to be the highlight of my week!

I’m currently looking for more Apps for Good schools where I can continue mentoring. If you’re an Apps for Good school in Edinburgh, get in touch! Email fellows@appsforgood.org with ‘Message for Tanya’ in the subject.

If you’re a student of Apps for Good, I really think you should join The Fellowship and become a mentor. You won’t regret it!