The work we do at Apps for Good
To round up our birthday celebrations we wanted to take a moment to celebrate our team both past and present. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to reach 200,000 students and their brilliant teachers.
In 2020, a year when we’ve all been working completely remotely it’s been great to reach out to students, teachers, partners and experts to hear their stories from over the years. We also chatted with our brilliant team - past and present - about the things that they’ve learned along the way and hear what they are doing now. Forgive us this one more self-indulgent walk down memory lane.
Satwant Singh Kenth
First up we chatted to Satwant Singh Kenth, now co-founder and lead-developer at Transmira and one of the first people to join us on our mission after taking one of our original courses.
He worked with us in the very early years to develop our courses further and take Apps for Good into schools for the first time! We asked him;
What was the biggest thing that you took away from your time with us?
The most important thing I learnt at Apps for Good was getting to the root of a problem and understanding how to address it. It may seem like a simple concept but it's something that can be applied in all aspects of life. It was incredibly important to make sure the app we created addressed the root of the issue rather than a symptom of it.
Freddie is our Head of Education and Engagement, we asked him what his favourite Apps for Good experience has been so far?
“Working with three groups of students from three schools at the Salesforce OceanForce day."
"The students were invited to Salesforce Tower, a skyscraper in central London and got to hear from some of the leading Experts about plastic pollution and the danger it posed to the world and specifically the marine environment."
"Some of the speakers had spent years travelling around the world on adventures exploring the problem and you could see how inspired the students were hearing from them. The young people were then able to design an app over the course of a few hours that could solve the problem and pitch it back to the Experts. It was a fantastic, engaging and impactful day and one of the student groups went on to build the app they had designed and launched it onto the market."
Orrin Ward, joined us as a designer but quickly added Scrum-Master and front-end developer to his role here. Orrin is now a Senior Agile Delivery Manager at Checkout.com - he described us as “the education I wish I’d had in school”. Pretty amazing! We asked him what was important to him about the work he did at Apps for Good.
“It's hard to pick a single most important thing, as I think Apps for Good achieves a number of genuinely amazing things:
It gets students thinking with an entrepreneurial mindset
It gets students to be much more collaborative in subjects that in my time at school were solo endeavours
It is inclusive because it is team-based, and encourages students to bring their own skills.
I describe my role today as 'I help teams be more betterer' (the spelling and poor structure is deliberate Natalie, don't correct me if you use this!) and I genuinely feel that some of the most effective entrepreneurial teams I've seen have been Apps for Good teams - Light on process and heavy on team spirit, motivation and autonomy.”
Natalie is Apps for Good’s COO and has been with us for 8 years. We asked her why the work we do is so important.
“We empower young people to change their world and realise that nothing is impossible. I'm particularly passionate about using education and innovative initiatives to create an environment that allows young people to be inspired, thrive and achieve, no matter their location or socio-economic background.”
Sophie, who is now Strategic Development Manager at the University of Salford and told us this brilliant story about joining the team way back in 2013.
“What has never failed to inspire me is the passion of all those involved in Apps for Good. All the people I worked with across our funding partners gave so much more than a financial gift. They gave energy, enthusiasm and dedication to our work and our student beneficiaries. They invested in our mission and really cared about the skill development and outcomes of our students, supporting us in so many ways that you just can’t measure… Right now in the midst of a global pandemic, we must fight to support social mobility and ensure that we continue to shrink, not widen, the opportunity gap for young people across the UK. Apps for Good does exactly that.”
Lastly, but not at all least Luisa Gockel, who worked with us for five years as Head of Business Development, Luisa is now Director of The Lightbulb Trust who we have partnered with to support the development of our new Expert Feedback Tool wrote an amazing blog post about her AfG experience!