7 Benefits Of Volunteering With GT Scholars

7 Benefits Of Volunteering With GT Scholars

Volunteers What's new?

We know there are many volunteering opportunities out there, so you may be wondering – Why GT Scholars?  Why should I volunteer for this organisation? What makes it different from other social enterprises? What can I benefit from it? Volunteering with GT Scholars can be a great and rewarding experience. In this blog post, we will be sharing more information about the organisation and exploring 7 reasons why you should consider volunteering with GT Scholars.

1. Make A Positive Impact

The GT Scholar’s programme tackles educational inequality and social mobility by helping young people from low-income households gain access to selective universities such as Oxford or Cambridge and highly competitive careers. We believe that all young people have their own unique set of gifts, talents and strengths and they can achieve amazing things when they get the chance to build on their natural strengths and develop new skills.

Moreover, as a tutor or mentor, you would be helping scholars bridge the gap and break free from the social restraints that are prevalent in this generation. Through tutoring in Maths or English for one hour a week for twelve weeks, you would help scholars improve their grades, build their confidence and perhaps even give them guidance in their educational or career path. The same can be said for mentoring, during the 2-3 hours a month of volunteering as a mentor, you would be making a difference in a young person’s life and guiding them through life’s challenges so that they can work towards reaching their full potential and achieving their goals.

2. Flexible Online Volunteering

Our scholars benefit from a blended learning programme. Which means using a combination of online tutoring, mentoring sessions, enrichment sessions and skill-building events. Most of our mentors and tutors are matched with one scholar, while others choose to tutor or mentor up to three scholars per term. We try to make the volunteer experience as flexible as possible. This allows our volunteers to either increase or cut down their hours at the end of each term depending on their availability.

We believe that, no matter where you are, there’s always a way to give back. Due to COVID-19, a vast number of our volunteer opportunities are solely online. Therefore you stand to save on travel expenses and gain the fulfilment of making a positive impact in a young person’s life in the comfort of your home. Aditionally, you can decide on a schedule that suits you and your scholar, making this volunteering role extremely flexible.

3. Meaningful Work Leads To Meaningful Lives

Each person is unique and therefore they choose to volunteer for a variety of reasons.  Every volunteer gets something different from their volunteering experience, including the opportunity to improve their self-esteem, confidence and wellbeing. Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose and fulfilment when contributing to causes you’re passionate about. It offers opportunities to develop new skills or enhance existing ones, such as communication, leadership, and problem-solving. Importantly, volunteering allows you to make a tangible difference in the lives of others and contribute to positive social change. 

Moreover, a large majority of our existing volunteers find their experience fulfilling and it gives them a sense of purpose. “I believe the best way to give back is to build relationships with people and offer support.” says one of our volunteer mentors. And lastly, one of our volunteer tutors said, “English tutoring has been a fun, challenging, rewarding, and positive experience!”. Learn from the experiences of our volunteers, by delving into our Spotlight Interviews. These interview transcripts will allow you to understand the different reasons and impact that volunteering with GT Scholars has on our volunteer community. 

4. Enhanced Resume And Personal Growth  

When it comes to volunteering, many think that only those on the receiving end of the volunteering service benefit. However, volunteering provides valuable experience that can enhance your resume or CV and make you more attractive to employers.  It challenges you to step out of your comfort zone, learn new things, and grow personally and emotionally. If you are passionate about education and decreasing education inequality in your community then volunteering with GT Scholars is a great way to start. We’ve had undergraduate students in humanities gain experience from volunteering with us and heads of departments retire into the education sector upon finding their calling after volunteering with us. 

Furthermore, there are many short-term and long-term benefits that volunteers receive when they choose to take on this role. One of these benefits is how this volunteer role can boost your CV, especially for undergraduates. Potential employers mostly seek to see what extracurricular work you have done during the course of your studies. When they see that you have previously taken on the role of a volunteer, it reveals a few things about your character and the kind of person they would be bringing on board to work for them. Read our blog post to explore more about the impact of volunteering on your CV.

5. Be Part Of An Innovative Social Enterprise 

Volunteering is important for communities because it supports organisations to provide vital services to groups and individuals within the community. Most charities use a simple funding model where funders and donors donate money to the charity to help some young people from low-income homes. We operate a unique funding model. This means, we are sustainable and we don’t have to rely on grants and external funding to continue serving the community.

Equally important, we’ve set up a social enterprise business model so that we can help more people with less charitable funding. We charge means-tested fees to our scholars. Hence for every child from a high-income household that we support, we can support two young people from low-income households. This is an innovative model and we hope that you can be part of the change that we’re trying to create in the world.

6. Engage Beyond Tutoring And Mentoring

Volunteering at GT Scholars is anything but linear. Apart from tutoring, mentoring and supporting young people and parents at events, our volunteers are the backbone of the organisation. We know that our volunteers have so much more to offer than just tutoring and mentoring. As a social enterprise, we welcome different forms of assistance from our volunteers and individuals who wish to make a difference without the commitment, from corporate partnership referrals to parent or scholar referrals. 

However, we have a blog post that delves into the different ways that one can volunteer with GT Scholar in more detail. This could be in project management, workshop facilitation, photography, videography, fundraising, communications or marketing. We know that not every volunteer has the time to commit to one hour a week of tutoring or mentoring. Therefore, these alternative options give you the opportunity to use your skills and knowledge to give back and contribute to the GT Scholars mission. Explore the different roles by clicking here or feel free to get in touch with us if you’d like to know more.

7. Connect With Like-minded Individuals

Our volunteers are passionate about making a difference in young people’s lives. When we started the programme, we were amazed by the large number of people who understood our mission and chose to use their time to volunteer with GT Scholars. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and many of them study full-time, work or are retired. We are always inspired by our volunteers. If you decide to volunteer with us, we would love you to meet other inspirational volunteers that we work with. 

Lastly, as a volunteer with GT Scholars, we will give you access to our weekly volunteer newsletter. It will keep you up to date with tips, resources and upcoming events in which you can participate. Our online webinars and events cover a range of topics. There are many ways in which you can benefit from attending these events. Either by gaining a new skill, networking or sharing ideas with other like-minded individuals. This is perfect for undergraduates who are still to decide about their future career path or graduates who would like to build their professional network and establish some contacts within different industries. Subscribe to our volunteer newsletter Friends of GT Scholars!

At GT Scholars we are committed to tackling the issue of educational inequality. If you would like to find out more about volunteering with GT Scholars, then get in touch with us! We are particularly keen to meet undergraduates, graduates and other professionals who work in careers or study at universities that our scholars aspire to. Our recruitment process includes an interview, background checks and a training course. These are done to ensure that you are well-prepared and informed before you begin your volunteering journey with us. If you have a genuine passion for social mobility and educational equality and wish to get involved, get in touch with us by filling out this online contact form.

7 Habits To Help You Become A Better Student

7 Habits To Help You Become A Better Student

What's new? Young people

Do you know the saying: habit is second nature? Well, this simply means that what you regularly do has a way of shaping who you become. Therefore, developing positive student habits will definitely have positive effects on your academic life. This will make you a better student and help you to improve your overall performance.

Fortunately, there are techniques and tools you can use to become a better student. We have put together a list of student habits you can develop to help you study effectively and become a better student. 

1. The Habit Of Setting SMART Goals

Having goals can help you stay focused on your work. Without a goal, you may find that you struggle to stay motivated. That’s why setting goals and writing them down is one of the most important student habits. Once you write them down, you can start thinking about the steps you need to take to achieve them.

There are two types of goals, long-term and short-term. Long-term goals take a lot more time (usually a year or more) and effort to achieve while short-term goals can be achieved much sooner.

When you set a goal, long or short-term, it should be SMART. An example of a SMART goal would be: “Moving up a grade in Maths by the end of the next school term with the help of a tutor.” It’s specific, it can be measured in terms of progress, it’s achievable and relevant to your education and there is a set amount of time to achieve it.

But you are probably wondering what makes a goal SMART? It has to be: 

  • Specific – it should be clear what you want to achieve, what you’ll need to do and how you will need to work towards achieving it (e.g., moving up a grade in maths)
  • Measurable – goals should be something that you can track your progress on over time so that you know how far or close you are to achieving it (e.g., going from a C to a B is something you can measure)
  • Achievable – make sure your goal is realistic and that you can take the steps needed to achieve it  (e.g., you can improve your grade by getting online tutoring in maths or watching tutorials on concepts you need help with)
  • Relevant – your goals should align with your hobbies, career choice or education aspirations (e.g., maths is a subject you take at school and you have to pass maths each year)
  • Time-bound – you should assign a specific amount of time to achieve a goal and work to complete it in that time (e.g., the end of next school term)

2. The Habit Of Time Management 

Another beneficial student habit is time management. Many students believe they don’t have enough time to have a healthy social life and achieve the grades they want.  However, most students waste a lot of time engaging in what is known as “pseudo-working” where they work at a low intensity for a long time and their concentration continuously drops. This can occur for many reasons such as sleep deprivation, or working in a distracting environment e.g., with the TV playing in the background.

Late-night cramming sessions filled with countless cups of coffee are not the answer to academic success! It is better to use your time to work in short highly intense sessions. Our optimal learning period is no longer than 50 minutes. Managing your time effectively will ensure that you allot enough time for each of your tasks. This will allow you to be more productive. 

Now, time management is a habit that is learned and, over time, strengthened. So don’t be disheartened if you created a colourful timetable, making sure to include work time and breaks, only to find that you’ve given yourself too much or too little time to complete a task. The most important thing with time management is consistency! If you’re consistently working on being more effective with your time, you will build up this student habit and eventually become a pro! Just keep trying, and you will learn along the way!

3. The Habit Of Planning 

One of the most effective ways to study is to plan your study sessions. Planning is another effective student habit that can be done in many different ways. The way you choose to do it depends on what’s easiest and works best for you. You can plan in a notebook, a daily planner, or a diary. The most important thing is that it’s clear and easy to follow, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. 

To start, you should make sure that all your tasks for the day are scheduled at a good time. For example, tasks that need more effort or are a bit more challenging can be scheduled earlier in the day. By so doing,  you’ll be sure you have the time and energy to dedicate to them. Also, remember to schedule regular breaks leaving room for flexibility in case you get a new assignment or need more time to work on something.

4. The Habit Of Prioritising

Many pupils think that multitasking is a necessary student habit because they can get more things done at a faster rate. While this may be true sometimes, multitasking can force your mind to constantly switch its focus between different things which affects your productivity and quality of work. It can also stress you out trying to finish different things at the same time.

To avoid this it’s better to focus on one thing at a time. You can do this by prioritising your tasks. The main goal of prioritising is to make sure that you complete your tasks according to their urgency and importance. This is possible when you plan your days and manage your time. When you prioritise and focus, you can put your effort into understanding what you’re currently doing and doing it well. You’ll also be less frazzled trying to complete one task rather than many. 

A good place to start would be to list all the tasks that need to be completed for the day. The next step would be to make a note of any deadlines and when they are. Next, you should identify which of the tasks without deadlines are going to need a lot of time to work on. Once you do this, you’ll be able to organise everything into a list that goes from most important to least. Of course, you need to work on important tasks first, to ensure that you complete them on time.

5. The Habit Of Minimising Distractions 

This point speaks for itself in a way. We all know that distractions won’t help get anything done and will have the opposite effect. You must get into the habit of getting rid of any distractions before you get to work on your tasks. 

Let’s start with your biggest distraction: your phone. You know how the saying goes: Out of sight, out of mind? Well, it’s true. It’s best to turn it off completely and make sure to put it somewhere that is out of reach. While it may be difficult when you’re starting work, once you get into the groove, you won’t even notice that your phone isn’t nearby! If you need it to do research or to ask your friend which page today’s homework is on, make sure to do that ahead of time by planning and managing your time wisely, or try using an alternative such as email.

You can also try to work in a quiet space that is away from the TV, radio, or anything that could distract you. Also, remind anyone who is in the house with you that you will be busy so that they don’t disturb you as well.

Keep some snacks and water nearby. Having it ready means you don’t have to stop working, get up and go to the kitchen to get any. It’s always possible you might also get distracted on your way there and back.

6. The Habit Of Taking High-quality Impactful Notes

Even the best pupils can be a little forgetful at times. Some pupils may think that certain classes don’t need notes, but they all do! You can even take notes in your Maths class. Writing down an explanation of your steps during calculations will help you understand why you’re taking those steps.  That’s why it’s a great idea to take as many notes in class as you can. 

Note-taking is one of the oldest student habits and effective ways to study. It has many benefits such as keeping you alert during classes, helping you engage your mind, and having something you can easily refer back to when you don’t remember. Notes also help you to retain information and they can make studying by yourself a breeze. 

Figuring certain things out on your own can be fulfilling, especially because there is a sense of accomplishment that comes along with it. However, it’s also good to ask questions in class whenever you can and take notes on the answers your teacher gives you. If you feel you are more of an introverted type of person and you prefer not to speak in front of your whole class, that’s ok! Most teachers are available to speak after class. This would be a great time for you to ask all the questions you need to. 

7. The Habit Of Self-care

It’s a good student habit to be prioritising your work and studies.  As long as you’re still remembering to take care of yourself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising and drinking enough water. 

Research by the National Sleep Foundation has shown that teens need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep per night for optimum brain development. So the brain can’t function properly without enough sleep! To avoid this, it’s a good idea to set a cut-off time for work at night so you can get enough sleep. You can always adjust your plan for the next day to catch up on what you couldn’t finish. 

It is tempting during times of high stress such as exams to work late into the night or add more hours to your study sessions. But this is not a healthy student habit and can lead to burnout and breakdowns. You can read our blog on how to prevent burnout to find out more about this. 

Eating healthy and staying hydrated is just as important for your brain and body as sleep is. You must be drinking 8 glasses of water per day. If this doesn’t work as well for you, you could get a 2-litre-sized water bottle, fill it and sip on it throughout the day instead. 

It’s also important that you try not to skip meals, especially breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day because it’s the first meal your body gets after sleeping! Last but not least, try to cut down on sugary and oily foods. Research by Brainscape shows that eating sugary foods can slow down your brain and lead to other long-term health issues.

Another important self-care habit to remember is to get up and get moving! Exercise is a great way to keep your mind and body active. Especially when you’re spending most of your time at a desk! Remember to walk around and stretch your legs when you take breaks from assignments and studying.

These are just some of the most effective student habits. By getting yourself into these habits, you’ll be able to improve as a student easily! Adopting these habits might take some time. But once you do, you’ll see a positive change in your work, your attitude, and in life!

We hope you found the points in this blog helpful! You can find more student habits for success in education and beyond through our webinar: Discover the 9 Scholar Success Habits.

9 Ways To Help Your Teen To Create Technology Through Coding!

9 Ways To Help Your Teen To Create Technology Through Coding!

What's new?

In today’s digital age, technology dominates every aspect of life — from communication to career development — and coding has emerged as a critical skill for the present workforce. As parents, nurturing this skill in your teens is crucial to prepare them for the future. The shift from being consumers to creators of technology empowers them and exposes them to new possibilities.

What if you empowered your teen not just to consume technology, but to create it? you would be opening them up to a world of opportunities. Rather than simply using apps, they could be the ones developing them using their interests and abilities.

In this blog post, we’ll explore nine ways you can help your teen become a creator of technology, not just a consumer. From introducing them to coding basics to encouraging them to pursue their own projects, there are multiple ways you can support your teen in their journey to becoming a tech creator.

1. Discover The Best Age To Learn Coding

One of the most common questions parents have is, “When is the best age for my teen to start learning how to code?” There is no one-size-fits-all. The best age to learn to code is during one’s teen years when cognitive abilities are developing, making it the best time to understand the logical and problem-solving characteristics of coding.

But the truth is, coding is a skill that can be learned by anyone, regardless of their age. It is a versatile skill that stimulates critical thinking and creativity. Our blog post, learn coding at any age? Here are 12 tips to help you get started! delves deeper into this topic. Realising that age is not a barrier to learning how to code can lead to important self-discoveries.

Besides, coding is the foundation of the technology we interact with daily. From smartphones to social networks, every digital platform your teen uses runs on code. By learning to code, your teen isn’t just learning to understand the language of computers; they’re unlocking the power to create, innovate, and solve problems.

2. Endorse A Growth Mindset

Introducing a growth mindset is important for any learning journey, especially in the world of coding. Many teens may feel intimidated by the idea of programming, thinking it’s too complex or reserved for geniuses. As a parent, it’s essential to motivate a growth mindset, emphasising that abilities can be developed by stepping out of the comfort zone .

Also, many teens spend hours consuming technology, yet few understand the workings behind the screen. Shifting your teen from merely using technology to creating it starts with stirring up a ‘creator’ mindset. Inspire exploration, ingenuity, and the attitude that every problem is solvable with the right code.

Moreso, You can do this by highlighting successful individuals who started coding with no prior experience and achieved remarkable triumphs. Share stories of famous coders like the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of electric automobile maker Tesla, Elon Musk, emphasising the perseverance and continuous learning that led to their success. This mindset shift will empower your teen to embrace challenges and view failures as opportunities for improvement.

3. Introduce Fun And Interactive Coding Platforms

Coding for beginners is widely accessible these days, and the right guidance can set your teen on a path of technological mastery. By introducing coding to beginners, especially during their developing teen years, you’re equipping them with essential tools for a successful future.

What’s more, to make coding enjoyable for your teen, take advantage of the overflow of fun and interactive coding platforms available online. Platforms like Scratch, code.org, and thunkable allow teens to create games, animations, and mobile apps using user-friendly interfaces. 

These platforms offer a practical way to learn coding concepts without the difficulties of traditional programming languages.

4. Promote a Supportive Environment

Creating technology can be a challenging and sometimes frustrating process, so it’s important to provide a supportive environment for your teen. Encourage them to ask for help when they need it, whether that’s from you, a teacher, or an online community. Offer praise for their efforts, even if their projects don’t always turn out perfectly. Remember that building technology is a learning process, and mistakes are an important part of that process.

Additionally, consider creating a dedicated space for your teen to work on their projects. This could be a designated corner of their room, a home office, or a shared workspace in your home. Having a space where they can focus on their coding without distractions will help them stay motivated and productive.

5. Encourage Participation In Coding Clubs

Coding is not just an individual endeavour – it thrives in a collaborative environment. These experiences not only provide opportunities to learn from peers but also stimulate a sense of community and teamwork. Collaboration is a key skill for tech creators, as technology projects often require teamwork and cooperation. 

Motivate your teen to join coding clubs or to collaborate with other coders, whether that’s through a coding club at school, a coding meetup in your community, or an online coding forum. By working with others, your teen can learn new skills, gain different perspectives, and create projects that are bigger and better than what they could do on their own.

Additionally, highlight the benefits of networking with like-minded individuals and showcase the success stories of teens who found mentorship and support through coding communities. 

Lastly, our Code Creators Club is designed to help young people improve their coding and computer programming skills. It is open to parents and young people which creates an environment for scholars to have the necessary support and accountability to progress while spending quality time learning a new skill.

6. Provide Access To Multiple Learning Resources

The world of coding is very large, with various programming languages and applications. To help your teen become an all-round technology creator, expose them to diverse learning resources. 

They can design apps, develop games, or contribute to advanced software, transforming their relationship with technology from passive to proactive engagers. Our “Help Your Teen Become a Creator of Code Webinar” is designed to empower parents with strategies to support their teen’s coding journey.

There are many resources available online that can help your teen learn to code, from free tutorials on YouTube to more structured online courses. Support your teen to start small, perhaps by learning the basics of HTML or Python programming. 

As they become more comfortable with coding, they can begin to tackle more complex projects and programming languages to develop their skills further. By providing a well-rounded education, your teen can explore different angles of technology and discover their passion within the coding world.

7. Emphasise Real-World Applications Of Coding

To inspire your teen, highlight the real-world applications of coding. You can do this by connecting coding concepts to industries they are passionate about, whether it’s gaming, healthcare, or environmental science. Show them how coding is used to develop innovative solutions, from creating virtual reality experiences to designing life-saving medical technologies.

This practical exposure will not only motivate your teen but also help them understand the real impact coding can have on the world.

Furthermore, coding challenges young minds to think logically and develop solutions to complex issues. The tech industry is fast growing, and there’s a continuous demand for skilled programmers. Coding knowledge opens doors to lucrative and stable career choices. 

According to a 2021 article by the Department of Education, UK graduates from STEM degrees are typically able to access a higher starting wage, with research showing that achieving 2 or more A Levels in STEM subjects adds more than 7.8% to earnings.

8. Support Higher Education And Career Exploration

As your teen progresses in their coding journey, support their exploration of higher education and potential career paths. 

In other words, influence your teen to pursue internships and seek mentorship from professionals in the field. The practical advice shared during our webinar will equip you with the knowledge to help your teen make informed decisions about their educational and career paths in the tech industry.

As reported by the Department of Education in 2021, “Since 2011, there has been an unprecedented growth in students opting to take on STEM subjects such as Computer Science, Engineering, Chemistry, Physics and Biology. This includes a 400% increase in acceptances for students wishing to go on to study Artificial Intelligence courses at university.”

9. Encourage them to pursue their own projects

There are many different computer programming languages eg. Javascript, Scratch, Python etc. So, why not take some time to explore and experiment with all of them before deciding which one to specialise in?

Firstly, once your teen has gained some confidence with coding, rather than focusing solely on theory, encourage your teen to engage in project-based learning. Have them create a personal website or design a simple video game. Project-based learning not only enhances coding skills but also incites creativity and critical thinking skills.

Secondly, by giving your teen the freedom to explore their own interests and ideas through coding, you are not only helping them develop their technical skills but also awakening their innovation and growth mindset. 

Lastly, motivate them to embrace failure as a learning opportunity, celebrate small victories, and stay resilient in the face of obstacles. By nurturing a positive attitude towards coding, teens can develop the resilience needed to overcome challenges and achieve their coding goals.

Guiding your teen to become a creator of technology is a rewarding and essential investment in their future. It’s important to understand that it is not necessary to be a coding expert to support your teenager in their coding journey. Encourage your child to continuously develop their technological skills beyond the classroom or school environment. The transition from being a consumer to a creator empowers them with critical thinking skills, creativity, and adaptability – qualities essential for success in the 21st century. By following these nine tips you’ll be well-equipped to support your teen’s journey into the exciting world of coding. Embrace the opportunity to nurture the next generation of technology creators who will shape the future.

Take Action!

For more strategies and resources on guiding your teen towards a future in technology, sign up for our webinar, “Help Your Teen Become a Creator of Code.” Join us as we explore the best practices, tools, and strategies to inspire your teen’s coding journey. You can sign up to watch the webinar here.

Remember, the world of coding is ever-evolving, but with your guidance and support, your teen can become a confident creator of technology, shaping the future with their coding. Start their coding journey today and watch them take off to new heights in the world of technology!

How To Boost Your Teen’s Confidence When It Comes To Learning About Coding & Technology

How To Boost Your Teen’s Confidence When It Comes To Learning About Coding & Technology

What's new?

As parents, you want your teens to thrive and succeed. In today’s digital age, proficiency in coding and technology has become increasingly important. For instance, according to Codein Game, about 750 jobs for software developers were posted daily in the UK in 2022. Software development is one of many available career options (more options are discussed later in this blog). 

According to Just IT, there are currently not enough qualified workers to fill all the available vacancies. Therefore, acquiring knowledge and skills in these fields can open up many future career opportunities for your teenager. However, due to coding’s complex nature, teenagers often need more confidence when learning. That’s where your role as a supportive parent comes in. Understanding your teenager’s challenges and implementing effective strategies to help them is crucial.

This blog will explore various techniques and approaches that will empower you to boost your teenager’s confidence in the field of computer programming. For instance, we will examine how you can help overcome their fears and apprehensions. We will also explore practical applications and career opportunities and how you can showcase them to your teenager. Other strategies discussed include encouraging exploration, providing resources, teaching problem-solving skills, celebrating achievements, and providing hands-on learning opportunities. Lastly, we will look at how to support your teenager in difficult times during their learning process.   

Navigate Through Your Teenagers Concerns

Addressing your teenagers’ common fears and concerns is vital in boosting their confidence. Begin by creating a safe and open environment for them to express their fears and concerns to you. Encourage them to talk about their thoughts without judgement. Listen attentively and validate their feelings. Also, assure them that it’s normal to have apprehensions.

A typical fear teenagers have about learning about computer programming is that they may not be able to grasp the technical aspects. Teenagers are often also concerned about making mistakes or failing. Other apprehensions include time management concerns and whether this path will really offer future career opportunities.

Creating a supportive learning environment is crucial to overcoming these fears and apprehensions. It encourages experimentation, provides positive reinforcement, and will motivate your teenager to pursue learning in these subject fields. Encouraging your teenager to stay the course and letting them know that you are by their side will assist in easing their concerns, immensely. Another effective way to help your teenager overcome these fears and concerns is to equip them with the foundations of code which can be found in coding classes. The Code Creators Club is the ideal programme to start your teens coding journey.

Showcase Real-World Applications & Career Paths

Showcasing real-world applications and potential career opportunities can help teenagers understand the fields’ relevance and impact. Point out everyday examples where coding and technology are present. Show how smartphones, websites, social media platforms, and apps are all products of code. Explain to your teenagers how coding makes the apps and technologies that they use on a daily basis possible. You can use examples like messaging, navigation, online shopping, gaming, and mobile app development.

For instance, some examples of practical applications in gaming that you can showcase are:

  •  Game development: In game development, writing codes plays a crucial role. Game developers use programming languages to craft the game’s mechanics, its visuals, and interactive elements, bringing the gaming experience to life for your teenager.
  • Graphics and Visual Effects: Skilled programmers create stunning visuals and lifelike animations through advanced coding techniques. This includes using shaders, rendering algorithms, and texture mapping to create captivating environments and special effects that your teenager experiences in their favourite games and apps.

Map Out Career Paths For Your Teen

Another effective way to empower your teen with confidence in the field of computer programming is by illuminating the various career paths available to them. Mapping out these career paths will not only boost your teenagers confidence but it will instil a sense of purpose and direction in their learning journey.  In today’s rapidly evolving digital world, programming skills have become invaluable assets for future career success. As a parent invested in your teenager’s educational journey, fostering confidence in coding and technology is essential.

To map out potential career opportunities, start by researching the different career paths. Identify each programming job’s title, responsibilities, required skills, and salary prospects. You can also research the educational pathways for pursuing each of these careers. Some careers you can investigate include:

  • Web development                           
  • Application development
  • Software engineering
  • Data analysis
  • Game designing
  •  Artificial intelligence engineering
  • Cybersecurity
  • Front-end development
  • Back-end development
  • Full-stack development
  • Network systems administration
  • Computer programming
  • Database administration

Providing this information is an excellent way to illustrate the viability of these subject fields for future careers. In turn, it will inspire your teenager to explore and apply their skills.

Encourage Exploration And Curiosity

Promoting curiosity and exploration can significantly enhance your teenager’s engagement and enthusiasm. Nurturing their curiosity allows teenagers to develop a lifelong love for learning. It also ensures their continued growth in these fields. Offer your teenager a wide range of resources to explore. Diversifying their resources can motivate them to explore different approaches. It will also help expand their knowledge. This blog post discusses websites teens can use to learn various subjects.

You can encourage your teenager to research topics that pique their curiosity. Help them find reputable online sources, academic papers, or industry publications. Get involved in conversations about their findings. Encourage them to articulate their discoveries, insights, and challenges. Prompt them to reflect on their learning experiences and encourage their critical thinking and analysis.

Taking your teenager to tech events, conferences, or tech expos is also an excellent way to encourage exploration. These events often feature exhibits and workshops. They usually also have talks highlighting coding’s use in various industries and emerging technologies. Another great way to encourage exploration is to enrol them in a coding course for teens.

Teach Your Teenager Problem-Solving Skills

Teaching your teenager problem-solving skills is an excellent way to boost their confidence when learning. Having the ability to solve problems they may encounter while learning computer programming will help them persevere. One way to teach problem-solving skills is to engage your teenager in discussions about real-world problems. Encourage them to brainstorm different ideas on how they can solve these problems. Emphasise that all ideas are valid during this stage. You can also suggest that they consult available resources for more potential solutions.

Next, help your teenager create and evaluate a pro and con list of each potential solution. Discuss the possible consequences of each option and encourage them to consider short-term and long-term outcomes. Then, help them select the best solution. Once a solution is chosen, support your teenager in developing an action plan to implement it. Discuss potential challenges and how they can overcome them. Finally, discuss what they learned from the experience and how they can apply it to future problem-solving situations.

Facilitate Hands-On Learning Opportunities

Providing hands-on learning opportunities can boost your teenager’s confidence when learning computer programming. There are many opportunities available to teenagers. For instance, you can help your teenager find internships or mentorship opportunities with tech professionals or organisations. Practical experience and guidance from experienced individuals can be incredibly valuable. You can also look for local or online hackathons and coding competitions where your teenager can participate. These events often have specific challenges and deadlines, promoting a focused and immersive learning experience. 

Another excellent learning opportunity is collaborating with friends or other tech enthusiasts on coding projects. Teamwork enhances problem-solving skills and fosters creativity. Recommend that your teenager join online communities or forums dedicated to computer programming. They can share their projects, ask for help, and learn from others’ experiences.

Equip Your Teenager With Learning Resources

Giving your teenager a wide variety of resources to support their learning in coding and technology will go a long way toward boosting their confidence. Enrolling your teenager in an age-appropriate beginner’s course can provide a very good resource for learning. An excellent programme to have your teenager join would be the Code Creators Club by GT Scholars.

Another great resource that you can recommend to your teenager is YouTube. It has many channels dedicated to programming, offering a wealth of information to enhance your teenager’s learning. If your teenager enjoys playing games, a fun way to learn will be via coding games and apps, such as “CodeCombat” and “Scratch.” You can also provide access to coding books, online tutorials, magazines, and programming platforms to facilitate their learning journey.

Celebrate Your Teenager’s Accomplishments

Positive reinforcement and praise can be powerful tools for boosting your teenager’s confidence when learning. It fosters a positive and supportive environment, helping them develop a healthy attitude towards learning and personal growth. Acknowledge the hard work and dedication your teenager has put into their learning. Recognise the hours of studying, the preparation for exams, or their persistence in completing assignments.

Celebrate your teenager’s accomplishments with them. You can even involve the other family members in these celebrations. For instance, a great way to do this would be for the whole family to go for supper. Another way to celebrate could be to surprise them with a small gift. Celebrating milestones and completed projects provides a supportive and nurturing environment that fuels your teenager’s motivation, confidence, and growth. These celebrations validate their efforts, inspire continued learning, and foster a positive mindset, setting the stage for future achievements.

Assist Your Teen Through Learning Struggles

Proper support from you is crucial when your teenager faces difficulties while engaging in the world of code. You can be there for your teenager during challenging moments in a number of ways. One way is by being a constant source of support and encouragement for them. Remind them that facing challenges and making mistakes is natural when learning something new. Encourage them to embrace failure as a valuable learning opportunity.

Create a safe space for your teenager to express their difficulties. Practise active listening and empathise with their emotions. Validating their feelings and experiences by letting them know you understand and care can provide comfort and reassurance. Motivate them to stay focused and persevere through challenges. Share stories of renowned tech pioneers who faced setbacks. Highlight how they persevered, learned from failures, and ultimately achieved their goals.

Encourage them to take breaks when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated. Engaging in activities they enjoy can alleviate frustration. Recommend self-care techniques like physical exercise or hobbies to relieve stress. Above all, you should ensure your teenager feels loved, accepted, and supported. Let them know their worth is not solely defined by their programming skills. A supportive and nurturing environment allows your teenager to navigate challenging times with resilience.

So in reflection, your teenager’s confidence when learning about the world of code is essential for their growth and success. As a parent, you can use various strategies to achieve this confidence in your teen. One such strategy is to help your teenager overcome their fears and apprehensions. You can overcome it by showcasing real-world applications and career opportunities. It will motivate them to pursue learning with a sense of purpose. 

Another way to boost your teenager’s confidence is to encourage exploration and curiosity. It will help them obtain a deeper understanding of the world. You can also provide hands-on learning opportunities, teach them problem-solving skills, and give them access to various learning resources. It will go a long way towards developing their resilience and perseverance. Acknowledging and praising your teenager’s accomplishments will give them the self-assurance to pursue further learning.

Remember that every teenager’s journey is unique. They may experience ups and downs while learning. Your support as a parent in challenging times is crucial to their growth, learning, and well-being. It creates a nurturing environment that helps teenagers develop resilience and a positive attitude. Implementing these strategies can help your teenager develop a confident mindset. A confident attitude will empower them to embrace challenges and persist in learning. It will ultimately help unlock their full potential.

At GT Scholars we run weekly coding programmes which will provide a platform for young people to learn to code or sharpen their programming skills through working in different projects and programming languages. You can get more information on how to register for our Code Creators Club by joining our newsletter.

Learn Coding At Any Age! Here Are 12 Tips To Help You Get Started!

Learn Coding At Any Age! Here Are 12 Tips To Help You Get Started!

What's new?

The beautiful thing about coding is that anyone, anywhere can write the future.”

Jeff Atwood

In the growing world of technology, coding has become increasingly popular, and not just amongst computer engineers and tech wizards. The good news is that coding knows no age limits. It’s a skill that can be embraced by individuals of any age, offering them a gateway to a world of possibilities. 

In this blog, we’re setting out on an exploration of the coding universe, discussing its accessibility and providing you with the guidance to kickstart your coding journey!

Why Should I Learn Coding?

In our tech-driven world, coding has become more than just a skill; it’s a superpower that touches every corner of our lives. From creating software and designing websites to diving into the world of artificial intelligence and data analysis, coding has evolved from niche expertise to a language that lets everyday individuals mould the digital landscape around them. It’s not just for the tech gurus; it’s a tool for anyone with a spark of curiosity to become a digital creator of their own!

Learning coding as an individual opens up a treasure trove of benefits and exciting possibilities. Firstly, it enhances your problem-solving skills by teaching you to break down complex issues into smaller, manageable parts – a crucial life skill. Secondly, coding fosters creativity, allowing you to bring your unique ideas to life through digital projects, be it a website, game, or app and provides a sense of empowerment as you grasp the ability to create, innovate, and contribute to the ever-evolving digital landscape. The best part? Coding is a gateway to lucrative career opportunities, as tech skills are in high demand across various industries.

As you embark on your coding journey, envision it as a fascinating expedition where curiosity is your compass, resilience is your armor, and a willingness to explore becomes your guiding star! Here are 12 tips to help you get started on your coding journey – serving as your trusty toolkit in this digital landscape. Let’s dive in and navigate the interesting world of possibilities together!

1. Embrace The Excitement Of Discovery

Entering the coding world is like stepping into a big playground full of possibilities. Instead of immediately narrowing your focus, enjoy the thrill of discovery by exploring the various aspects within coding —whether it’s game development, web design, or app creation. This exploration is more than just a beginner’s introduction; it forms the foundation for an engaging learning experience tailored to your unique interests. Working on different applications of coding will allow you to understand what you enjoy and are passionate about creating. This does not necessarily mean that you have to choose one avenue, but it’s your chance to get a taste of all the exciting possibilities waiting for you in the digital world!

2. Choose Your Coding Language Wisely

Navigating the coding landscape can be a bit intimidating at first, with different programming languages tailored for specific purposes. When it comes to beginners, the choice of the right language is crucial. So what language do you choose and what are some of these languages used for? 

Python stands out prominently, known for its readability and versatility. It serves as an excellent starting point due to its simplicity, and its gentle introduction to coding concepts. This allows you to grasp fundamental principles without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated. It provides a strong starting point for your coding journey. Python is like a helpful tool that can be used in many different areas and for various tasks. It is well-suited for game development – offering libraries and frameworks that facilitate the creation of games. Not only this, Python can also be used for app development, web applications, web content and even quizzes!

However, it’s important to note that Python is just one of many languages within the coding universe. Other languages play a crucial role in web development, like JavaScript, especially when used for interactive websites. Java, C++, and C# are widely used in game development, each bringing its own strengths to the table.

Exploring different languages enables you to understand the nuances and applications that are unique to each. Python’s simplicity makes it an excellent starting point, but as one’s coding journey progresses, branching out to other languages can offer a broader perspective and open doors to various domains within the vast coding landscape. Ultimately, the right language depends on your interests, project goals, and the specific area of coding you wish to explore.

3. Dive Into The World Of Online Learning

Online platforms have revolutionized the way we acquire new skills, and coding is no exception to this. The flexibility of online learning accommodates different learning paces – allowing you to progress at your own speed, in your own home and whilst building a strong foundation in coding.

The good part is that there are both free and paid resources. Free resources include platforms like YouTube which has a range of coding content available to anyone and everyone. There are also several forums like Stack Overflow and CodeProject where you can ask or answer questions and discuss various coding topics.

Alternatively, you can opt for a more structured and detailed course like the GT Scholars Code Creators club which gives you access to expert guidance, interactive lessons, coding challenges, and real-world projects all together in one place and within a supportive environment. 

4. Bring Your Ideas To Life With Hands-On Projects

Let’s talk about bringing your ideas to life through hands-on projects in the coding world. It’s not just about theory; it’s about turning those abstract concepts into something real and exciting. Imagine creating your own website, trying your hand at a simple game, or even sketching out the prototype for an app – that’s the hands-on magic of coding. These projects are more than just coding exercises; they’re your ticket to a thrilling adventure. And the best part? You’re not just learning principles; you’re seeing the impact of your work, building a solid foundation for all your future coding escapades. You will be actually giving expression to your creativity through coding.

5. Explore Coding Challenges For Continuous Growth

Along your coding journey, you may have a few hurdles that could be a little demotivating. However, these challenges are opportunities in disguise to allow you to continue to learn and grow within the field. This is a practical way to develop your problem solving skills, learn new techniques, foster resilience and become more creative. Think of it this way – Our digital world has developed significantly through the challenges people have experienced, which have turned into areas of improvement for technology. By embracing these difficulties, you are turning those problems into opportunities for growth and this will allow you to progress further in your coding adventure. 

6. Stay Updated With Technology Trends

The tech world is dynamic and ever-evolving, and staying up to date with the latest trends is vital for a coder. Start by following tech blogs, subscribe to coding newsletters, and explore online forums to stay informed about emerging technologies, languages, and industry practices. Doing this allows you to continuously expand your knowledge and grow whilst also being aware of the latest trends, as well as opening doors to exciting opportunities or projects around the world! Not only this, you would also be able to explore potential areas of specialization within the coding landscape. 

7. Build A Portfolio Of Your Projects

As you advance in your coding journey, create a portfolio showcasing the projects you’ve worked on. This portfolio serves as a visual representation of your coding skills, creativity, and growth. Whether it’s a collection of websites, applications, or games, having a portfolio not only impresses potential employers but also acts as a valuable reflection of your coding capabilities. Share your portfolio on coding platforms, social media, or personal websites to establish your digital presence within the coding community.

8. Attend Coding Events And Workshops

Participate in coding events, workshops, and hackathons to immerse yourself in the coding culture and network with like-minded individuals. These events provide a platform to apply your coding skills in real-time scenarios, collaborate with others, and gain insights from experienced professionals. Attending these events not only expands your knowledge but also introduces you to diverse perspectives, challenges, and innovative approaches prevalent in the coding community. If you’re interested, you can start here with this 90-minute workshop “Help Your Teen Become a Creator of Code.“, where both you and your child can become creators, rather than just consumers of code!

9. Contribute To Open Source Projects

Open source projects are like collaborative digital puzzles. Instead of keeping the solution to themselves, developers share the pieces (code) with everyone. This means anyone can join, help solve the puzzle, or even create a new one. It’s a fantastic way for beginners to learn, work with experienced developers, and be a part of a larger community. Contributing to open-source initiatives not only immerses you in authentic coding practices but also develops your skills while working alongside seasoned developers. Beyond personal growth, it’s a meaningful way to give back to the coding community and leave a lasting impact. Open source isn’t just about code; it’s a dynamic community-driven experience where your contributions matter and resonate with others who are on their coding journey. 

10. Connect With Like-Minded Peers In Coding Communities

Collaboration and shared experiences will enrich your child’s coding journey. Joining coding communities opens doors for individuals to connect with others who share similar passions. These platforms serve as vibrant hubs where individuals can immerse themselves in the broader coding community. Beyond this, these communities offer a wealth of insights and support from fellow learners and creates an environment where both collective and individual knowledge work together. The shared enthusiasm within coding communities creates a positive, collaborative space for aspiring coders to seek inspiration and guidance.

11. Seek Guidance And Learn Together

Navigating the coding landscape often comes with its set of challenges, and one should never shy away from seeking guidance. Whether reaching out to peers, engaging with teachers, or participating in online forums, the willingness to learn together enhances the learning experience. The coding community is centered around individuals who are eager to share their experiences, offer valuable insights, and extend a helping hand. Embracing this supportive approach not only helps others to overcome obstacles but it also nurtures a positive and supportive learning environment. 

12. Celebrate Your Wins, Big And Small

The journey of learning to code is a mosaic of small victories that collectively contribute to your growth. Each successfully troubleshooted error, completed project, or understood concept represents a significant win. Celebrating these achievements, regardless of their scale, becomes a cornerstone of motivation, fueling the ongoing excitement throughout the coding journey. This acknowledgement not only boosts confidence but also instills a positive mindset, reinforcing the idea that every step, no matter how small, is a meaningful stride toward becoming a proficient coder. By recognizing and celebrating these achievements, individuals can cultivate a sense of accomplishment and resilience that will serve them well in their continuous coding endeavours.

Where do I get started? 

The true magic of coding comes to life when theory transforms into practice. Engaging in hands-on projects allows you to apply your coding knowledge and unleash your creativity. Start your coding journey with this insightful 90-minute workshop designed for curious minds looking to start their coding journey. This workshop will give you more insight into learning coding, resources and tools to get you started and even possible career opportunities for later on! 

As you embark on the exciting adventure of learning to code, it’s crucial to recognize that this journey extends beyond acquiring a technical skill. Coding is about shaping the digital world, introducing innovation, and unlocking a pyramid of opportunities. Every line of code written represents a step toward becoming a creator, problem-solver, and contributor to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

The tips provided serve as a roadmap for you to navigate the coding universe. With a good amount of curiosity and resilience as your companion, you can confidently dive into coding, creating a unique path that aligns with your interests and aspirations. There are boundless possibilities within the coding realm, and with these insights, you will be well-equipped to embark on a journey that promises not only technical proficiency but also a thrilling exploration of creativity and innovation. Happy coding!

Coding Fluency: How To Start Your Child’s Coding Journey Like A Language

Coding Fluency: How To Start Your Child’s Coding Journey Like A Language

What's new?

Understanding coding is similar to learning a new language. Similarly to humans, computers and machines have diverse languages that you need to use in order to prompt them to execute some commands.

To communicate with a machine, you have to learn its language – the coding language. So, how would you show your child that coding is as fun and rewarding as learning an interesting language? Well, in this blog, you will find out ways on how coding is just like learning any other language. You’ll also discover how to make it easier for your child to learn how to code by applying the same principles used in learning a language.

Build Your Vocabulary

Coding, just like a language, can open up a young person to a space of creativity, communication and problem-solving skills. In a similar way to learning a language, it’s important to focus on the building blocks of coding. To get better at it, it will help to focus on building your coding vocabulary. This means learning the words and terms that are used in coding, like variables, loops, and functions. Understanding these basics helps in writing code the same way learning and knowing words helps in forming sentences. 

When your child has a good knowledge of these words, it’s easier to understand how to write code. It’s like learning new words in a language – the more words you know, the better you can express yourself. When your child starts learning the basics and keeps adding to their coding vocabulary over time, this will help them understand the terms used in coding and accelerate their learning.

Learn The Rules Of Coding Languages

Just like each language has its own grammatical rules, well, programming languages do as well. Each programming language has different rules on how to write code or the instructions that help the language make sense, so that the computer can follow and understand. Their grammatical rules are referred to as ‘syntax’. For a message to make sense, the grammar or syntax should also make sense. In the same way, for an instruction to make sense in coding, you have to know the correct syntax and how to write it. 

For example, if you apply the grammatical rules of the French language to English, your message will not be clear to the one you’re communicating with. In the same fashion, every programming language has its unique syntax that gives clear commands or instructions. When you apply the rules of one coding language to another, it would probably confuse the computer and the machine would not execute your instructions correctly.

Another important aspect of understanding the rules of the coding language is understanding the meaning of the code and what each part of the code does. Just as it is with any language, where specific words convey particular meanings, in programming, each line of code put into a computer carries out a specific action or operation. It’s like knowing that in a sentence, the word “chuckle” means to laugh quietly. In the same way, when it comes to coding, each instruction has its meaning.  Therefore, understanding the meaning of the coding terminology is very crucial. If the lines of code are incorrectly placed due to a lack of understanding of syntax, the computer will either display an error message or execute an incorrect command that is different from what you desired.

Be Open To Learning The Different Types Of Coding Languages

There are many coding languages and each of them has a special way of telling computers what to do and fulfils diverse purposes. Some languages, like Python, JavaScript, HTML and CSS are great for making websites and apps. Others, like C++ and Java, can be used for creating software and games. Just like how you might choose Italian for a trip to Italy or Japanese for a visit to Japan, coders pick the best language for the job they want to do. Encouraging your child to learn diverse coding languages means they open themselves up to a new world of creativity. Just as learning a language makes a trip to a foreign country more enjoyable, learning a new coding language can help your child explore a new interesting project like building a website, a quiz or venture into the world of robotics.

Choose A Coding Language That Will Perform Your Desired Outcome 

Just like a language can be used to create a song, a speech or a book, coding languages can be used to perform various purposes. And so, you’ll need to use the right programming language for the computer to understand, depending on the task you want to perform. If you are trying to style your website using Python as a programming language, your computer may not understand your instructions because you are ‘communicating’ in the wrong language.

Choosing different programming languages to execute certain tasks helps bring about different outcomes. Each coding language can be seen as a tool in a toolbox. Just like you pick the right tool for the job, coders choose the right coding language for what they want to create. Different coding languages can help make websites, games or apps for phones. Knowing which programming language to use means your computer will understand what you want to achieve and then execute your instructions accordingly. 

This is why it helps to encourage your child to expand their knowledge in various programming languages to help them perform a wider range of tasks. In the same way learning a new language helps you communicate with a new group of people, learning a new programming language will help your child communicate a different set of instructions to computers and watch it produce a different set of outcomes.

Surround Yourself With A Culture And Environment Of Coding

Just as learning to speak French or Spanish opens doors to new cultures and opportunities. Coding, as well, can introduce your child to a world of new possibilities and experiences in technology. A quick way of learning a coding language is to immerse yourself in a community of coding enthusiasts. It may seem great that your child is learning coding alone or around their peers who are at a similar level. However, to quicken the process, encourage your child to spend more time with more advanced coding students and those who are more proficient or experienced coders than them. 

This will help push your child to grow in their coding knowledge. It will also remove any frustrations that your child has when it comes to coding, as they get to see how more experienced coders tackle problems and debug their codes. This will help them pick up more terminology, tips and information when they seek opportunities to learn more about coding. Think about it, it’s much easier to learn a new language when you spend more time with people who are already fluently speaking it than learning it among beginners!

Just as language learners can immerse themselves in a culture to enhance their language, coding projects place new coders in the world of programming through hands-on application. By working on coding projects, beginner coders engage with coding concepts in practical scenarios, gaining valuable experience and developing their problem-solving skills. 

Encourage Your Child To Learn From Their Mistakes

When learning a new language, the likelihood of your child feeling embarrassed to get things wrong is greater than when they are familiar with it. This is why it is important to remind your teen about being okay with getting things wrong. One of the benefits of coding is that it boosts problem-solving skills. A person who codes has to feel comfortable fixing errors and possibly making mistakes so they can find the solution. This opens your child up to an environment of learning a new language, getting the syntax wrong and making mistakes. So, let your child know that behind any mistake there’s new knowledge, and every failure takes them a step closer to success.

Moreso, encountering those mistakes will keep them to stay alert and plunge them into a never-ending learning journey. This will stimulate the desire to constantly practice to improve their skills. To cultivate a culture of learning and practice, your child can join coding clubs, coding camps or watch additional online tutorials. This can be done on top of their regular coding classes, to improve in a coding language. This free webinar on our website will provide you with incredible value to help your child become a creator of code.

Know That It Will Take Time To Be Fluent

Just as your child would need to develop their understanding of any language, they would also have to learn the language of coding. This, just like any language, would also take time. This is why it is important to understand that becoming fluent in a coding language is a continuous learning journey. Learning how to code is a process. Your child might feel frustrated or stuck at a certain point sometimes. But that is completely normal when learning a new skill! Your child will need to develop determination and resilience until they master it.

The process of learning to code requires patience. It is an ongoing journey and it is okay to take it one step at a time. Even the best coders are constantly learning because technology is a changing field. Coding is a discipline that requires a person to remain teachable and ready to learn a new way of doing things. As your child continues to practise regularly, remind them to ask for help when they need it. Being patient with themselves will go a long way. With time and effort, they will get better and more confident in their coding abilities.

Just like learning a language opens doors to new cultures and connections, coding empowers your child to shape the digital world around them. By seeing coding as a language, your child can approach it with curiosity and excitement, knowing that it’s a skill they can use to create, innovate, and communicate in the digital world.

Start Here!

So, whether your child has an interest in building websites, creating games, or exploring the space of artificial intelligence; understanding coding as a language provides a solid foundation for these potential goals. A practical way for you and your child to learn about the world of coding is to watch our free webinar on how to help your teen become a creator of code. If you would like to help your teen become a creator and not just a consumer of code, watch this webinar here.

This Is The No. 1 Skill Your Teen Needs To Build A Lucrative Career In The Tech Industry

This Is The No. 1 Skill Your Teen Needs To Build A Lucrative Career In The Tech Industry

What's new?

The technology industry has proven to be quite the transformative and metamorphosing force in our current accelerated world. Daily innovations continue redefining our interactions with the world around us, introducing new opportunities for a career in the tech industry to the next generation.

As parents, empowering your teenagers with the skills needed to propel them toward a successful and rewarding future is at the forefront of your priorities. Although they’re faced with innumerable options, one skill stands out as the undisputed foundation for a lucrative career in the tech industry: coding.

Coding, the language of computers and software, is the primary element of virtually every technological advancement witnessed today. Whether it’s designing pioneering applications, fortifying cyberspace, delving into data science, or analysing and improving artificial intelligence (AI), coding forms the basis of every one of these endeavours. That said, coding is more than a mere technical skill; it epitomises critical reasoning, creativity, and problem-solving, and cultivates the mindset needed for addressing intricate challenges in our tech-centric existence.

In this blog, we uncover the paramount importance of coding as the No. 1 skill teens need to build fulfilling high tech careers. We will explore the assortment of opportunities that coding unlocks, as well as its immense impact on future job prospects. In addition, we will discover the unique benefits of introducing teenagers to coding at a young age, as a means to not only prepare them for the ever-changing job market but also to help them successfully navigate it.

The Tool For Creating The Future

Enrolling your children in coding programs for teens has become an increasingly compelling choice as a means to set them up for successful futures. Considering how digital evolution shapes nearly every aspect of our lives, coding, in particular, has grown to be a specialised skill and has since become the foundation of the highest paying jobs in tech. Coding paves the way to a world of diverse opportunities. This invaluable skill not only empowers your teens to thrive in a technology-driven world but also promotes essential qualities needed to be the architects of their own future

Today’s digital age makes tech literacy an indispensable asset. By providing your teens with these skills, you will nurture adaptability and enable them to tackle challenges confidently and become innovative contributors to society. Nowadays, the world is not only being built with bricks and blocks! But as well with immersive apps, highly innovative and interactive interfaces, super smart software and robots, and so much more. Therefore, encouraging your teen to learn coding is like giving them one this age’s principal building materials to fashion the future.

The Limitless Opportunities For Coders

It’s easy to trivialise the importance of learning to code, especially if you know your teen has no interest in becoming a programmer; however, coding is not only about writing lines of code. It also serves as the foundational language that sustains a myriad of tech-related careers, so whether your teen wants to pursue a career in web design, mobile app development, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, software development, or data science, coding is the key that unlocks all these exciting opportunities.

Furthermore, because coding promotes essential problem-solving skills, creativity, and a growth mindset, teenagers will develop the propensity to break down complex challenges into manageable parts and develop inventive solutions, whether they want a career in the tech industry or not. They become adept at thinking critically, facing obstacles with resilience, and embracing trial and error as part of the learning process.

A strong foundation in coding also equips them with the versatility needed to flourish in various sectors. This is because tech skills are sought after by employers across diverse fields such as healthcare, finance, entertainment and education.

A career in the tech industry gives teenagers an avenue for self-expression and creativity, as they create their own websites, software, or apps. This helps them gain a sense of accomplishment and pride in their creations, fostering a passion for technology and motivating them to pursue their own ideas and entrepreneurial ventures.

Impact Of Automation And AI On The Job Market

The job market landscape is undergoing a seismic shift, driven by the rapid advancement of automation and artificial intelligence. As you guide your teenagers toward a prosperous future, it’s crucial to understand the impact of technological innovations.

Automation and AI are reshaping industries by streamlining processes, improving efficiency, and reducing the need for certain repetitive tasks. Although these developments offer undeniable benefits, they also pose challenges, particularly in terms of job displacement. Individuals may be left with limited prospects unless they possess skills that complement and collaborate with technology because of the risk of many traditional jobs being automated.

This is where coding emerges as a game-changer for your teens wanting a career in the tech industry. Instead of fearing automation, you can encourage your teens to embrace it as an opportunity to leverage their coding skills in collaboration with Artificial Intelligence and other technologies, opening doors to the fastest-growing tech jobs out there.

Coding has become a catalyst for creating and implementing innovative solutions that complement automation, fostering a harmonious relationship between humans and machines.

Furthermore, coding serves as a bridge to high-demand tech careers that remain immune to automation’s reach. Software developers, AI specialists, data scientists, and cybersecurity professionals experience high demand because of the reliance on human creativity. Equipping your teens with coding skills empowers them to enter these fields, where they can actively contribute to shaping the technology of the future.

The impact of automation and AI on the current job market emphasises the urgency for teens to develop necessary skills. These should not only coexist with technology but also enhance their capabilities.

Opening Doors To High-Demand And High-Paying Tech Jobs

Technology continuously drives ingenuity across all sectors, so the demand for skilled professionals in various tech-related roles has skyrocketed.

Although careers in the tech industry comprise different elements, software development remains at the forefront. This is because companies are constantly seeking talented coders to design and build sophisticated applications and software solutions.

In addition to this, analytics and data science have also become indispensable in today’s data-driven world. It has created a surge in demand for professionals who can extract valuable insights from vast datasets. As you can imagine, with the increased demand for data, cybersecurity has also taken centre stage. There is now an even bigger need to protect sensitive information from cyber threats. This new reality has given birth to many opportunities for cybersecurity experts.

Together with these high-demand roles, coding proficiency opens pathways to high-paying careers. AI and machine learning specialists are in high demand. Organisations are seeking individuals who can use AI to drive innovation and improve decision-making processes. Mobile app development and web design have also become lucrative fields, with companies vying to offer seamless user experiences in the digital realm.

Nurturing Your Teen’s Interest In Coding

Nurturing your teen’s interest in coding is a powerful investment in their future, as it paves the way for lucrative tech jobs. Stimulating their passion for coding begins with understanding their interests and encouraging exploration.

Start by exposing them to age-appropriate coding resources, interactive games, and beginner-friendly programming languages that capture their curiosity. You can read this article to find out free websites your teen can use to learn online. Be sure to celebrate their small victories and encourage perseverance when faced with challenges. Emphasise that coding is a journey of continuous learning and growth.

It also helps to provide opportunities for hands-on learning by enrolling them in coding clubs, workshops, or online courses that offer a supportive and collaborative environment. Engage with their coding projects, show genuine interest, and ask them about their creative processes. It’s imperative that they know that you are their biggest supporter on this coding journey. Emphasise the practical use of coding in various industries. You can also share inspiring success stories of young coders who have made a difference. This will only solidify their determination to excel and deepen their desire for a career in the tech industry.

Furthermore, coding offers a conducive learning space at home, equipped with a computer and coding resources. Encourage them to pursue personal projects and share their achievements with family and friends. Introduce them to coding communities and competitions, where they can interact with like-minded peers and gain valuable insights. These types of interactions also contribute to confidence building. They, therefore, have the courage to expose themselves to more of these activities without fear of failure.

Above all, remember that nurturing your teen’s interest in coding is not just achieving a high-paying salary. It’s also about cultivating a love for learning and innovation. Embrace the joy of discovery together and let their passion for coding flourish naturally. By providing unwavering support, you empower your teen to embark on a fulfilling journey in the tech industry.

Advocating For Coding Clubs And Meetups

Coding clubs provide a supportive and collaborative environment where young coders come together, exchange ideas, and learn from one another. These clubs often offer structured curriculums, workshops, and hands-on projects that cater to various skill levels. They also ensure that your teen receives a well-rounded coding education. This can be helpful for parents who are not very tech-savvy or cannot assist their teens on their coding journey.

By participating in coding meetups, your teen gets the opportunity to engage with a broader community of tech enthusiasts, professionals, and mentors. Meetups often host guest speakers and industry experts. These expose your teen to real-life applications of coding and inspiring them to explore diverse tech paths. The connections made at these gatherings can open doors to internships, job opportunities, and mentorship programmes. These opportunities are priceless for a budding coder’s growth and success.

Furthermore, coding clubs and meetups also instil essential teamwork and communication skills. This helps your teen collaborate with like-minded peers on coding projects. They provide a sense of belonging and motivation, cultivating a passion for coding that goes beyond solitary learning.

As a parent, advocating for these spaces reinforces your support for your teen’s coding journey. It also demonstrates the value you place on their pursuit of a career in the tech industry. Encouraging their active involvement in coding clubs and meetups ensures that they gain coding expertise. They also develop a strong network of peers and mentors.

These programmes should also be utilised as an opportunity to overcome gender and diversity barriers in tech. This in itself is crucial for the general empowerment of your teens. It’s your duty as a parent to encourage and support your teens regardless of their gender, personal preferences, or background. You should instil the belief that success in the tech industry is driven by passion and determination. Emphasise the value of diverse perspectives and showcase inspiring examples of successful individuals from all backgrounds. You can pave the way for an innovative tech landscape where your teen can thrive and make a significant impact. This can be achieved by promoting inclusivity and advocating for diverse tech communities.

If you’re parenting a teen girl, you can expose your daughter to career opportunities she could have with coding. Sign up for our free five day summer coding classes called the Girl Meets Code. Additionally, you can access our website to find resources designed to help your teen get them started in coding.

12 Questions Young People Have When They Get Started In Coding

12 Questions Young People Have When They Get Started In Coding

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Technology has taken over the world! That is why coding is among the most in-demand skills in this era. It’s true that the world of coding can seem complex, but in reality it is simple and fascinating. It is normal for young coders to have a number of questions about coding, for this reason, in this article, we will equip you with valuable knowledge and easy-to-access resources to jumpstart your coding adventure. Before you consider signing up for coding classes for teens, let us help you answer the twelve most common questions young people have when they start learning to code. As you read on, you will get the inspiration and motivation you need to break through any barriers and embrace the magic of coding.

1. What Is Coding?

Coding is like using a magical digital tool that lets you control computers and make them do what you want. A piece of code is a set of instructions given to a computer. Coding is the process of developing these instructions. It’s like having a superpower that lets you create games, websites, apps, and so much more! With coding, you can change the digital world in amazing ways that you might not have even thought about.

Imagine you are an architect, but instead of designing physical buildings, you’re creating virtual ones using lines of code. Each line is like a building block, and as you add more blocks, your creation takes shape. Whether you want to design an interactive game world, build a website that displays your art, or invent an app that helps others, coding is the key to making your ideas come to life!

2. Why Should I Learn Coding?

Coding is more than just a practical skill; it’s a mindset that encourages you to approach problems in a creative and logical way. When you learn to code, you get better at breaking big problems into smaller ones and finding new and smart ways to solve them. This skill set goes beyond technology and applies to different parts of life, making you a better problem-solver in any field you choose.

The digital world is changing fast, affecting how we do things every day. By learning to code, you join in shaping what comes next. Whether it’s helping the environment or making breakthroughs in medicine, coding is a big part of solving big problems and making life better for everyone.

Additionally, it is highly advantageous to learn to code as a teen or join coding classes for teens because it helps you express your creativity and give life to your imagination. Also, it gives you enough time to practise and master this skill as you grow.

3. What Programming Languages Should I Start With?

When you begin your coding journey, picking the right programming language is key. Beginners often find Scratch is a great choice as a starting point. It lets you work on creative ideas like interactive stories, animations, and games using simple drag-and-drop tools, so you don’t need to worry about writing tricky code.

Python is another practical option. It’s a popular coding language known for being easy to read and understand. There are many helpful resources and libraries made by people who use Python, making it a good pick if you’re starting out with text-based coding.

4. How Can I Get Started?

So, you’re wondering how to get started in your coding journey? Learning to code has never been easier or more accessible. Thanks to various online resources, like coding classes for teens, you can begin your coding journey from the comfort of your home or anywhere with an internet connection.

We provide a list of websites that offer interactive coding tutorials designed specifically for young learners like you here. From guided lessons to interactive projects, these websites make learning to code fun and engaging! Another great option is signing up or joining online coding classes for teens like you that want to learn the basics of coding.

5. Is Coding Difficult To Learn?

Coding, like any new skill, may appear scary at first, but remember that every expert coder was once a beginner like you. Learning to code is a journey, not a race. It is okay to learn at your own pace. Embrace the challenges, celebrate small victories, and understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process.

When you encounter obstacles, don’t hesitate to seek help and guidance. Joining coding classes for teens or participating in coding programs can connect you with experienced mentors and a supportive community of fellow learners, making your coding journey both enjoyable and fulfilling.

6. Can I Code On Any Device?

Absolutely! Coding is not limited to a specific device or operating system. Whether you have a Windows PC, a Mac, a tablet, or even a smartphone, you can start coding right away.

Many coding apps and platforms are designed to work easily across different devices, allowing you to practise your coding skills anywhere and anytime. This means that you can pursue your coding passion no matter what kind of device you use.

7. What Can You Create With Coding?

Coding empowers you to be a digital artist, an innovative problem-solver, and a creative storyteller. The possibilities of what you can create with coding are virtually limitless! You can use your coding skills to design and develop interactive video games, from simple platforms to complex 3D adventures. You can also craft stunning websites that display your hobbies and interests, or even start a blog to share your thoughts with the world. 

If you’re interested in animation, why not bring animated characters to life and create interesting stories to share with others? Other products you can create through coding are apps that solve real-world problems, such as organising study schedules or tracking personal fitness goals. Coding empowers you to transform your ideas into reality, allowing you to express yourself creatively and make a positive impact on the world around you.

8. Are There Coding Clubs Or Communities I Can Join?

Absolutely! Coding clubs and communities are vibrant spaces where young coders like you come together to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and learn from one another. Joining coding classes for teens or coding groups can help you connect with other teens who share similar interests and passions for coding. These spaces grow an environment of mutual support and encouragement. You also receive access to coding mentors. 

Experienced coders within the community can provide valuable guidance and mentorship, helping you overcome challenges and grow as a coder. In these coding classes for teens or coding communities, you get to take part in group projects that let you combine your unique coding talents to create something extraordinary. Whether you find a local coding club or an online community, joining these groups can boost your learning experience. You’ll get to work with others and share ideas, turning coding into an enjoyable team effort.

9. How Can I Fix Coding Problems?

Coming across errors is a natural part of coding, even for seasoned professionals. A good tip is to not let these challenges discourage you! Instead, view them as opportunities to learn and improve your coding skills. When you find a problem in your code, break down your code into smaller parts to identify which section is causing the issue. If you separate the problem from everything else, you can focus on finding a solution more effectively.

Another great way is to research and ask for help. You can consult online groups, coding communities, coding classes for teens, and other online information to find potential solutions. Don’t hesitate to seek help from mentors or experienced coders who can offer valuable advice. Remember, every coding challenge you overcome makes you a more resilient and resourceful coder!

10. Can Coding Lead To Future Career Opportunities?

Of course! Coding is a skill that is in high demand in today’s job market. As technology continues to change and shape industries all over the world, the demand for skilled coders is also increasing. Whether you aspire to become a software engineer, a data scientist, a game developer, or an AI specialist, coding is the foundation that can open doors to different and exciting career paths.

The tech industry is known for its creative work environments, giving you opportunities to pursue your dream of becoming an entrepreneur. The benefit of taking online coding classes for teens is not only that you get to learn coding from the comfort of your home, but you have the potential for a future tech career where you can work from wherever you like. Coding allows you to shape your career to match your passions and personal goals.

As you explore the world of coding and technology, it’s key to understand the impact technology can have on society. Technology can be used for good, and you, as a young coder, have the opportunity to use coding for positive change.

In 7 ways to use technology for good, we share how you can use technology to make a difference. From using coding skills to create apps that help with social problems to using technology to protect the environment, there are many ways you can contribute to a better world through coding.

11. What Are Some Fun Coding Activities Beyond The Screen?

While coding on a computer and learning in a coding class is exciting, there are also plenty of enjoyable coding activities that you can do offline. These coding exercises not only provide a break from the screen but also encourage creativity, collaboration, and deeper and creative thinking. You can try out coding board games that teach coding ideas, where you can learn and have fun at the same time. These games are educational because they include coding language, techniques and lessons as you play along.

Robotics Kits are another great form of coding activities that allow you to build and program your own robots. Robotics kits come with various components, including motors, sensors, and controllers, which allow you to build and program your robots from scratch. These kits come in different levels, and they are great for beginners and advanced learners. As you experiment with robotics kits, you’ll not only learn about coding, but you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of how machines function. The ability to bring your robotic creations to life will awaken your inner engineer and grow your passion for tech creativity. 

12. How Do I Find Coding Tutorials Or Resources Online?

The best place to start is to find out what your goals are in learning to code. Once you have a clear focus, you can look for online platforms that offer coding classes for teens that are taught by industry professionals. These online platforms usually offer video tutorials, coding exercises and online community support from other scholars and instructors. A great online platform you can consider is our very own Code Creators Club, which runs weekly coding workshops for young people aged 10-18. All coding workshops take place online and young people with no knowledge of coding can join the workshops. You can find out more about Code Creators Club here.

The journey of becoming a coder includes an open mind, willingness to learn, as well as the patience and determination to push through the challenging times in your learning. Before you begin your coding adventure, be sure to join our Young People Newsletter, where we’ll share coding tips and great events for teens. To receive information about coding classes and programmes suitable for teens like you, sign up here.

Addressing Mental Health Issues For Your Teen: Here Are 5 Warning Signs And Solutions!

Addressing Mental Health Issues For Your Teen: Here Are 5 Warning Signs And Solutions!

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As a parent, nurturing your child’s mental health is extremely important. In today’s world, it’s crucial to recognise the subtle warning signs that may indicate your child is struggling mentally. There are various signs that your child’s mental health could be declining, but first, it’s important to understand what exactly mental health in children means.

Mental health in children encompasses their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It influences how they think, feel, and behave, impacting their ability to cope with stress, form relationships, and navigate daily challenges.

A recent survey reveals that one in five children and young people in England aged eight to 25 likely experienced a mental disorder in 2023. The report titled “The Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023,” released by NHS England, indicates that 20.3% of 8 to 16-year-olds were identified as having a probable mental disorder in 2023. Among those aged 17 to 19, the figure stood at 23.3%, while in the age group of 20 to 25, it was 21.7%.

Considering these alarming statistics, it’s important to prioritise your child’s mental health and avoid it reaching a distressing level. By prioritising your children’s mental health and equipping yourself with the necessary knowledge and resources, you can proactively tackle any mental health issues in your child’s life, and ensure that they thrive emotionally and mentally.

As a parent, you play a crucial role in recognising and addressing any signs that may indicate your child is struggling emotionally. Understanding these warning signs is the first step towards providing the necessary support and intervention. 

1. Mood Swings And Changes In Behaviour

If your child starts experiencing severe mood swings and sudden changes in behaviour, it is important to pay close attention to them. One common behavioural change to watch out for is social withdrawal. If a child who once enjoyed spending time with friends and engaging in activities suddenly loses interest, becomes withdrawn and isolates themselves, it could indicate feelings of sadness, anxiety, or depression. Similarly, excessive irritability or outbursts of anger that seem disproportionate to the situation may suggest underlying emotional distress.

Mood swings, another key indicator, can also be telling signs of mental health issues in children. While mood fluctuations are a normal part of growing up, extreme and frequent swings from elation to despair or agitation can indicate deeper emotional turmoil. These mood swings may disrupt daily functioning, affect relationships with peers and family members, and impact academic performance.

Parents need to approach changes in behaviour and mood swings with sensitivity and understanding. Rather than dismissing them as typical ‘growing pains,’ taking the time to acknowledge and validate your child’s feelings can foster open communication and trust. Encouraging your child to express their emotions and offering support without judgement can help them feel heard and understood, laying the groundwork for seeking appropriate help if needed. 

Changes in behaviour and mood swings should not be ignored or dismissed lightly, as they can be early warning signs of mental health disorders in children. By staying attuned to your child’s emotional well-being, maintaining open communication, and seeking professional support when necessary, you can help to improve your child’s mental health and overall well-being.

2. Frequent Temper Tantrums

Frequent temper tantrums in children can be a significant indicator of potential mental health issues, and parents must recognise this behaviour as a potential red flag. While occasional outbursts are a normal part of childhood development, persistent and extreme tantrums that occur frequently may signal underlying emotional struggles that require attention and support.

One reason temper tantrums may indicate mental health issues is that they can be a child’s way of expressing frustration, anxiety, or other difficult emotions that they may not have the language or understanding to articulate. These outbursts can be a coping mechanism for dealing with overwhelming feelings, and addressing the root cause of the tantrums is essential for supporting the child’s emotional well-being.

Furthermore, frequent temper tantrums can impact a child’s daily functioning and relationships with peers and family members. Children who experience frequent tantrums may struggle to regulate their emotions, leading to difficulties in social situations and academic settings. These challenges can exacerbate feelings of frustration and isolation, further highlighting the importance of addressing the underlying issues contributing to the tantrums.

Parents play a vital role in supporting their children through frequent temper tantrums by providing a safe and supportive environment for them to express their emotions. You need to remain patient and empathetic, avoiding punitive responses that may escalate the situation. Instead, you can help your child develop healthy coping mechanisms and teach them alternative ways to manage their emotions effectively.

Ultimately, frequent temper tantrums in children can be a sign of potential mental health issues that require attention and support from parents and caregivers. By recognising these outbursts as a form of communication and addressing the underlying emotions driving the tantrums, you can help your children develop healthier ways of coping and navigating the challenges they may face.

3. Difficulty Concentrating

Struggling to concentrate can indicate potential mental health concerns in children, and parents must acknowledge this symptom as a potential warning sign. Although occasional distractions are typical, ongoing and pronounced difficulty staying focused on tasks or activities could signal underlying emotional challenges that require care and assistance.

One reason why difficulty concentrating may indicate mental health issues is that it can be a manifestation of heightened stress, anxiety, or depression in children. When children are grappling with emotional challenges, their ability to concentrate and focus on tasks may be impaired as their minds are preoccupied with worry or negative thoughts. This can impact their academic performance, social interactions, and overall well-being.

Many children achieve low grades at school because their mental health challenges cause difficulty concentrating, which makes it difficult for them to focus on school work and put in their best efforts. In general, children with high levels of attention problems are much more vulnerable to low academic achievement.

Additionally, difficulty concentrating can lead to frustration and feelings of inadequacy in children, worsening their emotional distress. As they struggle to keep up with schoolwork or complete tasks, they may experience a sense of failure or hopelessness, which can further impact their self-esteem and confidence. You must address these underlying emotional issues and provide the necessary support to help their child manage and overcome difficulties with concentration.

As a parent, you can aid your child’s concentration challenges by fostering a conducive environment for concentration within the home and providing practical techniques to enhance focus and attention. This could entail setting up routines, reducing distractions, and breaking tasks down into more manageable segments. Maintaining open communication and offering emotional support is vital in assisting children in navigating feelings of stress or anxiety, empowering them to cultivate healthier coping mechanisms and resilience.

4. Excessive Worrying, Stress Or Fear

Excessive worrying, stress, or fear can serve as clear indications of potential mental health concerns in children, underscoring the importance for parents to identify these symptoms as potential signs of deeper emotional difficulties. 

Each year, more teenagers are struggling with anxiety. Although occasional worry or stress is typical for children, sustained and intense feelings of anxiety or fear may indicate underlying emotional challenges that demand care and assistance.

One reason why excessive worrying, stress, or fear may indicate mental health issues is that they can significantly impact a child’s daily functioning and well-being. Children who are constantly consumed by worry or fear may experience difficulty sleeping, or avoid social situations altogether. These symptoms can have far-reaching effects on a child’s academic performance, social relationships, and overall quality of life.

Moreover, excessive worrying, stress, or fear can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. These somatic complaints may be a manifestation of the child’s emotional distress and should not be dismissed lightly. Parents need to take these physical symptoms seriously and consider them as potential signs of a mental health disorder.

Parents can help ease their child’s anxiety by establishing a secure and nurturing atmosphere where their child feels at ease expressing emotions and worries. Encouraging open communication and attentively listening to their child’s concerns can assist parents in comprehending the underlying reasons for their distress, enabling them to offer suitable support and comfort. Moreover, consulting a mental health specialist or therapist can help you tackle fundamental issues and impart effective coping strategies for managing anxiety and fears. 

5. Substance Abuse

The Young People’s Substance Misuse Treatment report’s main finding shows that: 11, 326 young people under the age of 18 were in contact with alcohol and drug services between April 2021 to March 2022 – this represents a 3% increase from the previous year. Nearly half (46%) of young people starting treatment this year said they had mental health issues, which continues the rising trend of the last 3 years (43% 2020 to 2021, 37% 2019 to 2020 and 32% 2018 to 2019). A higher proportion of girls reported a mental health treatment need than boys (60% compared to 38%).

Children who turn to drugs or alcohol as a means of coping with stress, anxiety, or depression may be attempting to self-medicate their emotional pain, highlighting the importance of addressing the root causes of their substance abuse. 

Additionally, substance abuse can aggravate existing mental health issues and lead to a vicious cycle of dependency and emotional distress. Children who engage in substance abuse may experience worsening symptoms of anxiety or depression, as well as impaired cognitive function and academic performance. This can further isolate them from supportive relationships worsening therefore feelings of loneliness and despair, perpetuating a cycle of substance abuse and mental health deterioration.

Practical Tips To Solve Mental Health Issues in Young People.

1. Open Communication

Open communication plays a pivotal role in supporting a child’s mental health. When parents foster an environment where their child feels comfortable expressing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns openly, it creates a sense of safety and trust. 

Building an open line of communication can be challenging, especially when children start distancing themselves. It’s important to reconnect with your child to begin building open communication in your relationship.

This openness allows your child to share any struggles they may be experiencing without fear of judgement or criticism, enabling you to offer support and guidance. Active listening and empathy are key components of effective communication. Additionally, regular communication will help you stay informed about your child’s emotional well-being and identify any signs of mental health issues early to address them promptly.

Open communication also facilitates effective problem-solving in children and helps them discover healthy coping strategies. When children feel heard and understood by their parents, they are more likely to seek help and advice when facing challenges. As a parent, you can offer reassurance, validation, and practical solutions to help your child navigate difficult situations and manage their emotions effectively. By maintaining open lines of communication, you can empower your child to develop resilience, build healthy coping mechanisms, and ultimately thrive emotionally and mentally. 

2. Seek Professional Help

Seeking professional help is a crucial step in supporting a child with mental health issues. Mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, or therapists specialised in working with children possess the expertise to assess and address a wide range of mental health concerns. Through thorough evaluation and diagnosis, these professionals can provide valuable insights into the underlying factors contributing to your child’s struggles and recommend appropriate interventions or treatments.

What’s more, mental health professionals offer a safe and confidential space for children to explore their emotions and develop coping strategies. Therapy sessions provide an opportunity for children to express their thoughts and feelings openly. Through evidence-based techniques and interventions tailored to your child’s needs, mental health professionals can help them develop skills to manage stress, regulate emotions, and improve overall well-being. Seeking professional help not only addresses immediate mental health concerns but also equips children with lifelong tools for managing their mental health and building resilience.

3. Establish Good Routine And Structure

Establishing routine and structure can significantly benefit a child’s mental health by providing stability, predictability, and a sense of security. Consistent daily routines help children feel grounded and in control, reducing feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. By knowing what to expect each day, children can better manage their emotions and cope with stressors, leading to improved overall well-being. Additionally, routines can promote healthy habits, such as regular sleep patterns, balanced meals, regular exercises and dedicated time for relaxation and recreation, all of which are essential for supporting mental health.

Moreover, structure fosters a sense of accomplishment and achievement, which can boost a child’s self-esteem and confidence. When children have clear expectations and goals, they are more motivated to engage in activities and pursue their interests. This sense of purpose and accomplishment can counteract feelings of helplessness or inadequacy that may accompany mental health issues. By incorporating structure into their daily lives, you can provide your child with a supportive framework for managing their mental health and thriving socially, academically, and emotionally.

4. Nurture Supportive Relationships

Nurturing supportive relationships is vital for children facing mental health issues as it provides them with a strong network of emotional support and understanding. Trusted relationships with family members, friends, teachers, and other caregivers offer children a safe space to express their feelings and concerns freely. 

These supportive connections serve as a source of comfort and reassurance during challenging times, helping children feel valued, accepted, and less alone in their struggles. Additionally, supportive relationships provide opportunities for children to receive practical guidance, encouragement, and positive reinforcement, which can bolster their resilience and self-confidence.

Engaging in meaningful exchanges with compassionate individuals allows children to acquire crucial social and emotional skills, including empathy, communication, and conflict resolution. These proficiencies equip them to navigate interpersonal interactions more adeptly and constructively handle stressors. Through cultivating supportive relationships across different areas of your child’s life, you can empower your child to build resilience and adopt strategies essential for managing mental health obstacles. 

At GT Scholars, we are passionate about helping young people to reach their full potential. We do this through various programmes, activities and transforming content designed for both young people and parents to positively impact their children. You can access our programmes and more content like this by visiting our website.

Here’s The Career Advice That These Millionaires Wish They’d Received When They Were Younger

Here’s The Career Advice That These Millionaires Wish They’d Received When They Were Younger

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As teenagers, you may find yourself standing at a crossroads at a certain stage of your life. While studying provides you with opportunities to grow and explore new career paths, it can also be confusing to decide what you want to do in the future and how you will get there, especially when you are unsure about what you want to do with your life. The weight of making the right decision can be daunting and overwhelming which means it is more important than ever as a student to make informed decisions about your career. This is where career advice comes in. 

Career advice helps you to recognise and understand your strengths, weaknesses, and interests and gives you a clearer picture of the career paths available. So what if you could get career guidance from those who have already reached the pinnacle of success and have become millionaires through their work? Their insights and experiences would provide you with invaluable guidance as you navigate the path to your own success.

Warren Buffett, 91 – Berkshire Hathaway, $364B Annual Revenue 

“The people who are most successful are those who are doing what they love.”

Warren Buffet is the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate with a market value exceeding $600 billion. His wealth is estimated in the billions, making him one of the richest individuals globally and a worthy person to take advice from about choosing the right profession.

What he suggests is quite straightforward: when you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re more likely to do well in it. Choosing the career that is right for you and aligns with your passion is the first step to success and potentially becoming a millionaire. Imagine waking up every morning excited to go to work because you’re doing something you genuinely enjoy. That’s the kind of feeling he is talking about.

So, when you’re thinking about your future career, it’s worth considering what makes you happy. Whether it’s working with people, solving problems, or being creative; finding something you love can make your job feel less burdensome and more like doing something you enjoy every day. 

Erik Matlick, 49 – Bombora, $31M Annual Revenue

“I don’t know as much as I thought I knew.”

When Eric was asked to reflect on his younger life, he said “I don’t know as much as I thought I knew”. The world is constantly evolving, global industries are constantly changing, and innovations emerge every day. The willingness to admit that we don’t know everything can be a valuable asset. When we’re young, we may feel invincible and overly confident in our abilities. However, acknowledging your limitations and embracing a mindset of lifelong learning can open doors to new opportunities and insights.

Matlick’s advice is a reminder to remain humble and receptive to feedback, even as you gain experience in your chosen career field. By recognising that there is always more to learn, you can cultivate a growth mindset that fuels your personal and professional development. You could achieve this by seeking guidance and feedback from parents, mentors or peers. Stay curious so you are always in a position to learn, adapt, innovate, and stay ahead of the curve.

Andy MacMillan, 42 – UserTesting, $84M Annual Revenue

“Focus as much on relationships as on gathering knowledge”

It can be said that anyone who has become a millionaire with a successful company would not be where they are today without all the people that are behind the company. That includes the workers, the families, and even the customers.

Andy believes in the power of good relationships. So while it’s important to learn and get good at what you do, it’s just as important to build good relationships with others. Whether it’s your family, classmates, teachers, or people you meet during internships or work experience; forming connections can open up doors you never even knew existed.

Think of it this way: having friends and connections who support you can make your journey through school and into your career a whole lot smoother and more fun. So, while you’re working hard on your studies and trying to figure out your path, don’t forget to take time to connect with others, but do it genuinely, be kind, and build a network of people who can cheer you on and help you along the way.

Jason Hsiao, 43 – Animoto, $31M Annual Revenue

“Be smarter about making choices and having a strong rationale for those choices.”

When you are young, there are many options and opportunities available in choosing your career. Being able to make informed decisions is an important part of choosing the opportunities and paths that are right for you. It’s not just about making choices; it’s about doing so wisely, with a clear understanding of the reasons behind each decision.

Understanding the ‘why’ behind your decisions is done by taking the time to weigh your options, consider the potential outcomes, and evaluate how they align with your long-term goals. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive, taking control of your future rather than letting circumstances dictate your path. This will empower you to navigate challenges with confidence and conviction. It provides a solid foundation for you to design your career path and ensures that every step you take towards your dream career is purposeful and intentional.

Steve Jobs, 56 – Apple Inc. $385.70B Annual Revenue

“Your time is limited”

We’ve just discussed making smart decisions, and an aspect of that is being smart with how you use your time. As you are trying to follow your career of choice, it’s crucial to master the art of time management and strategic planning. When you are building your career, time is your most valuable asset. Learning to prioritise tasks, set goals, and allocate time effectively can make all the difference in achieving your aspirations. 

Think of each day as a set of purposeful actions that will help you get closer to your goals. So what actions are you taking throughout your day-to-day life? Is the time you are spending on those actions helping you get closer or further away from your goals? Whether it’s scrolling mindlessly through social media or procrastinating on important tasks, be mindful of how you invest your time.

But here’s the catch: while it’s essential to have a roadmap for your career, it’s equally vital to remain adaptable to unexpected twists and turns along the way. Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs, and being open to new opportunities and experiences can lead to unexpected doors opening.

Bill Gates, 68 – Founder of Microsoft, $227.58B Annual Revenue

“Measure progress and goals” 

Most millionaires or people who are successful in their careers will advocate for setting clear goals and measuring progress towards achieving them. Whether it’s navigating school, pursuing your passions, or carving out your career path, setting goals and measuring your progress is like having a secret map to success. 

If you have a vision of where you want to be in the future, break that dream down into bite-sized goals – small steps that will lead you closer to your ultimate destination. Maybe it’s acing your exams, landing your dream internship, or starting your own business. Whatever it is, setting clear goals gives you something to aim for and keeps you motivated along the way. By setting goals, you’re giving yourself a clear direction and purpose. You’re saying, “This is what I want, and I’m going to make it happen.”

But setting goals is only half the battle and the real magic happens when you start measuring your progress. It is like tracking your score in the game of life. By measuring your progress, you can see what’s working, what needs tweaking, and what you can do better next time. This will help you hold yourself accountable to the goals you have set for yourself. 

Shou Zi Chew, 41 – Tik Tok CEO, $16.1B Annual Revenue

“I worked hard with what I had, I put myself out there” 

As the current CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew is a prominent figure in the tech industry. His journey from humble beginnings to leading one of the world’s most influential companies is nothing short of remarkable.

When reflecting on his path to success, Chew emphasises the pivotal role of hard work and resourcefulness. His words highlight the importance of making the most of one’s circumstances and relentlessly pursuing one’s goals. His journey from a driven young individual with a passion for finance to the CEO of a multibillion-dollar company shows the power of hard work, perseverance, and a willingness to seize opportunities

As you follow your path to success, remember that success is not solely determined by one’s background or circumstances but by not giving up in the pursuit of your goals and having the courage to face any challenges head-on. Leverage your strengths and skills, and do everything you can to put yourself in the position to succeed. 

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