BetterTogether: a programme for young people to develop skills, gain experience, and network globally

The summer months of 2020 so far haven’t brought with them the deep respite from the COVID-19 pandemic many researchers had thought was likely. To help alleviate the strain, Pearson has partnered with Goodwall to launch a mid-year programme for young people. The BetterTogether programme...

141

The summer months of 2020 so far haven’t brought with them the deep respite from the COVID-19 pandemic many researchers had thought was likely. To help alleviate the strain, Pearson has partnered with Goodwall to launch a mid-year programme for young people.

The BetterTogether programme is strategically and specifically designed to help millennials and Gen Z during the coronavirus pandemic and throughout the post-COVID times that follow.

COVID-19 is impacting significantly on young people globally

The COVID-19 pandemic is exacting a heavy toll on people all over the world, regardless of age, location, gender identity, demographics, wealth, and other factors.

Millennials and those in Generation Z have it particularly hard. Teenagers and young adults today have already had their lives forever altered by back-to-back world-changing events, including but certainly not limited to 9/11, the endless wars which succeeded it, the recession following the financial crisis of 2008, and the ever-increasing threat of an irreversible climate change catastrophe.

Unfortunately, the pandemic is already disrupting the future of today’s young people just as much, if not more. According to a recent report from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), a UN agency, “more than one in six young people [are] out of work due to COVID-19”. On top of that, the young people who do remain employed have had their working hours cut by 23% on average. As for the ones who’ve managed to keep their work so far, 41% are at risk of losing it in the near future.

Thousands upon thousands of students around the world had been looking forward to their summer internships, but more than half have been cancelled. Aside from that, and in some cases because of that, young people are having to overcome overcome obstacles even seasoned professionals would find daunting in the earliest stages of their careers.

With the disproportionately high impact the coronavirus crisis is having on young people today, millennials and Gen Z need a dose of positivity, optimism, and hope.

Enter Goodwall’s BetterTogether programme.

The BetterTogether programme

After a miserable and discouraging few months at the start of 2020, summer is in full swing. And there’s never been a more needed time to provide young people with a renewed sense of purpose and passion.

Over the course of 5+ weeks, from 1st August 2020 – 16 September, Goodwall, Pearson, and other partners will host 10 challenges on their online platform, designed to help young people gain experience, develop their skills, network with like-minded individuals, and have their confidence restored.

When students and young professionals take part in the BetterTogether programme, they are able to:

  • Participate in challenges to help them develop problem-solving, creativity, and communication skills
  • Get the chance to win up to $25,000 in prizes, scholarships, and exclusive opportunities
  • Attend exclusive AMA speaker sessions each week with CEOs, mentors, and role models
  • Connect with a diverse group of over 1.5 million other young people from 150+ countries around the world
  • Gain the opportunity for access to Pearson’s new digital platform, Pearson Learning Hub
  • Seek support and support others through groups and collaboration to ensure everyone gets through this challenging time together
  • Earn a digital certificate endorsed by top universities and employers
  • And much more!

Notable speakers include recognised diversity equity and inclusion champion Cindy Rampersaud, Senior Vice President for BTEC at Pearson, model and actress Shreya Patel, a voice for female empowerment, Fred Henderson, co-founder of Ecosia, Nir Eyal, lecturer and author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, Vaitea Cowan, co-founder of greentech company Enapter, and over a dozen others.

Rewards include funding to turn a chosen dream project into a reality, full scholarships to the Oxbridge International Summer School (2021), full scholarships to an ISDC programme, tickets to events, premium subscriptions to Headspace and Masterclass, and others.

Young people all around the world can participate by downloading the Goodwall app for iOS or Android. At various dates throughout August and the first half of September, challenges will be posed, and those wishing to participate can respond to them by posting short videos through which they can pitch their ideas and showcase their achievements. As brief vertical videos are a native format for the younger generations, they’ll hopefully find it more engaging than other tasks designed to improve their academic and employment prospects, such as taking assessment tests, for instance.

The calendar for the challenges

Challenge #1: Set a Goal (1–6 August) – This challenge aims to encourage students and young professionals to set goals for the second half of 2020 to help them focus, stay motivated, and hold themselves accountable.

Challenge #2: Achievement (7–9 August) – Participants will be prompted to share a proud achievement with the Goodwall community.

Challenge #3: Resilience (10–13 August) – Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, said: “Like a muscle, you can build resilience. Finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience.” This challenge will prompt members to share something they’re grateful for.

Challenge #4: Do What You Love (14–16 August) – In this challenge, we will prompt participants to: a) share their idea of a dream career, and b) explain what obstacles need to be overcome to make it a reality.

Challenge #5: Women’s & Girl’s Empowerment (17–20 August) – This challenge is all about uplifting women and empowering girls. We’ll ask challenge participants to share a post about a female role model or mentor and write how they’ve helped shape their lives for the better.

Challenge #6: Equality & Justice (21–27 August) – In solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, this challenge asks participants to: a) explain what equality means to them, and b) share an action with the community which could help make the world more fair for all.

Challenge #7: Sustainable Development Goals (28–30 August) – The United Nations’ 17 SDGs are a framework to help make a better, more sustainable future for us all. We challenge members here to identify the most important SDG to them and what they’re doing to help.

Challenge #8: Small Act, Big Impact (31 August–3 September) – Even the smallest of acts can have a major impact on the world, such as wearing a mask to help flatten the curve. In this challenge, we ask participants to share one small act they could achieve daily which could have a large impact on society.

Challenge #9: Career Part II by Monster.com (4-9 September)– For this challenge, learners are asked to take a step back and reflect. What do they really want to do with their career? As the saying goes, “do what you love, and you’ll never have to work another day in your life.

Challenge #10: Pitch your Project (10–16 September) – For the final challenge, participants are asked to get entrepreneurial by pitching a passion project or realistic idea that could help make the world a better place. Entries could include apps, prototypes, new non-profits, or other concepts.

Members can choose to answer as many of the questions as they prefer, and each comes with its own unique prize. To earn the official certificate of completion, however, members must participate in at least 5 of the 10 challenges. At the end of the 5+ weeks, one participant will win the grand prize (to be revealed at a later date).

About the author

Christian Eilers is a career and education writer with a focus on the topics of professional development, college entry, university life, and entrepreneurship. As the Content Lead for the Goodwall Blog, he covers subjects including self-improvement, social impact, college preparation, career advancement, and more. Christian is originally from New York City and now resides in Warsaw, Poland.

In this article