Cumul.io supports TADA: underprivileged teenagers become entrepreneurs for a day

At Cumul.io, we are committed to leave a lasting impact. Even if it sounds cheesy, we really do believe data can help make the world a better place. Just have a look at how data visualizations are used to end Malaria for good. Or how it helped to match elderly with volunteer helpers during the COVID-19 crisis.

But still, as a team of human beings, we want our impact to go beyond being a building block for dashboards. As much as we enjoy grabbing a beer with the team after hours, we even more so enjoy to be part of initiatives that leave a mark. And this idea of making an impact, also outside of Cumul.io, has grown naturally in our team.

It all started a couple of years ago. For the past years, our co-founder Thomas has been personally involved with “Toekomst ATELIER De l’Avenir”. In short, TADA. TADA is a Brussels-based initiative that fosters the integration and emancipation of Brussels’ socially most vulnerable teenagers. In their Saturday School, they show underprivileged youth what it’s like to be a lawyer, a journalist, a doctor, opening them up to future professional perspectives.

Introducing vulnerable teenagers to IT & entrepreneurship, and making it fun!

When Thomas talks about his experiences with TADA, he can’t help but bring a smile to his face:

I’ve been hosting sessions at TADA on Saturdays, which are focused on IT & Entrepreneurship. What is social media? Are all messages on your Facebook & Instagram really that innocent? How come you see images of your favorite shoes on Instagram, after you’ve been looking for them elsewhere online?

In a fun way, these classes educate them on how their online behavior is exposed, and what can be done with that information. On the flip side, they learn that the rise of the internet and social media also generates loads of interesting job opportunities. Think about online marketing, (video) blogging, etc.

The curiosity and enthusiasm of the TADA youngsters reverberate. They gratefully appreciate that you share your experience and they go home with new aspirations. It motivates them to go the extra mile at school to pursue their own dreams.

I especially enjoyed contributing to the session around Entrepreneurship. During 4 Saturday sessions in December 2018, groups of 4-5 TADA youngsters had to conceive and run their own little company. Once they had determined a product and budget, they bought their necessities to eventually create, cook, or bake their product. The cherry on the cake was to finally exhibit on the local Christmas market and sell their Christmas cards, self-made delicacies, etc. 

Their creativity and motivation were remarkable. “Thomas, how can we attract more people to our stand? Shall we go out ourselves and pitch to Christmas market visitors? Shall I dress up as Santa, perhaps that might help?” 🎅

Every week they discover new opportunities and untapped potential within themselves. Many of them speak 3 to 4 languages nearly fluently, which is a great asset in Brussels and even more so globally. Participating in TADA works infectiously. You can’t go home without a big smile on your face, both the youngsters ánd the volunteers 😀

What is TADA?

TADA, short for “Toekomst ATELIER De l’Avenir”, is a Saturday school aimed at opening future professional perspectives of Brussels’ underprivileged youngsters.

TADA carefully selects their youngsters and aims to close the gap as much as possible with more fortunate youngsters along 3 years of Saturday schooling. In blocks of 3-4 sessions, a specific profession and sector are highlighted. Every Saturday, enthusiastic volunteers immerse the TADA teenagers in their professional world, triggering future perspectives for those teenagers that they might not have thought of themselves.

The job of a lawyer is a great example. The TADA teenagers get introduced to what a lawyer does and prepare for an actual court case. In the final session, they role-play a real-life case in the Judicial Palace of Brussels.

Cumulians will soon walk their TADA talk

A whole team of Cumulians was excitedly preparing to host a session at TADA in Molenbeek in December 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 decided to postpone our session to 2021. But that luckily didn’t keep us from supporting them in any way we could.

In the meantime, we made a gift to TADA to support all (digital) initiatives they implemented during the pandemic, to keep on fostering the teenager’s integration where they can. During our Data Talks event, we engaged our clients & attendees to make their mark as well. The bigger bunch skipped their thank-you gift this year, and let us donate it to TADA instead.

Stay tuned 📻 for our post-pandemic TADA passage, hopefully sooner rather than later!

Joint values that resonate

We couldn’t have thought of a better good cause to support with the entire team. Even if it’s in a completely different context, we share a lot in our core values.

Succeed together: Both at TADA & Cumul.io, working together as a team is crucial to make progress and achieve your goals.

Accomplish daily: Through incremental learning, you accomplish greater and bigger things. Every profession is handled in 3 or 4 Saturday sessions. And every session has clear goals and deliverables. The same goes at Cumul.io. Every Cumulian sets and shares his/her daily goals, taking small steps to achieve something big.

Empower the success of others: Empowering customers is placed at the very heart of Cumul.io, just like every TADA teenager is for the teachers and volunteers. Opening the eyes of and inspiring the teenagers is what drives them. 

Have fun: Most importantly, although the mission is very clear, it shouldn’t be taken all too seriously. What better way to learn & progress with a touch of fun & humor – isn’t it? 😄

We’re looking forward to many more fun moments with the TADA crew in the future!

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