22 October 2021

Blossom Young Minds Coding Club - Interview with Aletha Brown, CEO

When did you start Blossom Young Minds?

It was founded in 2014, first starting with Maths and English classes after school but I had to cut it short after about a year and a half to home-school my son. During this time I had created a Web Page Design course and was requested via a social enterprise called MOVE to run this course at Fulham Boys School in 2016, following on from there I was requested by the then developer to continue to run these courses – which was great as this was my major at university. So I ended up creating all these different courses and running them during the half terms. I am now in a fantastic position to focus fully on Blossom Young Minds.

Who do you teach?

We teach primary and secondary school children, from nine to 16 years old. Covering children from a wide diversity.

Do you see it as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) gateway?

Yes we do. We see our company as a gateway to helping children in their decision-making process towards their future career. The reason I started my company in the first place was to help children develop skill sets and become autonomous. And the second reason was to get them into a place where they can have access and aspiration in the various fields of computing which are so vast.

Why do you think computing is so significant?

Many schools have been asked to add Computer Science to their curriculum but so much needs to be covered as there are such a wide range of professions in this field. We are in the digital era and it is fast moving - children are so unaware of the skills needed in a world where this is the future. And they should have access to this.

What courses do you provide?

Blossom Young Minds provides Robotics, Web Page Design, 3D-Graphical Game Programming and Android Studio App Design. The course we are in process of working on now is Architecture. We want to open the door to making these types of career paths accessible and also help to inspire the next generation. You cannot create aspiration in a child based on a career path, without first engaging them in the subject.

How do you work with The Earls Court Development Company (ECDC)?

ECDC support and fund our courses, which in turn means that our community and beyond benefits from having access to our services, including the opportunity for us to spark aspirations, in the youth, in the IT sector. We have a subscription base now, so we send out emails to parents who have subscribed or those who have contacted us via our contact form on our website. All of our classes are booked via our online ticketing system. This coming month we will be running the Architecture course, for nine-to-16-year- olds.

How many children are there on each course?

We have ten children on each course, except where the course is robotics, then we have 16 -18. All of our classes are run during the half terms from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday.

Where are you based?

We have access to a room at Every Nation Church, 9 Beaumont Avenue, West Kensington W14.

Have your students had any particular successes later in life?

Aaron Yonas was one of my students for several years. He now builds websites for multinational companies and does video editing for online game vloggers. We are incredibly proud of him.

How do parents and children get hold of you?

They can contact us through our website www.blossomyoungminds.co.uk and follow the contact link.