Volunteer Stories: Brandon

Brandon Wilkes - CodeYourFuture Volunteer
Brandon Wilkes - CodeYourFuture Volunteer

Brandon Wilkes – CodeYourFuture Volunteer

Introducing Brandon.

Brandon is an Engineering Apprentice at Aston Martin. He first experienced coding in his GCSE Computing classes at school and has since grown his knowledge, learning languages such as SQL, C# and HTML/CSS. A mainly self-taught coder, he has completed several personal projects and joined CodeYourFuture in order to add to his existing coding skills, whilst also helping others succeed on their journey in learning to code. In CodeYourFuture, he also found a volunteer experience that matched his interests while also being able to use it towards completing his Duke Of Edinburgh Gold Award. Brandon was looking for ways to volunteer remotely when he came across CodeYourFuture and has now been volunteering as part of the Education & Personal Development teams in Birmingham for over 3 months.

What have you been doing so far as a CodeYourFuture volunteer?

I have become a Personal Development buddy mentor for a group of 4 students, supporting them with PD homework, CVs and any other PD related support they may need by leading weekly meetings with them. I have also taken part in PD workshops which run every few weeks on a Saturday, teaching students PD related content. On the technical side, I have reviewed applicants’ submissions of code (HTML, CSS) and have provided feedback on how to improve. I recently took part in interviewing potential students on both PD and Education topics and inputted into the selection process for these students for West Midlands Class 2.

Did you have any concerns before joining CodeYourFuture?

My biggest concern before joining was that I would struggle to teach certain topics with a lack of knowledge on those topics. I overcame this by only being involved with the topics that I am confident with until I gain more of my own knowledge on these particular topics.

What have you most enjoyed about your time at CodeYourFuture?

I have enjoyed getting to know the passionate staff, volunteers and students within CYF and working with them.

How has volunteering at CodeYourFuture helped you grow?

I feel volunteering with CYF has helped grow skills such as leadership. Mentoring a group of students was not something I had done before and I feel I have now gained lot of experience in doing so and it has also helped me grow my confidence, particularly in leading teams of people. The interviewing process also gave me an opportunity to experience what it is like to ask questions during an interview as this is also something that I had not done prior to CYF.

What is one important thing you think people should know when they are thinking of volunteering with CYF?

One thing people should know is that CYF is very flexible with suiting the volunteer experience to match their skillset. It does not matter for example if you only know HTML and CSS and not JavaScript.

Are you interested to get involved with CodeYourFuture too?

Take a look at our Volunteers page for more information.