Recently our Matchmaker sponsor, Lightspeed, hosted a fantastic skills afternoon for a group of our mentees. Lightspeed, a unified POS and payments platform powering the world’s best businesses in over 100 countries, organized the event as an opportunity for our mentees to learn new ‘tech’ skills and see a future career in the technology industry. We are especially grateful for their partnership as events like these are significant to our mentees’ lives. BBBS aims to give them a new perspective and alternative window to opportunities in the world. 

Thank you Lightspeed for igniting new passions, and giving our mentees opportunities to reach their full potential. 

Lightspeed’s Managing Director, APAC, Andrew Fraser explains, “At the Auckland office of Lightspeed, we welcomed kids, their adult mentors and representatives from Big Brothers Big Sisters for a ‘Skills Arvo’ event. The aim was for the kids to try coding and to experience our point of sale and payments platform in a pop-up ‘Boutique’.”

A group of mentees, accompanied by their mentors, completed Lightspeed’s fantastic block coding workshop created by Max Grabenhorst, a principal software developer based in the Auckland office. The block coding task was similar to virtual Lego, where the mentees got to drag and drop colourful blocks to represent different commands. Once the virtual blocks snapped together like a puzzle piece, the kids could download the command onto a micro-bit; a tangible mini computer. On it, the mentees could spell their name to appear on LED lights, make music, and its sensors could detect temperature when they refrigerated it. Followed by the pop-up ‘Boutique’ store, mentees were able to scan and ‘sell’ items with an iPad set up with Lightspeed’s point of sale and payments platform.

BBBS Auckland Program Manager Chelsey Harnell shares, “We were amazed to see our mentees so focused and loving the activities. Introducing technology to our mentees through events like this not only sparks their curiosity and creativity, but also equips them with essential skills for the future.”

The team of Lightspeeders were fantastic at the event by helping our mentees through the tasks, and making them feel very at home with afternoon tea and a round of table tennis in their newly renovated office space. With their help, our mentees were able to learn new skills, break down tasks into manageable steps, increase their confidence by mastering a task, make new connections and feel a sense of accomplishment. 

Andrew reflects, “The Lightspeed team relished the opportunity to use their annual paid Volunteer Day for a great cause. The kids proved to be extremely talented as coders and entrepreneurs. It was inspirational to meet the amazing mentors and a treat to spend time with Lily and Xonique, and also Trelise and Shannae, the mentor/mentee Match sponsored by Lightspeed for the first and second halves of 2024. We’re thrilled to give back to our community and in particular to help ignite the potential of young people through community-based mentoring.”

Thank you again to Lightspeed for your partnership and for empowering a brighter future for our mentees. Chelsey concludes, “Seeing their eyes light up as they explore new digital possibilities reaffirms the positive impact of mentoring and technology in shaping confident, empowered, and future-ready individuals. Thank you, Lightspeed.”