It goes without saying that all children should benefit from the same opportunities at school. But in practice, it doesn’t always work out that way. In the Netherlands – and not least in our home city of Rotterdam – many schoolchildren do not get the chance to realize their full potential and progress to the higher levels of secondary education. This is often because their parents are of non-Dutch origin. Another reason may be that nobody in their family has ever reached the higher levels of education before. This goes against everything we believe in, and fortunately we are not the only ones who see it this way.
How do you make sure that all children receive the same educational opportunities? By starting close to home. That’s where you can make a real impact. In September 2012, we set up the Rebel Junior Academy – a unique partnership with schools across Rotterdam.
At the Academy, Rebels tutor talented students to help them realize their full potential. The focus is on language skills, general knowledge and critical thinking. Every week, 20 talented students from grades 7 and 8 visit our office. With the guidance of six Rebels, they discuss books, build rockets and take part in debates, to name just a few activities. This gives them the extra insights they need to progress to the higher levels of secondary education and beyond.
This initiative is our contribution to the education sector, and therefore to society as a whole. And it works both ways. As our young Rebels learn and grow, teaching them is an invaluable source of inspiration that helps us stay truly in touch with what is going on in our local community. We hope other companies will also start Junior Academies, and we’d be more than happy to help them on their way.