Heroes of ALC
Andela Learning Community
Right off after I signed up to be a Program Assistant on the Andela Learning Community (Formerly called Android Learning Community, a.k.a ALC). I have always worried about how I would manage this vast community that keeps increasing. The South West Region of Nigeria which comprises of Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, and Oyo.
The South West region in Nigeria is very vibrant and is one region that is quickly developing more than any other region in Nigeria. At every phase of the program, we keep getting more applicants from this region. Thus we had to divide the region as we had more Learners from Lagos than from any other city in the program. In ALC 2.0 alone, we had 5,000+ applicant from the region but could only enroll 1,250 from the applicants.
Learning Community Ambassadors
There is nothing that can keep you on your toes as much as having hungry learners that seek constant attention and are always challenging and giving feedback continuously.
I am sure you have heard the saying that goes “Not all heroes wear capes”. I humbly introduce ALC’s heroes — The Learning Community Ambassadors (AKA LCA’s). Who is an LCA? The Learning Community Ambassador (LCA) is a volunteer role in the “Andela Learning Community powered by Google” program — designed to drive maximum engagement and interactions among learners in the ALC program by providing relevant support (such as facilitation, mentorship, and code review) to learners in the program.
The LCA’s are of three groups.
- The facilitators — Organise, facilitate and meet in person with the learners to help unblock them.
- The mentors — Works majorly online in assisting, mentoring and overseeing learners one on one and in their peer learning groups.
- The Code reviewers — Code reviewers are required to review the project of learners, providing feedback on their code structure, code quality, and functionality based on a set guideline.
So you may ask why are they heroes? The ALC program has experienced tremendous success and growth majorly because of the selfless effort of these volunteers and my region is one I love to proudly boast about.
During the program, we experienced several challenges especially with the fact that learners resided in almost every local government area in Lagos. We had them in Badary, Ikorodu, Ojo, Okokomaiko, Igando, Ikotun, Sango… The list continues. As these learners grew, we figured we couldn’t keep asking them to come to one central location (Lagos mainland) for meetups. Trust Lagosians, they kept asking for meetup venue in various locations to fuel their hunger to learn. The issue was not just providing meetups venue but how do we get LCA’s facilitators that would go to these venues. Several of our LCA’s were located on the Mainland and we had a budget we worked with for the region. Thankfully these LCA’s volunteered with so much enthusiasm and decided to go to these locations to facilitate. I have never seen so much passion and zeal to get things done amazingly, these guys went as far as securing awesome venues at very good deals. I am in awe of their negotiation skills. I can’t tell you how proud and teary I was.
It kept getting better and I could see their selflessness as we progressed. I wanted to cancel a venue at Ojo at a time because of some issues with the venue owner and logistics. The facilitator in charge got another venue and set up everything before I could say FLOCCINAUCINIHILIPILIFICATION!!!!. When I asked some of them to come back to the mainland they refused and insisted that they have created a form of relationship with the learners in that location and are interested in their growth. I was awestruck.
It is worthy to note that, some of these LCA’s either tripled as Facilitators, Mentors and code reviewers or double as one of each. I cannot forget the intermediate learners that volunteered to join in as mentors when they saw we needed more hands, especially with the Web beginners track.
I have enjoyed my role as the Program Assistant of this region and these heroes made it worthwhile. I cannot exclude our challenges and roadblocks with internet, venue cancellation, we also had learners that lost their way, Learners that entered wrong vehicles, Learners that got robbed, Accident among LCA and learners, as well as LCA that indicated their unavailability very late, drop in learners attendance at meetups etc.
Belvi Nosakhare has been an LCA from ALC 1.0 and he’s one of those LCA that goes the extra mile to get things done. He has helped us in providing solutions for some problems we had, not just in the region but in the entire ALC program that covers 13 countries in Africa.
Babatunde Lamdi has also been with us from the start and helped managed Badagry, Ojo, and Okomaiko communities, he has a good knowledge of that community and does an awesome job in each phase managing learners expectations.
Peter Ekene is ready to go to that location nobody wants to go. He’s usually one of the first to come forward to perform that herculean task no one wants to perform. He has also left his comfort zone several times to very far locations.
A big shout out to Aniedi Udo-Obong (PM, Developer Ecosystem for SSA), Chimdindu Aneke (Former PM Andela ALC), Solomon Awosupin (PM Google), Cheruto Mercy, Williams Imoh, Sam Esidem, Ajah David, Chizoba Ogbonna, Rotimi Okungbaye and Auwal Ms. Thank you all for your support and for making this journey worthwhile with the LCA’s.
How can I forget Jalasem, Nsikakabasi Awak, Wale Ayabdiran, AbdulKadir Sulaiman, Abdullahi Abdulkabir, Adeniyi Temidayo, Alabi Olusegun, Alex Idowu, Aruna Fatima, Babalola Oluwatobi, Bakare Emmanuel , Bolatan Ibrahim, Ekuma Chidi, Emeka Ehinze, Funmilola Afolabi, James Chika Chrismarcel, Kay Ogunbowale, Mbonu Blessing Nkemjika, Michael Ayodele, Mubarak Imam, Nsikakabasi Effiong Awak, Nyerhovwo Adjekughene, Obatarhe Otughwor, Okeowo Aderemi, Olalekan Baruwa, Oloruntobi Allen, Oluwakorede Fashokun, Oluwatobi Akinpelu, Sandra Ajaja, Segun Olumide, Timothy Mayor, Tobi Taiwo, Vanessa Osuka, Abolade Opeyemi and many others who gave their precious time and selfless service in making this region outstanding. Hello World, These heroes are worth the note.
Thank you LCA’s you all are my heroes.