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“Our Rangatahi Deserve Better…” For Once Learning Life Skills Can Be Fun

Life101 Launchpad is a newly launched interactive online course that promises to teach rangatahi fundamental life skills by focusing on the ‘why’, not just the how.

"Through Life101, we’ve delivered life skills programmes to around 12,000 individuals in schools, prisons and probation centres across Aotearoa, but the ambition was always more significant, especially for our rangatahi — to reach all young people with a life and financial skills education that’s more like a game than another day in the classroom," says Founder Nick Caroll.
 

The Life 101 Launchpad team

Life101 Launchpad is an online platform designed specifically for young people aged 16 to 23 — the critical juncture between the last year of secondary school and the initial years of university or an apprenticeship. This age group will often receive some degree of practical advice for ‘real life from their parents’; but at a school level life skills are often treated as another subject a young person can choose or not choose to engage with, and unfortunately all young people need life skills and to be motivated to want to use them in the real world.

"We believe our rangatahi deserve better; and Launchpad is our way of making essential knowledge affordable; accessible to as many youths as possible and most important - fun - so that they actually want to engage with," believes Nick.

What the course covers

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Financial literacy is a cornerstone of Launchpad's curriculum. In a society where fundamental life skills are often overlooked, we aimed to address the pervasive issue of financial illiteracy. Through engaging scenarios and interactive activities, participants delve into topics like debt, budgeting, KiwiSaver, how to save money and the consequences of financial decisions. Launchpad's goal is to empower young people to navigate the complexities of the real world with confidence and financial acumen.

But Launchpad isn't just about finances. The platform covers a wide array of essential life skills, including understanding personality types ,improving communication, writing a CV, preparing for a job interview, and even how to get started investing. Launchpad aspires to mould individuals who are not only academically proficient but also well-rounded, ready to face the challenges of adulthood.

"In the spirit of going beyond the traditional approach of teaching theory, we’ve ventured into the practical—teaching not only the ‘how-to’ but also instilling the motivation to apply these skills in the real world..." says Nick.

More than just ‘how’...

"What makes Launchpad unique is its emphasis on engaging and effective learning methods. We wanted to break away from the monotony of traditional education by incorporating interactive scenarios reminiscent of ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ stories. These scenarios cover a spectrum of life skills, from debt, how to budget and save money, to interviewing for an actual job and getting started in investing, today not tomorrow. Where schools will teach the theory of something – like how to save money for example – we teach the theory, the how-to do it in the real world and the motivation to want to use the skills, which means our learners end up with a tangible outcome and everything they need to succeed in the real world," he adds.

Meeting the needs of digitally-savvy rangatahi

The beauty of Launchpad lies in its accessibility. Recognising the busy lives of today's youth, the team wanted a platform that could seamlessly integrate into their schedules. Whether it's during a free period at school, a coffee break at work, or even on the bus to and from school, Launchpad allows young individuals to acquire vital life skills without disrupting their daily lives. For secondary schools, it can be implemented within class time and monitored by teachers using the Launchpad’s admin dashboard, or simply offered to students or parents to be done in their own time.

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up and get started, starting from $65 (or $75 if you want to pay an entry forward to someone who can’t afford Launchpad access). The material has been designed to captivate and hold the attention of Gen Z learners and involves a series of short text, videos, quizzes and real-life scenarios. The course is made up of 9 workshops which take approximately one hour each to complete, with daily prompts designed to guide and prompt learners through the course.

The Life101 courses are already in use at schools throughout the country, including some of the most disadvantaged where this type of knowledge will help set the next generation up to break out of poverty.

"Looking ahead, my dream for Launchpad is ambitious—I envision a future where it is freely accessible to all young people and enjoyed by all young people who do it. Removing financial barriers to education is crucial, and we are exploring avenues such as corporate sponsorships to make this dream a reality. Launchpad is not just another online course. It is a manifestation of our commitment to empowering the next generation. My hope is that through Launchpad, we can equip young individuals with the skills and confidence they need to navigate the complexities of adulthood, ensuring a brighter future for generations to come," concludes Nick.

For more information on the Launchpad course and to sign up go to www.101launchpad.co.nz

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