Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

Cape Town student, 17, opens The Dream Lab with the support of Facebook

Nadine Maselle dream lab facebook woodstock cape townWith the help of Facebook, Nadine Maselle spends hours tutoring at her old high school in Woodstock.

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Nadine Maselle is taking action at her alma mater in Woodstock. Through her hard work and the support of the Facebook Community leadership program, she is helping to equip the next wave of learners at The Dream Lab with valuable skills and tutoring.

The inspirational 17-year-old community leader puts in hours at her old high school despite currently attending college herself. Her work was recognised when the Dream Factory Foundation became part of the Facebook Community Leadership program.

The Facebook Community Leadership program set up to support student leaders who are using technology to improve the communities they serve.

We spoke to Maselle about the work she’s doing and the impact it’s having for the students of Salt River High, Woodstock.

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Nadine Maselle tutoring students. Image supplied.

How satisfying is it to play a part in creating a real change at your old school in Woodstock?

It is very satisfying at the same time I just can’t wait to continue doing more for the school. I feel privileged to be able to achieve this.


Also read – Associate Professor Dr Venicia McGhie dedicates her life to uplift and motivate students from difficult backgrounds


A computer lab should be a standard feature of modern education. For those of us who haven’t been in school for a few years and don’t have kids, what is the current reality in public schools with respect to equipment and skills?

The learners have to survive with the little that they have, such as a book and a pen. Even textbooks are an issue. They are expected to pass without the tools they need and when they fail, the blame is on them. It’s sad, really.

I know this because I have experienced it and it was the hardest thing to do. The lack of computers was a big issue because some learners did not even have basic computer skills.

That is most important because after high school, if leaner decided to study further, they are expected to know at least the basics. If they decide to work, the same thing applies – they need to know how to operate a computer.

“I believe in using whatever I have to help change the world, and that is definitely what I’m doing and continue doing.”

Nadine Maselle

Thinking about that, learners in public schools do not have a chance in both situations as their lives are put in a box due to limited resources. They are not ready for the big world outside high school.

How much of an impact will the lab have for the learners at Salt River High School?

I believe that the learners in Salt River High will be motivated to work hard for their dreams and will be inspired to get out of the little boxes they have been in for years. They will be motivated to explore the different themes and tools such as coding, programming, virtual reality and many more.


Also read – How UWC’s Fairy Godmother is helping students in need


This could inspire them to pursue a career connected to these themes. Or even better, the learners will be able to learn basic computer skills and can receive tutoring online. I also believe this will contribute greatly to the school’s pass rate.

How did you initially use social media to assist the community? How much has being included in the Facebook Community Leadership program helped you?

Social media has been a great help when I had to tutor but couldn’t do it face to face. I use WhatsApp to take videos of myself tutoring learners. This saves more time and I can help more people.

The Facebook Community Leadership Program has helped me by training me on leadership, emotional support and many more things. Facebook trained us on how to use their Facebook features to empower our communities.

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Dream Lab opening ceremony. Image supplied.

It has also enabled me to interact with a greater community due to the amount of people making use of the platform.

What is next for you? What are you currently studying, and where do you see yourself – personally and with respect to your community work?

I am currently studying electrical engineering at Northlink College, and I’m planning to study mechatronics in 2020. My plans in my community work is to continue helping and inspiring more people in every way I can.

I believe in using whatever I have to help change the world, and that is definitely what I’m doing and continue doing.

A lot of people would like to help but don’t know where to start. What do you suggest to people who want to help The Dream Lab but just don’t know where to begin?

They can find me on Facebook, that is the easiest way or like the page, The Dream Lab. I hope more people will get involved and help empower the learners at Salt River High.

Also read – Former Wits lecturer made it his life’s mission to turn first-year students into Chartered Accountants

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