Young Rewired State is the philanthropic arm of Rewired State and is a network of developers aged 18 and under. Its primary focus is to find and foster the young children and teenagers who are driven to teaching themselves how to code, how to program the world around them. This is a mighty challenge though well-supported with free tutorials online, but inevitably an isolating and solitary activity.
YRS works to seek out these people and mentor them primarily through a week long hack event in the Summer. This always runs in the first week of August. During that week businesses, small and large, around the country act as hosts to local young people, YRS alumni, Rewired State mentors and other volunteers.
A challenge is set to build digital products: mobile and web, using at least one piece of open data.
At the end of the week everyone piles on coaches, trains and cars to the festival of code venue where they will have a night of camp and code, pizza and camaraderie. On the Saturday afternoon, they will show what they have made to an audience of their peers, Press, government and industry. Prizes are awarded and lives are changed.
After the week of activity, Young Rewired State'rs automatically become a part of the growing network of young developers across the UK. Lifetime friendships are born as well as businesses. Mentor relationships are forged. The child is no longer coding alone.
One of the by-products of YRS is the strong alumni network. Once YRSers reach 19, many volunteer to return, year on year, to mentor the younger ones: helping them understand what the week is all about and welcoming them into the broader network of developers — helping them make life-changing decisions.