How Lella Violet Halloum is Using Technology to Change The World
Updated: Jul 8
We are all bound by a Golden Thread, which is the desire to learn and to work for the future. It's all about the power of youth.
At the age of five, Lella Violet Halloum was fascinated by computers and technology. She started her literacy journey by creating PowerPoint presentations on her favorite sweets and holiday spots, as any other 5-year-old might. But her journey as a digital changemaker truly catalyzed when she turned 8.
Enthralled by the mysterious language she unraveled by a mere wrong click of a button while playing her favorite alphabet-learning game, Lella's journey into the world of code began. When Lella turned 11, she entered her first-ever Hackathon for postgraduate students. To her, this was the happiest place on earth.
This event was, however, created for postgraduate students, over the age of 21. 11-year-old Lella was at the back of the room. I could've gotten easily mistaken as the daughter of a participant then actually going myself, and by the end of it, I actually ended up winning the competition, and that catalyzed my growth.
Now, Lella has used her platform to create an online community for her generation to connect beyond the border of a typical classroom, the IBM Global Student Hub. But this isn't the only impact she's made. At just 18, Lella, a digital changemaker, has been recognized for her technological triumphs and her contributions to the global community of youth, by Business Insider, The Times, The Telegraph, and so on.
Lella's vicarious service for equal access to technology amongst the youth and her work helping young people not only be a witness to the change but indeed be a part of it sets her apart as a Technologist. In the midst of the pandemic, she co-founded ZStudents where she held bi-weekly discussions on the tech Industry and connected more than 1.5 thousand students all over the world.
Her effortless dedication to catalyzing technology also includes sustainability. Lella has also worked towards United Nations Sustainable Development in the fields of Quality Education, Gender Equality, Decent Work & Economic Growth, and Reduced Inequalities which earned her the Diana Recipient Award in 2021 and the Harvard Society Prize.
Even the most successful people face setbacks. We all require daily reminders to overcome challenges that withhold us from achieving even greater heights and Lella is no different. But the biggest advice she has for young changemakers who may be in this boat is simple but profound.
My mum always tells me, 'if you don’t ask, you don’t get.' It's just asking, the worst that can happen is you get a 'no'. But, I’d rather be told no to my face than wonder what someone may or may not say to me.
Even with the accolades, Lella doesn’t let all her awards overshadow her true passion and work. Her greatest success is this;
Overcoming adversity and building a better future at a time where the future seems so uncertain, because of the pandemic and the disproportionate impact it had on my generation. The force of change we nurtured in the work that I do, that to me is the greatest success.
Lella Violet Halloum's story is a testament to the fact that in everything we do, we must find how our work can impact others positively.
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Atoshi is a writer, travel enthusiast, and self-proclaimed photographer currently studying in 10th grade in Bangladesh. Atoshi is passionate about listening and telling stories of people, and changemakers all over the world. She loves to meet and connect with new people since she believes there is no better way to learn about other people's lifestyles and cultures other than that. She finds moments of peace in her day-to-day life through street photography and occasional binge-watching movies.
EDITED BY Chizulu Uwolloh.
'Zulu is a writer, self-proclaimed bibliophile, lawyer, and international development passionate about social impact and showing people how they can create change in their communities. Zulu Uwolloh is a lawyer and international development professional. She is also the founder of Kurerie, a digital platform, and community that amplifies the voices of youth making an impact in their communities. Kurerie educates young people on how they can become active stakeholders in the achievement of the SDGs. She is passionate about showing young people that they can change the world with the smallest actions.
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