The Cultivate Cloud

The Cultivate Cloud (The CC) is a multi-faceted educational company that aims to empower willing and passionate students to become well-informed, successful and influential in their targeted career area, through a personalised approach.

I have attended a range of educational institutions: from a partially selective school, to a voluntary aided state school to eventually to two world-class universities – only by the grace of God!

These varied experiences gave me a perspective on what worked well in the education system and areas I believed needed to be worked on. I realised that the skills taught in educational institutions teach you to pass some tests and en n eventually, if you work hard enough, this may possibly, maybe, if you are really lucky, get you to the job that you want.

While I don’t believe in luck, there is one key chance factor that gets some people ahead, and conversely other behind. This is referred to as ‘cultural capital’ – knowing how the system works and using that to get ahead. The process that the job application necessitates, CV presentation, interview skills and communication skills – these are not taught until higher education, by which time is simply too late.

Though some of these skills have recently been offered at secondary school level (and sometimes outsourced to other organisations), a key area that is constantly ignore, is the skills to make you not just a great candidate, but a greater candidate. Development is not one off, but to be effective, it must be continuous.

This drove me to create an educational programme that arms students with the tools to be greater; to ensure students are well-informed about the area they want to enter; they are ready to be successful in that area and they are able to lead-up and influence others in their targeted area through dynamism and innovation. This is achieved by building three characters in the students that reflects this change in the students – powerful leaders, wealth creators and multi-potentialites. The skills that we provide include and are not limited to; vision building, public speaking, wealth creation and completing work with excellence. In my 16 years of education, I realised all these attributes are crucial for students if they want to make an impact in their target area.

At the time of the Aspinect competition, I was working in an Academy based in South London. In preparation for the competition, I had to prepare a seven-minute speech to share my vision and ask people to buy into the idea – not something I had done before and not easy!

However, my passion I have to seeing students succeed and exceed expectations; and knowing that I have the ability to influence the students positively and change their mind-set from one of apathy and fatalism, to one of confidence and expectation, allowed me to communicate this to the audience. This led to The Cultivate Cloud winning the competition and two weeks later, me quitting my job to relentlessly pursue the vision!

The social impact of The CC is not dependent on me alone, but the members of Team CC (Team Cultivate Cloud); a group of hard-working, dedicated and inspiring individuals who are working on the vision of The CC and ensuring that students are well-informed, successful and influential.

This year, we want to take things to the next level and a higher standard of excellence. We aim to reach more schools, more students and more parents through various avenues, including the launch of The Cultivate Cloud radio show which will be airing from March 2016, where we will be discussing key aspects needed to make students greater, as well as other topical issues in education. From winning the Aspinect, The Cultivate Cloud has also been offered a two-day business-training course from Dent Global. Recently, we were also offered a one year’s mentoring scheme by Claudine Reid MBE and Patrick Reid called Excel 25 – a unique programme for 25 entrepreneurs/business owners.

We aim to continue to speak at schools, conferences and various events to make individuals aware of what we are doing as our capacity expands.
Ruth Ofori-Danso