A desire to make positive change in the education of high school students is the driving force behind Boddington local Samreid Manez.
The 24-year-old entrepreneur is helping to sharpen the minds of Australia's future generations through his EdTech startup ManezCo, and he's calling on his own experiences from growing up in the Peel region to do so.
Attending a country school in Boddington, Samreid knew what it was like for staff and students to be under resourced.
Being able to visit metropolitan schools during his studies at Curtin University confirmed the difference in resourcing was obvious.
"I started to notice that sometimes during uni we would do talks at schools in Perth and those kids had amazing resources compared to what we had in Boddington," he said.
"It wasn't comparable at all - it was like this big unfair gap I noticed within our own state, just 100 kilometres apart."
That formed a big part of the inspiration behind Samreid's push to get ManezCo off the ground.
What is ManezCo?
ManezCo is currently an internet-based web app aimed at providing high school students with learning content in bite-sized, iterative quizzes.
The content used in the platform is in line with the Australian National Curriculum, and caters to maths, english, science and humanities and social sciences (HASS) subjects.
Essentially, the program looks to engage students where others before it fell short.
"After finishing university, I volunteered during my holidays at the schools my parents teach at," Samreid said.
"I noticed that whenever they got the kids to go on any of the online platforms, there was this collective groan and they just weren't keen on it.
"We weren't either when I was in high school - the platforms were clunky and boring."
Having witnessed the disconnect between students and the technology they use to learn, Samreid set his mind to creating a more tangible method.
"I started learning online educational neuroscience to figure out what was behind the learning and what makes kids tick," he said.
"All major subjects are on there and we do a bit of theory first and then have a few questions.
"We want to make sure every student understands what is happening and can go through it at their own pace."
Getting off the ground
Samreid and his Manezco venture faced initial challenges in the form of funding and rural living.
The coronavirus pandemic has also placed hurdles in his way, forcing him to cancel a trip to education-leading nation of Finland, where he planned to join a startup accelerator program to help springboard ManezCo.
Instead, Samreid joined the Perth-based Plus8 Sprint Pre-accelerator initiative, which culminated in a win for ManezCo at the program's pitch night.
Thanks to that win, his company now goes into a bigger pitch event in November, where the winner will be granted $100,000 to invest in their startup.
The end goal
Samreid has high hopes for his startup.
Within three years, he hopes to see the program operating in the majority of Australian schools.
After that, international education will be in his sights.
"We want to be in at least 10 countries in the next five years," he said.
"This kind of thing doesn't have high overheads, and can be used wherever because it's just an app.
"We just have to cater to the curriculum for them.
"I know it's a big goal, but its got me this far."
Millenials of Mandurah
Samreid is the fourth profile in the new Mandurah Millennials on a Mission series, as we meet the young people from around the region helping to shape a new narrative.
The series aims to provide an insight into some of the fresh new talent who have grown up in our great city, and are just getting started making a name for themselves.