For those who do not know: TCL or The Collab Lab is a nonprofit that aims to help new developers gain practical experience by working remotely on real-world projects with other early-career developers.
That's what their website says.
However, what their website does not explicitly say is that they are one of the most welcoming and helpful communities that any new developer would be so lucky to be part of.
When I applied to join them, they did not care that English was not my first language. They did not care that sometimes working with Git and GitHub felt like reading Latin to me. All they cared about was that I applied and that I sounded passionate when I did it.
What I like most about TCL so far is that they make you feel that you deserve a chance to be part of this tech world. That you deserve a chance even if you are not the smartest person in the room. That you deserve a chance even if you do not have those shiny, magical years of experience pinned on your wall. That you deserve a chance even if you come from this tiny, little place that would require a lot of zooming in on Google Maps for you to find.
It has been only a week since I have started my journey with TCL. However, on the first day of joining them, I felt the sense of having a team, a task to finish, or an issue to resolve. Besides, the realization that I now have four mentors whom I could ask for help whenever I need it is just crazy.