My mentor was amazing and got back to me extremely quickly when it came to feedback, advice and answering any questions I had.
— Dana, Academic Apprenticeship student
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Aron

Aron will be the main point of contact for all mentors and students over the course of the Academic Apprenticeship.

After qualifying as a sports coach, Aron developed a keen interest in the holistic approach to youth development.  Working across London, he became increasingly aware of the influence of social inequality on opportunities and outcomes.  Having progressed to mentoring students and managing a school services department, Aron was driven by his passion for providing young people with access to sport, positive experiences and inspirational role models.

More recently, Aron has managed the delivery of the National Citizen Service programme, providing support for hard to reach individuals in the process.  He has also been responsible for the delivery of student workshops, promoting the development of transferable skills, in line with improving pathways to higher education.

Aron values mentoring because he believes that positive role models can play a significant part in helping students to open doors for themselves.

He maintains his passion for providing young people with opportunities and is adamant that access to higher education should be one of them.

Meet our other mentors

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Alastair

Alastair studied Law at the University of Cambridge at undergraduate level and is about to start a Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art.

Previously, he held a role as a teaching assistant for two years, teaching Chinese in Leeds, whilst he is now a tutor for GCSE and A-Level students in London, focusing on Science and Law.

Alastair enjoys helping young adults better achieve their goals when going through the difficult task of applying for university.  He feels that the criteria for being persuasive in an application are often not set out clearly enough.

With more emphasis being put on degrees and qualifications in later life, getting to the right university on the right course becomes increasingly important.  For this reason, Alastair believes that supporting student access to Higher Education is of fundamental importance.

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Alexandra

Alexandra is studying medicine at King’s College London. She previously worked as a Senior Mentor on the National Citizen Service programme, where she supported groups of students as they developed valuable life skills.

Alexandra now has an ambassador role at KCL, including Outreach for Medicine and Medicine in Action. Away from university, she makes a valuable contribution to StreetDoctors, as a Deputy Team Leader and Impact Specialist.

The mentoring role is due to be an additional source of motivation, as she is looking forward to getting to know different individuals and helping them to navigate what can be a challenging process.

Alexandra believes that external support networks can play a crucial role when it comes to progression to the HE destinations that students deserve.

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Ali F

Ali has a BA in Philosophy from LSE and a Masters in TESOL and Creative Writing from the University of Westminster.  He is a secondary school English and EAL teacher and has mentored students in schools in south London and abroad.

Ali delivers workshops on personal statements for Causeway Education in summer schools and colleges and is a HE progression mentor at schools in south Essex.

He enjoys mentoring because small interventions can have huge, positive, real-life consequences for students.  Ali finds it to be a real privilege to see a young person fulfil potential that may otherwise have slipped away.

He believes that young people’s futures should not be limited by background and circumstances, whilst fair access to Higher Education is the minimum our society should provide.

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Ali M

Ali has completed his 2nd year as a medical student at the University of Oxford and is currently undertaking a research project at the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics.

He has previously taught Islamic Studies to Year 7 students at his local community centre and was also the only student in a Mind Skills workshop at school (alongside psychology post-doctorates and other teachers), that taught revision skills to GCSE and A-Level students, leading up to their exams.

Ali currently works with the Oxford branch of KEEN, a charity for disabled children and adults and is a session leader at two weekly events.
He enjoys mentoring because it gives him the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and help students to excel.  He also values the variety that each experience brings, because every student is unique.

Ali believes that mentoring can help to stimulate academic curiosity, which plays a vital role in progression to higher education.  He feels privileged to play a part in the journey.

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Andrew

Andrew studied Law, French and German at Cambridge University and now works as a Commercial Barrister.

He is the first lawyer in his family, as well as being part of the first generation to attend university

Andrew is keen to provide guidance to aspiring lawyers and law students, especially those who are less likely to have resources or experienced people around them, to guide them in their choices and applications.

As well as regularly mentoring aspiring barristers, he organises annual seminars for aspiring and young lawyers.

Andrew enjoys helping others to realise the potential they, and those around them, might not realise they have.

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Ash

Ash studied politics, philosophy and economics at the University of York. Having previously volunteered on summer schools, supporting young people with learning difficulties, he went on to tutor undergraduates during his masters.

Now tackling a PhD in Economics, Ash also delivers seminars for microeconomics, as a TA. He is looking forward to providing students with tailored support and advice based on the routes they could take.

Ash believes that students can benefit from strong support networks when it comes to making informed decisions and achieving their goals.

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Beckie 

Beckie completed a BSc in Human Science at Sussex University.  She found it to be a fascinating course formed of five majors -  Biology, Anthropology, Philosophy, Psychology and Linguistics.

Beckie later completed a PGCE in Secondary Science at Exeter University, and a further postgraduate specialism in Physics from the Institute of Education.

Her experience of mentoring started as a teacher in schools, mentoring students in science and exam preparation.  She has been part of the Causeway Education Academic Apprenticeship team for many years

Beckie believes that Higher Education increases your life chances, allows you to push your thinking to its potential and contribute to the world’s understanding of itself.
She finds the mentoring role deeply rewarding.  Beckie believes that students from all backgrounds should have support to write an excellent and competitive personal statement, to help drive equal access to HE.

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Charlie 

Charlie graduated from University of Bristol with BSc Politics & International Relations, followed by MSc Educational Research.

He has previously worked on an Academic Ambassador scheme, whilst he himself has been a student on a Sutton Trust summer school.

During his MSc in Educational Research, he researched personal statements in an academic context.

Charlie’s current role is Assistant Outreach Officer at the University of Bristol and he enjoys being a mentor because it provides the opportunity to work with students at a very important time.  The direct intervention is one which allows him to have a real impact on people’s lives and give back to a scheme that he benefited from himself.

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Diana 

Diana obtained her MA from King’s College Cambridge, in History and Social and Political Sciences.  She has been a Secondary school teacher for 36 years, during which time, she progressed to Head of Sixth Form with responsibility for UCAS.

From 1998-2002, Diana held a Deputy Head position and oversaw university applications. As Head of a 3-18 school with a large Sixth Form, from 2002–2016, Diana was responsible for signing off all references for UCAS, with most students going on to Russell Group universities.

She has always enjoyed working with young people in inclusive, educational environments and, as a retired Head, she wishes to put her expertise to good use.  
Diana was the first in her family to attend university.  She was Head of an exceptionally inclusive independent school that was founded as an orphanage and continues to educate children, fully funded by charity.  She saw how education transformed their lives and aspirations and would like to continue to positively influence the lives of young people post-retirement.

Diana shares the commitment of the charity for which she has worked for 25 years, The Wolfson Foundation, which is keen to promote social mobility through access to HE and helps to fund Sutton Trust Summer Schools.

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Ed 

Ed studied Politics, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Cambridge. He is currently studying for a Masters in the Sociology of Education at UCL. He has worked in university outreach and admissions at the University of Cambridge, and currently works for Causeway Education as a Programme Coordinator.  

Ed enjoys mentoring because it provides him with the opportunity to explore students’ areas of interest and help them to hone down their thoughts into precise, detailed arguments.  Eligible for free school meals, Ed was the first person in his family to attend university, and fiercely believes that equality of educational opportunity is a right, not a privilege.  

The mentoring programme was a brilliant experience and opportunity…my mentor was always there when I needed her support. I believe that every student writing their statement should have access to OSCAR
— Zuliat, Academic Apprenticeship student
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Eileen

Eileen graduated from the University of Southampton where she studied English Literature.  She went on to complete a Masters in Culture and Social Change and a PhD in ‘Concepts of Success for students of English Literature’.

She has lectured at the University of Southampton, and currently works for The Open University and the University of Winchester.  Eileen has a particular interest in facilitating access to Higher Education and supporting First Year Undergraduates.

Mentoring and supporting students is a source of satisfaction.  Eileen believes that work in the Arts can be personally demanding and feels she can help students to feel that they belong, by explaining how things work in Higher Education.

Eileen’s route into Higher Education was not a traditional one.  She is sure that her skills and experiences enable her to support students whilst they find their own unique voice and grow.

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Ellis 

Ellis is in the final year of his Engineering PhD at the University of Oxford, where he researches microfabrication and 3D printing.  During his undergrad, Ellis worked on several Oxford outreach projects and has tutored various students through the entire admissions process, from personal statement through to technical interview. 

By implementing simple strategies and techniques, Ellis would love to help as many students as possible win a place at university.  He believes that this kind of support can make a huge difference to a student’s prospects and start to address the current education imbalance.

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Emma 

Biomedical Sciences at Oxford University, where she also got involved in lots of outreach activities, such as open days and summer schools, to give students advice on how to make a competitive Oxbridge application.

This is Emma’s second year working on the Academic Apprenticeship. The main thing that she enjoys about mentoring is seeing students improve over time and she finds it rewarding to witness what students achieve when provided with a platform to reach their full potential.

Emma is particularly passionate about student access to HE because she knows how useful it is for students to receive guidance and advice about applications and believes that no student should be put at a disadvantage because they don’t have easy access to support.

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Erin 

Erin studied Jurisprudence with Law Studies in Europe at St Peter's College, Oxford, with a year abroad at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

She used to be the Schools Liaison Officer for Girton College, Cambridge, where she delivered talks on HE and personal statements, helped run student shadowing schemes and the HE+ programme, as well as conducted school visits with schools in the West Midlands.  During her time at university, Erin also volunteered with the Pathways to Law scheme, giving talks to students and helping with their university visits.

In her spare time, Erin is a Scout Leader and helps to run her church youth group.  As a Scout Leader, she is responsible for the progression of the young people towards their big awards, such as the Chief Scout's Gold Award.

Erin loves being able to help young people from a variety of backgrounds achieve their potential.  The university application system can be quite confusing, and Erin believes that individuals should not be stopped from achieving their full potential simply because they don't know how to navigate the bureaucracy.  Higher education is made richer by having a more diverse student population, and circumstances should not be a barrier to success.

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Fionna

Fionna has a BA in French and History from the University of Warwick and a MA in International Social Development from the University of East Anglia.

Before joining the team Fionna worked in research coordination for the European Commission and as a Team Leader on a youth livelihoods programme for Restless Development Tanzania.

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Fliss 

Fliss did her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford and studied at University College London for postgraduate.

She was a deputy headteacher in a West London comprehensive school and loved teaching in South London too.

Fliss worked in admissions at Oxford University after volunteering to help to attract applications from state school students while she was a student there.

She really enjoys seeing pupils gain confidence in articulating how they see their future studies progressing.

Fliss finds it inspiring to see how students develop their interests beyond the school classroom and is eager for the brightest minds to have access to the best university courses.  She believes that will build a better society for us all.

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Ian 

Ian graduated from the University of Southampton with a BSc in Pharmacology, after which he completed Research Masters (MRes) programmes in Experimental Neuroscience, Experimental Physiology and Drug Discovery (Imaging) at Imperial College London.

He stayed at Imperial to do his PhD, which focussed on researching potential drug targets in Parkinson’s disease, using imaging techniques such as MRI.  After his PhD, in 2014, he moved to University College London, where he is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate, using imaging to greater understand what goes wrong in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, and developing new drug targets.

He has been a mentor on the Academic Apprenticeship scheme since 2014 and has helped numerous students on their way to preparing personal statements to gain places on a variety of courses.  In addition, he regularly gives talks about his research to school classes, both on neuroscience and the brain, and on the use of animals in research.

He really enjoys working with mentees in developing strong personal statements that help them to gain places at their top choice universities.  Particularly, Ian enjoys learning about what drives each student to apply for their course and helping them translate that passion for their subject into their personal statement.

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Imogen

Imogen’s commitment to higher education access for all started at the University of Bristol, where she worked as a mentor as part of their Widening Participation programme while studying for her Theology degree.

She then taught Religious Education and Philosophy in South London during her time on the Teach First programme. While teaching she was the school’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural coordinator (SMSC) and was appointed as the Head of Department for Religious Studies. Beyond her work in the classroom, Imogen helped found a charity, The Student View, an online publication that uses the power of journalism to raise English attainment and give young people a chance to share their world through words.

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Iqrah

Iqrah is studying medicine a King’s College London and is due to be a summer school ambassador in 2019. She currently volunteers with StreetDoctors and BrightSide, where she is a Team Leader and WP Ambassador, respectively.

At KCL, her voluntary role with the Outreach for Medicine team has given her an insight into the importance of early interventions, when it comes to increasing options for young people.

Iqrah is looking forward to working with students that may not otherwise have access to support. She is keen help them realise their potential, without being limited by their circumstances.

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Izzy 

Izzy studied German and English at UCL and currently works at Causeway Education as a Programmes Assistant.

Before joining Causeway Education, she worked as a Teaching Assistant at a sixth form. Izzy’s experience in this role developed her interest in the widening participation sector, along with a desire to tackle educational inequality.

Izzy has long been committed to opposing social inequality through education and is passionate about young people reaching their potential through Higher Education.  She hopes to help them do so as a mentor.

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Kate

Kate is a post-doctoral research worker at King’s College London.  Her research investigates psychosis and schizophrenia, using MRI brain imaging and drug trials.  Kate studied Neuroscience as her undergraduate degree at Manchester University before going on to do a Masters and PhD at King’s.

Kate regularly delivers workshops at schools and enjoys extending students’ knowledge beyond the curriculum.  She was the first in her family to go to university, and really values equal access to Higher Education opportunities.

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Katie 

Katie graduated from the University of Nottingham with a BA in History and Art History, before training as a History teacher through the Graduate Teacher Programme at the University of Hertfordshire.

During her time as a teacher, and through various widening participation and programme delivery roles, Katie has gained extensive experience of mentoring students through course choices and the application process.

Currently, Katie manages the Academic Apprenticeship Programme at Causeway Education.

She enjoys being a mentor because she likes supporting young people to understand the choices they have beyond school and helping them to make the most of these opportunities.

Katie is committed to helping all students to realise and achieve their full potential.

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Kavi 

Kavi has recently completed her second year of Medical School at Christ Church, Oxford.

She is heavily involved in the access network at Christ Church and has assisted the last two sets of open days and interviews, as well as providing E-mentoring.  This entailed providing tours for prospective students, along with subject specific information and debunking common myths.  Kavi found this to be an invaluable experience, as not only was she able to encourage more students from a range of backgrounds to apply to Christ Church, but she also supported a number with the application process.

Kavi was also involved with the Biochemistry UNIQ summer school last year, which not only allowed her to work with prospective university students, but also taught her tricks and tips to help students with personal statements and entrance tests.

Kavi enjoys mentoring because she gets a high level of satisfaction from seeing students succeed.  Throughout her time at Oxford, Kavi has enjoyed helping at a range of access events and witnessing students go on to gain interviews.  She would also like to play her part in improving the diversity of successful applicants.

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Laila

During her time in 6th form, Laila provided teaching assistance for GCSE geography and mentored students in lower year groups, helping them to work on revision strategies, as well as providing general support on a one-to-one basis.

Laila is now studying medicine at KCL and volunteers as a student panel member as well as working as a supply teacher, through an organisation in the Education sector. She also has a valuable role with StreetDoctors, where is both a Liaison Officer and an Impact Specialist.

Looking back on her own experiences, Laila is keen to support any students that are feeling lost or confused throughout the university application process. She is aware of the difficulties that young people face and is passionate about levelling the playing field when it comes to access to HE.”

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Laura 

Laura studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge with an intercalated year studying Human Psychology. Her course mirrored the Human Medicine course closely, equipping her to work with Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, and Psychology applicants.

She has assisted students with undergraduate applications for several years and began working as an Academic Apprenticeship mentor in 2017.

Mentoring provides Laura the opportunity to remain involved with a variety of subject areas, and this is something that she enjoys.  Coming from a state school, and as the first generation of her family to attend university, she feels strongly that a student’s background should not affect their opportunities in Higher Education.

Matt

Matt has just completed the second year of the Law LLB course at the University of Exeter. Alongside this he also works as a Student Ambassador at Exeter, which involves school visits and presentations and delivering various workshops with the University. 
 
Before Matt started his course at Exeter he completed the Pathways to Law programme alongside his A Levels and is now a Pathways to Law Mentor at Exeter. This role involves helping his mentees with advice as they complete their A Levels and assisting with academic sessions ran on the campus. 
 
As the first of his family to attend university Matt feels that students should be encouraged to take every opportunity that they can. As part of this, he has started an academic group for students from a variety of backgrounds to meet and discuss the topics covered in lectures. The results of this have been incredible as the group has grown over the last two years. Students say they feel more included than when they first started and are performing better academically. 

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Nuhaat

Nuhaat is studying medicine at university, where she is also a student ambassador; visiting schools and providing subject tasters for students.

Away from university, Nuhaat volunteers with StreetDoctors, where she is also a Fundraising Lead. It is a charity that plays a key role in combating violent crime and teaching young people basic first aid.

Nuhaat was lucky enough to have benefited from a support network during her university application journey and so has first-hand experience about the impact it can have. She believes that equal opportunities are important and is keen to have an influence.”

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Olayinka

Olayinka is a student of medicine at KCL. Last year, she had her first experience working on the NCS programme and is gearing up to play her part again this year, in a more senior role.

Olayinka provides mentoring support to students aged 16-17, over a period of 18 months, leading up to their first year of university. She provides general information, advice and guidance, as well as specific information related to medicine.

She enjoys supporting the development of different people and helping them to succeed. Olayinka believes that WP interventions improve the chances of success for people that may have otherwise been hindered by their circumstances.”

Having access to OSCAR and an AA mentor helped me start my personal statement during the summer holidays which gave me plenty of time…It was really helpful to get course specific feedback
— Amna, Academic Apprenticeship student
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Precila

Precila was first involved in mentoring during 6th form, where she was a Peer Mentor, providing social and academic support to younger students. Now studying medicine at KCL, she is a course Ambassador. Alongside her studies, she is also Head Mentor for InsideMed, and volunteers as Delivery Specialist for StreetDoctors.

Due to her own past experiences, Precila is looking forward to providing students with support during an important phase. She is keen to help ensure that students do not slip through the gaps and unlock their potential.”

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Rachel 

Rachel graduated from the University of Oxford, with a BA in Modern Languages (French and German), before training as an MFL teacher through the ‘TeachFirst’ programme and completing an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Warwick.

During her time working as a teacher, both in the UK and overseas, Rachel has mentored many students through the process of applying for universities around the world.  She enjoys working with students to help them identify their strengths and put forward their strongest possible application.

Rachel wants to ensure that more young people have the chance to reach their full academic potential and don't feel limited by their background.

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Robina 

Robina has a BA in Chinese from Durham University and a TEFL qualification.

She has taught English as a Foreign Language in Beijing, Taipei and Cairo, as well as working as a freelance book editor for over 20 years, editing fiction, non-fiction and children’s books.  Until recently, Robina ran a literary and educational charity that had a particular interest in multilingual projects involving young people.  She has three children who are at, or have just left, university.

Robina is going into her second year of mentoring students through their university applications and enjoys helping them to hone their personal statements, expressing themselves as articulately as possible.

It is her belief that applying to university is stressful, whatever your background and Robina feels strongly that everyone deserves support through the process, particularly those in more challenging circumstances.

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Rudy 

Rudy has a PhD in Political Sociology from King’s College London.  He is currently a fellow in Media and Communications at the London School of Economics & Political Science.

He has worked as a mentor for the Academic Apprenticeship for the last two years and has mentored over 15 students throughout the process of producing their personal statements.  Prior to this, Rudy worked as a youth worker volunteer in Los Angeles, focusing on academic and music tutoring.

He has been a lecturer in several UK universities, and has extensive experience supervising and mentoring social science undergraduates and postgraduates, on their dissertations and coursework.  Rudy is currently supervising 15 Media postgraduates at LSE on various communications-related research projects.

Rudy very much enjoys teaching and seeing students progress in their writing and intellectual development.  Being a mentor is an extension of his university teaching and enables him to help students, from less privileged backgrounds attend a university.

Rudy believes that he was fortunate to have several mentors, teachers, and professors prepare him for the rigors of Higher Education, and to guide him in his intellectual development.  For this reason, he is committed to following their example, by helping less-privileged students gain access to a university education.

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Sadie 

Sadie works as a researcher at KCL, trying to improve outcomes for people with alcohol or drug dependence (broadly within the field of Psychology).  Prior to this, she completed an undergrad in Natural Sciences (Biology with Philosophy) at Durham University, before studying for a Masters in Health Sciences at Newcastle University and a PhD in Alcohol Epidemiology & Public Health at UCL.

Sadie has been mentoring as part of the Academic Apprenticeship scheme for a few years now.  Before taking on this role, she tutored for a charity, where she worked with high-achieving young people in schools across London.

As well as online mentoring, Sadie hosts work experience placements for sixth form students each summer and often supports these students in writing their UCAS personal statements too.  She also volunteers as a teaching assistant, as well as mentoring for local charities that support refugees and asylum seekers in South London.

Sadie enjoys mentoring because it is something that she wishes was available during her time at school.  She feels fortunate to have had her university experiences and wants to continue supporting other young people to do the same.

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Simon 

Simon started teaching in 1994 after a career in the City and is qualified to teach biology to A level and beyond. Having served 11 years as head of a secondary boarding school he stepped down from headship in 2016 in order to have a second kidney transplant and begin a freelance career in education. His particular interests are widening access, mentoring school leaders and the role of education in strengthening communities.

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Sherelle 

Sherelle studied Sociology at the London School of Economics and went on to complete her Masters in Culture and Society.  She has previously worked in Widening Participation departments at LSE and St Mary’s University developing and delivering academic programmes for Key Stage 4 and 5 students, as well as building databases of deprivation data.  Prior to that she worked for I CAN, a children’s communication charity, assisting the Business Development Team on broadening the charities reach.  

Sherelle values being a mentor as it allows her to pass on very simple techniques to help students produce outstanding analysis.  She considers broadening access to higher education a powerful tool in working towards this goal.  During her studies, she became engaged with social activism and grew politically dedicated to alleviating social inequality.

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William 

William is studying Medicine at Christ Church, University of Oxford.

He has previously tutored GCSE and A-level physics and maths, as well as taught sailing and karate for youth groups.

William is currently volunteering at KEEN Oxford, helping to deliver fun and engaging activities for children with learning disabilities.

He feels it is rewarding to see student progress, especially with the 1:1 tuition, which schools cannot provide on a wide scale, and is looking forward to supporting students to achieve their ambition of attending university.

As a college ambassador, William regularly leads tours and helps at other access events, answering questions from prospective students and guiding them around the college.  He is also due to be working at the UNIQ Medicine Summer School.

William believes that no student should be limited by their background and feels that it is special to be part of a programme that plays a role in enabling them to fulfil their potential.

This programme really helped me because I wanted to make a competitive application for Medicine and was able to do so from the help I received. Having support over the summer holidays leading up to UCAS deadline motivated me to do better and I know I did much better than if it had just been myself and sixth form working on it.
— Sulayman, Academic Apprenticeship student
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Yasmin

Yasmin is a KCL medical student. During her time at college, she was a Scholarship Ambassador, providing younger students with individual support and guidance in relation to their attainment and progression. Yasmin also played an important role mentoring primary school students about the transition to secondary school.

Since progressing from college, Yasmin has been a Student Ambassador for KCL and an InsideMed mentor (using monthly sessions to support year 12-13 students in relation to their applications to study medicine). She also volunteers with StreetDoctors as a Liaison Officer.

Yasmin is particularly looking forward to identifying individual needs and helping students to navigate their way through the application process. Having been a recipient of support in the past, Yasmin is aware of positive impact that mentoring can have, particularly when it comes to overcoming disadvantage.

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Zaynab

Zaynab is studying economics and accounting at City University. She volunteers as a Student Representative on open days, providing support to prospective students and their parents/guardians, in relation to university application processes.

Zaynab is the first person in her family to attend university and is looking forward to playing a key role in increasing opportunities for others. She feels that support and confidence are crucial components when it comes to progression to HE.