Read the testimonials below to hear how the IntoUniversity programme has impacted on the lives of these children and young people.
Anna, a student at IntoUniversity Haringey North, was supported in her journey to Higher Education by Rob Line, the former Centre Leader at Haringey. Here, she talks about the advice and encouragement he was able to give her.
'I was introduced to IntoUniversity through my school. At first, a few members of IntoUniversity came to help me and other students at my school with writing personal statements as well as choosing universities.
By the time you get to sixth form, you have to make a really difficult decision and answer one of the hardest questions – “what do I want to do in the future?” I always knew I wanted to study Medicine, but I didn’t have enough confidence to pursue my career. The careers advisor at my school got me in touch directly with one of the members of staff at IntoUniversity, Robert, who has been my mentor ever since.
I did not know what to do as I wasn’t sure I would get into Medicine with my grades. Before I knew it, Robert had answers to all of my questions. He researched possible universities that I could apply to, and not only did he guide me through the UCAS process, but also other things such as UKCAT that I had to prepare for. Robert was there every single time I needed help, even during summer holidays I could always email him and he would always reply ASAP. The most difficult part was writing a personal statement, but again it was Robert who was there ready to help.
I am now going to study Medicine at the University of Southampton – I can’t wait to start! Honestly, if I didn’t get all the help from my mentor I do not think I would be in the same situation. He always helped me to solve any problems that I had and continued to build my confidence. I can never thank him enough.'
Charles, a student from IntoUniversity Hackney South, and James, a Deutsche Bank volunteer, were matched together on IntoUniversity’s Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme in 2011. Charles and James get on fantastically and met frequently at the Hackney South centre to receive on-to-one support advice about many different aspects of university and Charles’ plans for the future; the pair also went on an IntoUniversity residential trip to Cambridge in the summer of 2011.
James was able to offer Charles invaluable advice on university and college life, and provided support with structuring his revision when it came to exams. Charles achieved the results he needed and began studying Law at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge in September, 2011. James continued to support him with regard to settling into college and managing his workload, and the pair continued to meet when Charles was in London.
Even though they finished the scheme in September 2012, James and Charles still meet up once a term when Charles is back in London and speak regularly via phone, text and email. Charles has also met with students on the 2012 scheme, and we are thrilled that James hopes to volunteer again this year.
'James has been a massive help to me! He's given me such great advice and has really helped me to settle into the previously unknown world of university life.
Without him, I don't know where I would be in life. When he came into my life, it was like a light switch being flipped in a dark room. He's even taken his time out to talk to me about future careers and has given me tons of advice on applications to investment banks for spring programmes. I honestly think that he has changed my life.’
Rebecca is in Year 9 and attends a secondary school in the borough of Haringey. Nobody from her family has ever attended university.
“I have been coming to Academic Support at IntoUniversity Haringey North since the centre opened. I was told about it by my school and I decided to come to get help with my homework. It is a quieter environment than at home and there are more books and resources.
As a reward for coming to Academic Support I was matched with a mentor last year. My mentor, Clare, studied Medicine. She was very friendly and we did activities such as cooking together and chatting about my future. We also made a board game about the steps that you can take to go to university. It was great because she let me know a lot more information about university - it opened my eyes to all the opportunities open to me.
In the summer term I took part in the Careers in FOCUS programme and I learnt about different jobs that I could do. I went to some amazing workshops run by professionals including a lawyer, sports manager and graphic designer. I am very sporty so I also got help to research careers in sport and through this I decided that I would like to become a physiotherapist.
During the summer I took part in a Sports Science FOCUS Week at IntoUniversity. We did sports activities such as football and archery, and visited Brunel University to see the campus and to have a graduation. It was fun to see what you can do and it was good because one of the student ambassadors was studying physiotherapy so I found out about the different things within the course. I want to go to university now, possibly even Brunel University!
I love meeting new people at IntoUniversity and I have got much better at working with others as well as working independently. If I didn’t come to IntoUniversity I would just do nothing after I finish my homework, but here I get extra work to keep me occupied. I am looking forward to meeting my new mentor next week and am excited about what the future holds.”
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