As a first-generation university student, I’ve always placed great value on the opportunity that my education has given me, and the ways in which it prepared me to launch into the world. At 16, I visited Oxford as part of the UNIQ Summer School, and since then I’ve done everything I can to provide similar opportunities to young adults and students from families where university isn’t the norm.
Below are a number of educational outreach initiatives that I have been involved with. Though I have now left Oxford, I remain a member of the The Oxford Early Career Academic Outreach Network – and I’m always looking for new opportunities to get involved in University Outreach.
The Brilliant Club-DC
The Brilliant Club is the UK’s largest educational outreach program. It is an award-winning charity that exists to widen access to highly-selective universities for pupils from under-represented groups. They recruit, train and place doctoral and postdoctoral researchers in non-selective state schools across the UK. Along with Dr. Tania Nguyen, I am working towards adapting The Brilliant Club’s outreach model to best meet the needs of the USA’s underserved communities.
Keble College Tutorial Enrichment Project
Keble is piloting a programme through which current early career academics and DPhil students are sent to non-selective maintained sector Regional Outreach schools to hold tutorial style sessions with small groups of pupils throughout the year of Lower Sixth. In 2014 I worked as the Humanities tutor at Birmingham’s Bishop Challoner Catholic College. The program continues today.
The Pathways Programme is an initiative coordinated by the Colleges of the University of Oxford, with support from the Sutton Trust. The programme aims to provide information, advice and guidance on higher education and Oxford to academically able students, and staff members, in non-selective state schools with little history of student progression to Oxford. I have provided academic taster sessions at these events, which I have blogged about here.
The Knowledge Project
An education social enterprise running academic courses for adults in the Oxford area. Volunteer teachers give eight-week courses at affordable prices, with all proceeds donated to the children’s education charity Jacari. I taught an “Introduction to Shakespeare” course for The Knowledge Project in 2014.
Medieval Storytelling: Engaging the Next Generation is an AHRC-funded collaborative skills development programme based in Oxford. The aim of this project is to train UK research postgraduates and Early Career Researchers in the art of storytelling. As part of this initiative I have developed a story of “Joan the Witch” adapted from Shakespeare’s 1 Henry VI to be told to primary school children as part of the programme’s Oxfordshire outreach.