Last April, when a group of undergraduate offer-holders came to Wolfson to take a look around, Mithiran Ravindran and Leanne Gayle struck up a conversation. Like most of our undergraduates, both Mithi and Leanne had been out of the education system for a few years, working and exploring different possibilities for their future careers. Now they both had offers to study at Wolfson, Leanne in HSPS and Mithi in Education. Whilst they were exploring the College, Leanne told Mithi about a scholarship she had heard about and urged him to apply.
The scholarship in question was from an organisation called The Black Heart Foundation. Founded by American Ric Lewis, named "Britain's most powerful black person" in 2018, the Foundation was launched in 1998 and has since given dozens of scholarships to young people of mainly African, Caribbean or Asian heritage.
Leanne heard about the Foundation on a podcast and sent in her application with a 1,200 essay outlining her academic goals. Mithi followed suit, and now both are here with the help of £10,000 over the three years of their course.
Leanne was familiar with Wolfson before she applied, as she had been at sixth-form college with Wolfson alumni Ibrahim 'Ibz' Mohammed in Hackney. The two had kept in touch and she had come up to visit Ibz at Wolfson and attend formal hall. Leanne spent two years as an apprentice at the BBC, primarily working in news and politics. Mithi had begun studying at another university but wasn't happy there so took some time out, working in hospitality and as an actor for a theatre in education charity. Now he's doing the Education, Policy and International Development track at the Faculty of Education. Both are planning to participate in extra curricular activities: Leanne possibly writing a column for Varsity and Mithi in theatre.
Congratulations to Leanne and Mithi, and welcome to Wolfson!