Stephen Lawrence Day 2022 – A Legacy of Change

Today, 22nd April 2022, is the fifth Stephen Lawrence Day, since its introduction following the tireless advocacy of his parents, Neville Lawrence and Baroness Doreen Lawrence.

As a young person who was recently introduced to the details of the murder of Stephen Lawrence, it saddens me that when I Google searched his name the first few articles that popped up reduced him to a mere statistic – a black teenager who was murdered in a racist attack. It is obvious that he was so much more than that.

I think a lot of the time when recounting those who lost their lives in terrible circumstances, we tend to gloss over who they were as people and the lives they lived. After a while, we stop seeing those involved as individual innocents and merely another example of the extent of the institutionalised racism in the country. It pains me to see people be reduced to being another case to add to the long list of names of those killed in racial atrocities.  

Stephen Lawrence was an 18-year-old boy who lived in Eltham in South London. He had dreams and aspirations of becoming an architect. These were stopped in their tracks.  This Stephen Lawrence Day, I want to recall who Stephen Lawrence was, as a son, a brother, a cousin, a friend and most importantly a fellow man. I want to think about how, if he was not murdered, he would have achieved his dreams of being an architect.

Let us celebrate the life he did live, and the many accomplishments that his mother, Baroness Lawrence, has completed since that fateful day.  Like how she successfully campaigned for police reform and the elimination of double jeopardy (the principle that stopped suspects from being tried twice for the same crime). After founding the Stephen Lawrence Trust and opening the £10 million Stephen Lawrence Centre, in 2018 she achieved the ultimate goal of convincing the Prime Minister to introduce a day every year to commemorate the life of her son. The strength of Baroness Doreen Lawrence is extremely admirable and makes you ponder how much Stephen would have also achieved if he was alive today. 

Instead of this day being full of sorrow, I would like to instead celebrate Stephen Lawrence’s life and look forward to the impact his family’s legacy will have on future generations, on my generation and on me.

Moyin Babalola AMOS Bursary Progressive

#SLDay22 #StephenLawrenceDay #BecauseOfStephen #LegacyOfChange #LiveYourBestLife

Happy International Women’s Day

Our AMOS Bursary Sister Circle began in 2021 with the first female cohort. We are privileged to be a part of an inspirational network of black women from the AMOS Bursary staff, associates, committee members, supporters and donors whose aim is to build us up to be the leaders of tomorrow.

As young black women, this incredible support system helps address and challenge all and any limiting beliefs and strives to empower us to be the best that we can be. Some of our discussions have included issues such as:

  • The importance of female friendships and how to cultivate them
  • Being confident in our abilities and building our self-esteem
  • How to speak our minds and stay firm in our convictions
  • Confident and success in male-dominated environments
  • Maintaining our mental wellbeing
  • The fight against over-sexualisation
  • Helping people see that we can be both energetic and smart
  • How to deal with the barriers we face in society
  • Demystifying university life
  • Recognising the gaslighting of career vs. children
  • Debunking the stereotypes attached to women in the workplace
  • Articulating what it means to be a young black woman in today’s society and how that affects our life choices
  • Getting us excited about what lies ahead in the future

This International Women’s day for us is dedicated to celebrating the empowering exchange of ideas, encouragement, and motivation within our sisterhood.

The AMOS Sister Circle, we will #BreakTheBias

AMOS Bursary Virtual Open Day – Wed 8th Dec 2021

So you’ve heard that The AMOS Bursary offers great opportunities but you have questions… we’re here to help! 

Sign up for our virtual open day this Wednesday 8th December 2021. You can come after school from 3.30pm or tell your teachers and get them to register the whole class or year group for 9.30am. 

This is a one hour session where AMOS staff and students will be available to tell you more about what it is like to be a part of the AMOS Bursary family and how you can join us.

Register your place now at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/211112492147 and find out how to build a foundation for your future!

 

#amosbursary

#shapingfutures

#amosopenday

Student Applications Now Open!

We want to attract, develop, mentor and support the next generation of ambitious young people.

You will participate in unique opportunities, experiences and leadership programmes to develop your social and commercial skills. You will have access to outstanding mentors, older students, graduates and our growing spectrum of corporate and higher education partners.

We are looking for young people who:

– Are hardworking and committed to making the most of every opportunity, from year 12, through to graduation;

– Have achieved at least 6 grade 9–6 at GCSE level;

– Are predicted A-level grades A*–C and planning to go to university or apply for a higher apprenticeship;

– Meet our application selection criteria

If this is you, don’t delay, apply now at www.amosbursary.org.uk/students and build a foundation for your future!

 

#amosbursary

#shapingfutures

Giovanni Wins Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2021

AMOS Scholar, Giovanni Rose, has beaten over 6,000 young writers to become a top 15 winner of the coveted Poetry Society Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2021.

Giovanni who is part of our 2021 cohort wrote the powerful ‘Welcome to Tottenham’ to give a voice to his experiences growing up in the North London area.

The 17 year old states that his hope is that one day he can play a part in developing his community, getting rid of all of the negative things that he spoke about in his poem and make Tottenham a better place.

Read the full award-winning poem https://poetrysociety.org.uk/poems/welcome-to-tottenham

Watch Giovanni perform the Poem during his BBC London Interview https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-london-59263238

 

Unilever summer study programme

The Amos Bursary had the pleasure of partaking in a three-week, six session, virtual program, led by Unilever, geared towards understanding more about the FMCG market, the different functions within Unilever itself and a few sessions oriented around improving employability, self-development and wellbeing in the workplace.

One session allowed an in depth look into the departments at Unilever and how they operate. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions to gauge a team they’d suit best.

“I especially enjoyed learning about how Unilever is navigating the environmental impact of its products. The programme has definitely deepened my interest in entering the FMCG industry.” – Kojo Osei Kofi (2018 cohort)

“Unilever gave us advice on how to also improve our soft skills in the workplace, with sessions catering to improve health and wellbeing, as well as personality types and feedback. The experience was truly beneficial and every session was just a window (of opportunity) to learn something new!” – Samuel Olajugba (2019 cohort)

My personal takeaways come from the final three sessions, learning to analyse the components of my personality and better adapt my workstyle, understanding the correct environment to give constructive feedback and to better tailor my CV to the role I apply for.

Ayo Olubode, University of Warwick

FIRST CLASS SUCCESS FOR AMOS BURSARY STUDENTS – 2020

It has been another incredible year for The Amos Bursary (AB) with 100% of students  achieving a first or upper second class degree, of which 50% achieved a first class honours degree and one student qualified as a medical doctor.

At a time when Government figures show serious disparities in academic attainment between white and black students, with only 56 per cent of black students achieving a First or 2:1, compared to 80 per cent of their white peers* the impact of the Bursary in nurturing talent and  promoting excellence, has never been clearer. Nationally, the percentage of students achieving a first class honours in 2018/19 was 28%.

Amos Bursary graduating students have secured places on graduate schemes at Barings and Barclays,  one is already practicing at a London Hospital, two are currently on internships with Goldman Sachs and Tech Consultancy Sparta Global and three  students will  spend the next year working on their startups, before taking up graduate positions in 2021.

Currently Black male graduates in London are nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts and their are concerns that this figure will rise given the challenges to the economy of the coronavirus pandemic.

Colleen Amos OBE, and CEO/Founder of the Amos Bursary  said “This is truly outstanding.  I am proud of the achievements of our graduates, young men who have demonstrated that the Amos Bursary approach works and should be supported. Through a targeted approach focused on skills development, supportive mentorship and networking we have not only narrowed the attainment gap at university, we have surpassed it and opened up employment opportunities on graduation. “

Our young men  have worked hard giving up their weekends and  holidays to participate in the  five-year programme. Our focus is on aspiration and talent aimed at addressing and overcoming the discrimination and inequality they face on a daily basis. We encourage them to grasp the   opportunities  while they are at university and  expect them to continue to contribute to the Bursary and the wider society as they grow and develop. Sharing their knowledge and experience with younger students is a key element of our approach.  They are leaders and role models to younger students, members of AB committees, and facilitators on our personal and professional  development programmes. Their success is well deserved.”

Stratford To Harvard

Isaiah Wellington Lynn, who was brought up in a lone parent family in east London, graduated this summer and has now been selected from 31,000 applicants to be one of just 140 interns on a prestigious Silicon Valley scheme aimed at creating tech entrepreneurs of the future.

He was forced to crowdfund the fees for the elite and highly-selective year-long Harvard visiting undergraduate programme after a charity scholarship fell through last summer when he was in the second year of his anthropology degree at University College London (UCL).

After an intensive four-month selection process to win the place at Harvard, he refused to accept defeat and set up a website, #StratfordtoHarvard, and YouTube channel. He raised the £65,000 in a month from 700 donors across the UK, USA, Spain, Canada, Jamaica and Uganda.