My name is Kenny and I have the privilege of being an Amos Bursary graduate and a former student. I first joined the Amos Bursary in 2012, when I was 19 years old. I first became aware of the Amos Bursary when I applied for a 3-year tuition-fee scholarship to study a law degree, that the Amos Bursary was offering at a private university called BPP. Since joining, the Amos Bursary has provided me with a peer mentor and a professional mentor to support me with both my professional and personal journey.
They have provided me with regular workshops, masterclasses, conferences and bespoke events to help my personal and professional development. Through the Amos Bursary I have had the chance to meet exceptional leaders, CEOs and decision-makers in various industries. I have loved my experience in the Amos Bursary and my 7 year journey with the Amos Bursary has 100% been a unique and fruitful one.
With the support the Amos Bursary, today I am social entrepreneur and a political/social commentator, regularly appearing on TV and radio channels. I am the co-founder and Managing Director of ClearView Research Ltd, a leading-edge consultancy that specialises in research focused on millennials and social impact evaluation.
I have worked on research projects around the world in countries such as, the United States, Brazil, Austria, Tunisia, Israel, and Hong Kong. I am a governor at a local primary school in Peckham, the area where Jordan Dunkley-Dixon and I grew up in. I am also a trustee of several charities such as: BBC Children in Need, Strength Within In Me Foundation (S.W.I.M), City Gateway and Spark Inside.
I am also on the advisory board of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. I have also been recognised and received several high profile awards. The truth is that I could have never gone on to achieve what I have so far, without strong support networks like the Amos Bursary family. They have invested in my personal and professional development and have helped me to gain the confidence I need to excel in life.
When I think of the Amos Bursary, the one word that really comes to mind for me is ‘opportunity’. As I feel this is exactly what the Amos Bursary has given men like me who are part of it. An opportunity to defy the odds. An opportunity to fulfil our potential. An opportunity to access world-class professionals. An opportunity to build our social capital. An opportunity for us to dream and genuinely believe it is possible. An opportunity for us to get the type of personal and professional investment that they offer in fee- paying schools to students from state schools. The Amos Bursary gave me a real opportunity.
The year before I joined the Amos Bursary, I was on remand in prison for a serious crime that I did not commit but had been charged with. I was subsequently acquitted halfway during the trial in November 2011. During my time in prison on remand awaiting trial, I did my A-Levels in Philosophy, Politics and History in the prison establishment. I was the first person to ever do this. The Amos Bursary team looked past everything, for example the fact that I didn’t have the required grades to join the programme, they were empathic about my situation and they saw my raw talent. They were very understanding and non-judgemental of my situation. Colleen in particular saw my potential and believed in me and gave me a chance. Therefore that year I joined the incoming cohort and I did an access course to be able to gain the grades I needed to gain entry into university.
The Amos Bursary is one of the best kept secrets in our society and they are improving the prospects and lives of men like me on a daily basis, who tend to come from disadvantaged backgrounds. My story is just one of the many men who are indebted for the investment, love and support we receive from the Amos Bursary family.