Role : Aimhigher Ambassador and Aimhigher Associate Ambassador (2009 - 2011)
Being an Aimhigher ambassador was instrumental in nurturing my passion for supporting young people to take more active and empowering steps for their future prosperity. In this role, I helped them to realise their aspirations as part of the 'Widening Participation' programme by disseminating a good understanding of progression options and information sources regarding FE, HE and the workplace. I worked in a variety of school settings around Northamptonshire and at the Univeristy with groups of primary and secondary students in educational and extra-curricular activities, and facilitated workshops which aimed to enhance students' understanding and interest in HE. I was also responsible for data input and report generation on 'AHEM Eval', the bespoke Aimhigher monitoring and evaluating database software which was critical in honing my data analysis skills. The Child Protection and Safeguarding training that I received also came in useful for my later research in educational settings. As an Aimhigher Ambassador, I was also responsible for the social, pastoral and academic support of a group of 8 young people aged between 15 to 18 years on a 2 week residential course; facilitating academic sessions, team building, problem-based activities. In my other role as an Aimhigher Associate Ambassador, I worked in groups and 1:1 settings with young people in schools, empowering them to appreciate the value of continuing their education to Level 4 and beyond; enabling understanding of their own barriers to learning and/or progression to HE; helping to build self-esteem. I was also involved in E-Mentoring students using MentorNet software to support the 1:1 meetings. A noteable achievement for me was successfully mentoring a certified blind student over a two year period to inspire and enable his onward progress to College.