Managed by Inspire!, Linklaters’ Realising Aspirations programme (formerly Learn for Work) aims to realise aspirations and raise achievement in Hackney, giving young people access to their facilities, and, more importantly, their people, who share their skills and experiences with the next generation.
Salimah, a Year 13 student at Linklaters’ partner school, Clapton Girls’ Academy (CGA), has been offered a place at Oxford University to study French and Arabic in September. Salimah told us how her experience of the Realising Aspirations programme helped her to achieve this.
During your time at Clapton Girls’ Academy, what projects have you taken part in through the Realising Aspirations programme?
I have been participating in debating through The Noisy Classroom at CGA since Year 9, representing the school in lots of competitions including international debates in Slovenia and Germany! Since Year 10 I’ve had a Mentoring Works tutor, Nicholas Edwards, who I’ve kept in touch with. I’ve received French tutoring through The Access Project for the last two years and have also recently qualified for a History tutor too! I’ve also taken part in Inspire! career days – including a really interesting one at Linklaters last year.
What have been some of the benefits of these projects?
Debating has been really helpful. It’s helped me with presenting, putting arguments across, confidence and structuring essays. The Inspire! careers days have also been really useful. The work experience role play we watched during a Getting PAID day gave a step-by-step guide into applying for jobs. Last year I had work experience (again, through Inspire!) at Mediorite doing journalism for 2 weeks. This was really good and I think I would like to go into journalism in the future.
Do you think the programme has succeeded in raising your aspirations?
Yes, even by just coming to the building! It’s nice to see people in their working environment and it has inspired me to work somewhere like this. I visit Linklaters very often – sometimes almost weekly! Lots of my friends also take part in Realising Aspirations projects and everyone loves coming here.
Do you think the Realising Aspirations programme has helped you academically?
Debating has definitely helped me – teachers have commented that my essay structure has improved a lot. It also helps with writing clear arguments in exams. My Mentoring Works mentor helped me with time management and creating revision timetables. The Access Project has directly improved my French – especially my spoken French.
Do you think your experiences on the programme will help you with your future career plans?
I hope so! It has definitely enabled me to get a lot of advice about different industries.
To find out more about Inspire!’s management of Realising Aspirations, and how we can support your company’s CSR strategy, please get in touch.