Asumadu’s Story

Before starting university, I was very excited. I think the opportunity to be independent and take life into my own hands was very appealing to me, which fuelled the excitement. I was also very cautious and focused due to being the very first member of my family to go to university, and also not knowing anyone at the university or city I was going to attend.

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Lauren's Story: Her journey on the Future Quest programme

I went to Bedminster Down School between 2011-2016 and was pleased to participate in two SBY programmes during my time there, notably as a leader on the SBY Youth Board, and as part of the ‘Going Places’ programme (now Future Quest). From school I went to Redcliffe Sixth Form Centre from 2016-2018, and in summer 2021 I graduated from Magdalene College, Cambridge with a 2:1 degree in Education with English, Drama and the Arts. I am now on the KPMG Graduate Scheme as a Trainee Accountant in the Audit department.

Discovering how maths is used in the real world

Mason took part in our first Discover Maths cohort in 2017. At the time Mason was a year 8 student and didn’t know how much maths he would need in his future. We have caught up with Mason to find out what he enjoyed about the programme and his achievements since.

Alesha becomes more self-aware and discovers her strengths

Alesha had a rocky start to the programme. She wouldn’t sit down at the first student meeting and displayed challenging behaviour. We heard from her parent/carer that she was anxious about being out of her comfort zone. Once we knew this, we were able to adapt our response to her behaviour and to reassure her about the programme. We found that she became more open and conversational, and her behaviour improved after each trip. She attended every trip and by the end of the programme she was a very different person.

Sam's story: Insight into Apprenticeships

I visited Bristol Port in 2018/19 and learnt about all the jobs that were available there, including the Level 2 Stevedores Apprenticeship. I would not have known about this opportunity if I hadn’t taken part in the SBY Insight into Apprenticeships programme. Taking part in the programme was very important to me. The public speaking training that was part of the programme really helped me and as a result I was able to do a speech at the programme celebration event in front of my teachers and parents; I was well-chuffed when I did that and received a special award from Nick Venn, the Bristol Port Training Manager! If I hadn’t done the speech training I would not be as confident as I am now, able to speak out in front of crowds.

Ryan's story: Future Quest Programme

I am eternally grateful to have participated in the Future Quest programme during my post-16 journey toward higher education. My Future Quest mentor supported my application to a summer school, provided me with outstanding guidance and advice relating to drafting personal statements and applying for student finance, and supported me in communicating with university tutors and advisors to get the best outcome possible. Future Quest also provided me with the most valuable work experience placements, which allowed me to develop important skills valued by prospective employers, such as time management, leadership, teamwork and communication skills. I was accepted at my first-choice, University of Bristol, to study Religion and Theology in August 2019 and graduated in 2022.

Sam transforms her behaviour and attitude to learning

Sam was always in the isolation room at school, despite being a highly able student. She was easily distracted and avoided applying herself fully to school and learning. During the programme, her attitude began to change and she even began to show leadership qualities. She now listens actively to instructions and to other students, and she makes an effort to give feedback.

Abdul overcomes anxiety and secures a university place

Abdul was an able student but was very anxious, so much so that he had an EHCP (education and healthcare plan). He was keen to become a teacher, but his anxiety had been holding him back – and he didn’t respond to our initial invitations to Future Quest. However, Abdul’s tutor referred him when she heard about the programme through our regular updates to staff at the school.

How the Learning to Lead programme helped boost Ben's self-confidence

Ben is now on his third year of the Learning To Lead programme. On meeting Ben it was immediately evident he needed a boost to his self-confidence. Ben was unable to make eye contact or talk at all on the first meeting but did have a smile on his face when he realised how lucky he was to be chosen.

How Discover Math's helped Alex regain his confidence with the subject

Before starting the Discover Maths programme, Alex had little interest in maths inside the classroom, much less beyond it. Like all participants in Discover Maths, he was chosen because his teachers felt he had real potential in maths but had lost confidence in his mathematical abilities and this had led to some disengagement.