Meet some of the successful applicants who were awarded with the Study4Success accommodation scholarship over the past three years
Ana Branco – Middlesex University
“Having had the chance to be given this scholarship meant I had a place where I could revise quietly without many distractions and concentrate on my studies, in order to have achieved this result. The scholarship provided me with a place to stay during my exam period, and a chance to have a break at the same time. If it wasn’t for this scholarship I would have never been able to discover such great friends and be able to follow the path that I’ve been dreaming about, to become a successful and reliable Veterinary Nurse.
Thank you for everyone who made it possible and allowed me to have this opportunity, it has been a pleasure and a great help.”
Sean Torrence – University of Brighton
“My motivation to apply for this scholarship was that I felt I had the qualities needed and the determination to make a difference. I felt this scholarship would give me a platform to share my experiences and aspirations with the intention of motivating young people.
When I won this scholarship I was speechless, it was a very emotional moment. I didn’t do community work for money or reward, I worked with children and families because I wanted to help. Being able to bring happiness to someone and being rewarded with a smile motivates me. All I want to do is give back to the community in the same way I was supported and encouraged by others.
The award benefits me in many ways, I will use the extra money to buy books and equipment to better my grades and ease the financial pressure on my family. I am running voluntary sports coaching in the summer in communities across Kent & London so will purchase some new equipment.”
Edmond Daramy-Williams – Imperial College
Edmond studying MSc Sustainable Energy Futures at Imperial College won the scholarship this year. Not only did Edmond receive one year’s rent free accommodation at Wood Green Hall, he was also offered a volunteering opportunity at the Optivo offices. We caught up with Edmond who shared with us:
“I was very fortunate to have been offered a volunteering opportunity that was closely linked to what I was studying: a Volunteer Environmental Assistant in the Environmental team. Here, I collected information about recycling and sustainable travel options for a set of local authorities; done with a view to produce a set of leaflets for residents that would help them to make more sustainable choices. Some of the work was pretty challenging – large Excel spreadsheets are rarely easy to get along with – but this experience represented a two-fold blessing. The accommodation scholarship provided a huge source of relief and allowed me to give greater focus on my studies, while the volunteering improved my skill set and enhanced my sense of commercial awareness; I had a better sense not only of what my strengths were, but of what weaknesses needed to be improved. Being in this working environment will allow me to plan with an eye much more open to how I could match myself to employers in the future.”
Helen Solomon – Middlesex University
Helen was just one recipient of last year’s Study4Success scholarship. Helen, who is starting her second year at Middlesex University this year, shares with us how the award made a difference to her life.
“Having this scholarship has helped so much, allowing me to have such a great experience, meet new people, get fully involved in my degree and be more focused and independent than I would have been if I were living at home.
I have learnt so much about life, though it can all feel quite surreal! I certainly did some growing up; being more myself and more independent. I’ve also been able to explore different learning techniques and understand more about the way I learn best and what is most effective. For instance, I tried studying in the library for a while and soon realised that I work well at home, on my own, as I’m free to go at my own pace, ask questions and to think things through – it has been lovely having my own space and freedom! Living so close to university has also been useful because I’m able to get involved at the various events.
The scholarship also freed up some of my time to do community and volunteering work. So far, I have been able to take part in volunteering days, tutor a 7 year old student in mathematics and gain experience as a University Student Learning Assistant by supporting those studying maths as part of their degree.
I am also a Student Ambassador and in this role I take part in mathematics school visits and outreach events. The visits require me to support school and college students ages 16-18 to complete mathematics tasks and activities.
It’s so great to have received this award, perhaps as though it has meant to be. It has certainly made a difference and helped me so much during my first year at university. This entire year at university has been an experience and receiving this scholarship has been a great part of it. I am grateful to Optivo for making this whole experience possible for me, I’m not sure how things would have been without it.”
Morella Francis – Middlesex University
“My first year of university seems to be really flying by; it’s crazy to think where the last three months have gone. I’ve been working so hard but at the same time having so much fun and enjoying life in London that I guess there’s only so much excitement you can fit into the days.
“University is really working me hard but I’ve always loved a challenge. I always knew there would be expenses but I’m glad that my mind had been able to be at ease for this year. “I was able to go on a brilliant fashion trip to Berlin with my class in January, knowing that I had the money there thanks to the Study4Success scholarship.
“The student halls are great – I absolutely love the friends I’ve made here, and they literally feel like my second family. I know there’s always someone I can run to for any little thing.
“It’s true what they say too, there’s always something going on in halls. It’s like a constant buzz of excitement, whether it’s just a small social gathering of friends in someone’s flat or just hanging out in the TV room playing pool, battling each other on the wii or watching TV.
“I’ve found it so easy to settle and make friends here, I really will miss the student halls life and all the support I’ve had this year. I feel it’s really preparing me for my life next year and teaching me some important life values such as responsibility, independence and lifelong friendships.”
Yasmin Brenya – Middlesex University
“I saw the award advertised on the Middlesex University website and with the encouragement of my mum, I filled out the application and wrote my personal statement. Middlesex University and Optivo took care of the rest!
Staying in Optivo accommodation helped me massively because of the commute – it would take about two hours to travel from my home to campus using public transport. I come from a single-parent family and because I didn’t have to commute, my first year of university was much more affordable. I have even managed to save enough to buy a car so I can drive to University in the future.
Living so close to campus I could go to the library whenever I wanted to, for example after a meal I could go over with friends. I also think that living on campus helped me to make friends. I come from West London and haven’t met anyone from the same area, I have however met people from different areas who I never would have met had I not stayed on campus.
I always felt really safe in Optivo accommodation. To access the building you need a special card which was good because no one could come in after you without a card. There were also security guards around, particularly at night time. The facilities were good and the kitchen was also clean and tidy – the cleaners did a great job! At the end of the year Optivo organised a party in the grounds out front with a BBQ, music and ice cream!
Thank you Optivo for supporting me!”