KAA students awarded Aldridge Foundation bursaries to support their next steps

by Vashti Turner  on June 28, 2023  in  Academy News

Thirteen deserving young people have been awarded Aldridge Foundation Next Steps Bursaries consisting of financial and other valuable support, including mentoring, internships and coaching, worth a combined value of some £34,000.

The Aldridge Foundation (AF) believes that no young person should be held back from where they come from, but the reality is that even when they have the skills, aspirations and self-belief, young people from low socio-economic communities face barriers that prevent them from achieving their dreams. That’s why AF launched the Next Steps Bursary programme – to help them overcome these barriers, fulfil their potential and believe that anything is possible as they take their next steps into further and higher education, apprenticeships and the world of work. This is the third year KAA students moving onto their next stage of education after GCSE or A Levels have benefited from this support.

The existing financial challenges faced by the young people we work with are being exacerbated by the soaring cost of living, so these bursaries are needed more than ever. These young people need financial help to buy the basics even before they consider loans to address university fees and accommodation deposits. The bursaries mean they can start their university or work life with lower levels of anxiety and can focus on fulfilling their potential. In addition, they often face other barriers such as a lack of local opportunities, or role models and professional networks who can offer guidance as they start making important decisions about their futures.

Shona Nichols, CEO of the Aldridge Foundation says:

Unfortunately, many of the young people we support do not have their own personal and professional networks, so even if they know where they want to get to, they don’t always know how to get there. That’s why, alongside the financial award, a key element of our Next Steps Bursary programme is the additional support – mentoring, workshops, regular check-ins, sharing resources and creating opportunities for self-development, networking and internships – so that young people are better prepared for and equipped with the confidence, resilience and experiences needed to have an equal chance of success in their chosen career.’

‘This year’s Aldridge Next Steps bursary scholars have ambitions in a wide range of fields, from accountancy and graphic design to engineering and politics. They have all attended schools in communities experiencing high levels of poverty and have had to overcome the various challenges associated with this. However, they have demonstrated that they have the focus, drive and strong work ethic to benefit from the bursary and use the bursary programme to help achieve their career goals. We look forward to working with this year’s talented awardees and supporting them on their journeys, as they take their first steps towards achieving their dreams.’

One of our awardees is Samarah, for whom our support will enable her to fulfil her desire to study PPE at Oxford University; she said: ‘I am incredibly grateful to the Aldridge Foundation. The support they have offered me will make such a difference throughout the next three years whether that be relieving financial stress or by opening new doors and opportunities.‘

We are very grateful for the ongoing support provided to KAA students by the Aldridge Foundation through the Next Steps Bursary programme.

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