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Paula, Kea and Mayo

As a mother who wants nothing but the best for her children, I was happy to take the platform with my daughter Kea Bell who is studying Music for Films & Television and Mayo Adetujoye who is studying Economics, both at university. Both attended Withington Girls’ School (WGS). Our conversation was based on the real life experiences of the girls attending an Independent School, sharing their experiences of the education system from a black perspective. I was happy to share my experience of using the Bursary Fund.

I was unexpectedly left without an income after injuries working as a nurse for the NHS. This enabled me to receive benefits. It was a pleasure sharing the sense of relief, support, and encouragement I received from the school. I was able to show my gratitude by sharing my story encouraging parents to apply for a bursary and not to feel guilty. At WGS, 1 in 6 girls receive a bursary right up to 100%. Applications are simple and are based on your financial circumstances.

What having a bursary meant to me and what it can mean to your child:

Having the bursary meant that I always felt encouraged, even in moments of self-doubt which developed a driven mentality in me. I knew that whatever I chose to do, I had confidence in myself that I could build the necessary skills.

WGS is all about self-belief, I felt safe, cushioned and invested in. This in turn was a great influence on my mind. There was also a sense of belonging, you feel like others are looking out for you and watching you positively, waiting for you to thrive. I have learnt at an early age that not everyone gets the opportunity to thrive and develop to their full potential. In my opinion, I feel that it’s important to put young black kids in environments like these where they are open to the world of high achievers and high achieving parents. By doing this children get a sense of what it takes to be successful in life in whatever way they want to quantify success.

Kea Bell

My mum received 100% bursary in my last 2 years of school and this helped with instrumental lessons and paid towards school trips such as going to Paris. At WGS opportunities like these are open to everyone, and these are opportunities that they want everyone to have access to, not just the wealthier children.

Having a bursary is not just about receiving financial support, when you understand that people are investing in you, giving you an opportunity to thrive and succeed in life, you tend to contribute more to the community and fill it with life. This is what I found myself doing.

Having a bursary is totally anonymous, no-one knows who has a bursary in school which is also a great thing, unless you chose to be a Bursary Ambassador like me.

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