Seyi is a recent graduate of the London School of Economics and she’s on a journey to reform state education. She hopes that writing about education and overcoming structural barriers will empower and inspire people.
I am a first-generation British-Nigerian from a socio-economically depressed area in East London. Due to a limited choice of good schools in the neighbourhood at that time, I attended an average girl’s secondary school, from which I was excluded three times but still did alright, academically. Out of anger, a lack of identity and the acceptance of myths reinforced by my society, I mixed with the wrong crowd. The combination of having narrowly passed my GCSE mock exams, attending a youth group at my local church and my teacher sitting me down for a harsh reality check, brought about a turn-around in my life. It finally hit me! I did not want to be a statistic, fulfilling the low expectations others had of me.
My lifestyle changed: I started studying harder and I also became involved in my community. I am now a graduate from LSE with a 2:1 in Social Policy. I have consulted for LOCOG, worked at the Department for Education, Teach First and for the European Youth Forum in Brussels. I now help people like me: people with aspirations and energy who are constantly told to settle for less.
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