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A Spotlight on Universify Education

In May 2020, when the world was going to pot, I decided to fill my – painfully large amount of – free time with some volunteering. I was browsing through opportunities on the universities career site when I came across Universify Education. I had never heard of them before, but the role description intrigued me.  

Universify is a charity committed to educational equality. They aim to raise aspirations, overcome the misconceptions that state-school children are not destined for university, and raise the attainment of year 10 students in the UK. As someone passionate about education, this is an opportunity I just had to grab, and I am so glad I did. In non-Covid times, the year of volunteering would include two residential trips to Oxford or Cambridge and monthly coaching sessions with 2 or 3 students.  

Within the organisation, you can volunteer as a coach, a group leader or a course director. Coaches accompany students on activities, help to run group work and coach their students throughout the year. Group leaders are responsible for around 20 students during residentials and work closely with their own team of coaches to ensure students have the best time possible. Group leaders are also coaches to their own students. Course directors oversee the smooth running of the course, making sure excursions, activities and group work are all organised and delivered successfully. 

My time volunteering with Universify has been different to usual in that we had to be completely online. Even so, I have had such an amazing time during both the online course and meeting online with my students each month to catch up with them. Supporting students through their schooling, working with them on goals they have created for themselves and watching them flourish is a privilege. There is nothing more wholesome than witnessing a young person grow in confidence over time and seeing them proud of themselves when they start to fulfil their potential.  

If you are someone passionate about education or allowing young people in disadvantaged backgrounds to have better opportunities, I would more than recommend volunteering with Universify. This course is majorly beneficial to the students it helps and is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever taken part in.  

Applications are open now and can be found here: https://www.universifyeducation.com/volunteer  

Masters student at the University of Aberdeen!
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