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Enterprising student sets up education charity

Hayley Carr, from Hackney in East London, attended both state and private schools before coming to York.

“I am from two very different worlds that need to be bridged; that I believe can be bridged. The first is that of my home in Hackney and the primary state school I went to across the road, Lauriston. The second is that of my private secondary school I attended on a scholarship, City of London School for Girls. There is equal potential in both yet I saw in my latter education there was often a strong inspirational, mobilised ethos that taught me what it means to become ambitious, confident, and a vocal leader.”

Lauriston Lights
Lauriston Lights, a two week summer camp for high achieving 11 year olds from low socio-economic backgrounds, was born out a desire to bridge this gap, inspiring and encouraging high academic standards for bright children from areas with historically low levels of academic achievement.

Hayley says: “The inspiration behind Lauriston Lights is largely a personal one, and along with my co-founders Jessica Clark Jones, Adam Seldon and Joel Fenster, we saw great untapped potential in using university students to achieve our aim. The summer camp focuses on developing key character strengths such as grit and curiosity, encourages critical thinking and offers individual mentoring to inspire aspirational thinking.

Using innovative teaching tools such as the SAPERE-certified 'Philosophy for Children’, which involves debating and communication workshops designed by university students, we hope to build a sustainable model that university students can replicate across the UK, building a network willing to be part of our mission.”

In addition to establishing a charity, life at York has provided the ‘perfect place’ in which to study.

Hayley says: “I like small, intimate environments and this is exactly what York has provided as a campus university. My most important memories include moving into my second year house for the first time, organising RAG events such as 'Mr and Mrs. Derwent’, ‘Derwent's Got Talent’ and a fundraiser for Lauriston Lights, Derwent’s Summer Soiree, a formal 1920's themed fashion show. Ultimately, some of my most important memories are the small moments I have shared with close friends who I will know for life.”

Hayley will go straight from graduating into TeachFirst training. She says: “I will be a primary school teacher in a new free school called School 21, teaching Year 2. My plan is to teach and develop Lauriston Lights summer camps in Newham and potentially other boroughs in London.”

Hayley graduated with a First class BA in Politics and International Relations on Friday 18 July.