‘Empowering through communication, inspiring through education.’ This is the ethos behind Lauriston Lights, an educational charity targeting high-achieving children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Run entirely by under-25s, the organisation aims not only to teach its young students vital skills they have not yet encountered but also to demonstrate that learning is something which extends far beyond the classroom.
“It’s about empowering these children, equipping them with the tools to ensure that any ambitions they do have in the future are possible and more likely to be achieved,” Adam Seldon, Lauriston Light’s co-founder tells me. “It’s about finding enjoyable, rewarding, exciting and interesting ways of inspiring kids who have not always been inspired at school.”
Lauriston Lights does this by taking committed students who, in turn, find new ways to connect with the 11 year-olds on a personal basis according to their individual academic and extra-curricular interests. Innovative classes and student-run workshops are key to this, but trips to Oxford and Cambridge as well as mock debates and high-profile speakers are equally pivotal to providing new ways for exceptionally bright children to connect with their education.
“We’re looking for leaders. Each one of our mentors has to be role models, comprising different types of intelligence and, most importantly, passion for what they are doing,” Adam goes on. “Yes, it is fun and it looks fantastic on your CV, but most importantly you are making a difference.”
This clearly holds a certain element of truth. One parent said, “A big benefit was the introduction of many career options that my child wasn’t even aware of. A proper barrister came in and there was a pretend court with judge, jury and barristers. He came home and said, ‘Mum, I think I want to be a barrister!’
With such successes, Lauriston Lights is quickly growing. After just two years, the charity is running two summer camps over the summer, hoping to prove that education can be empowering. Key to this is finding new, dedicated mentors to spend two weeks of their summer in London. It is an experience to engage with students who might not realise their potential or ability to achieve what we, as students, are all taking advantage of.
Lauriston Lights is looking for mentors now, applications close Friday 20th March. For more information on how to get involved, click here: LauristonLightsBrochure.