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Sterling proud to provide higher education scholarships

From the official Chelsea FC website:

Raheem Sterling is continuing to promote social mobility through the work of his charitable foundation and explained why he is delighted to be providing scholarships at prestigious universities for young people from under-represented communities.

The Chelsea forward created the Raheem Sterling Foundation to be a force for change and take action on causes which are close to his heart, with a focus on educating, empowering and inspiring young people to achieve their full potential.

Working primarily in London, Manchester and the Jamaican capital Kingston, the Raheem Sterling Foundation’s work has included partnering with Talksport and the National Portrait Gallery to create career opportunities in the media and arts, promoting literacy by providing free books to children, helping to fund a community kitchen and providing university scholarships for students from black, Caribbean and African backgrounds.

‘My ambition stems from my own experiences as a child and understanding that opportunity was limited in the area I grew up,’ said Sterling. ‘It can be very difficult to see anything beyond what’s on your own doorstep and I wanted to show young people that there is a big world out there where your talent can be maximised.

‘A lot of these young people just need to be given a chance. I needed an opportunity, and that came through football, and mentorship, which was as important as my talent.

 

Sterling hopes to provide more opportunities for young people through his Foundation
Sterling hopes to provide more opportunities for young people through his Foundation

 

‘My children are now in a much more privileged position and I want to make sure that all children start life at the same spot, given the tools to thrive in whatever they choose to do. Opportunity should not be exclusive to the area in which you grew up.’

The project providing young students with financial support and mentorship through scholarships to attend King’s College London and the University of Manchester is particularly high on Sterling’s mind at the moment, as the deadline for applications to receive the 14 scholarships available from his Foundation in 2024 approaches on Thursday 30 May.

The scholarships cover tuition fees, accommodation and other essential costs, and are open to all students of black, African and Caribbean heritage from socio-economically under-represented backgrounds in Greater London and Greater Manchester, aiming to increase social mobility.

Raheem explained how his decision to start providing the scholarships last year was a direct response to statistics showing that only 8.5 per cent of undergraduate entrants in the UK are black, and seeing the early success of the programme has only underlined the importance of supporting equal access to higher education.

‘It’s actually really nice to see some of what I envisioned come to life now. I wanted to structure the Foundation in a way that we could react to need, and not be too rigid, as life and circumstances can change so quickly. Just look at Covid.

 

Sterling meets research fellow Michael Bankole and senior lecturer Sam DeCanio from King's College London
Sterling meets research fellow Michael Bankole and senior lecturer Sam DeCanio from King’s College London

 

‘The focus is to provide opportunity to those who wouldn’t otherwise have it, going into minority and underserved communities and opening eyes to new experiences. We know from the data that very few minority students are applying for university because they can’t financially support themselves.

‘I want to help maximise that talent by taking away the worry, creating an environment where they can thrive and go on to achieve their goals. Outside of funding the scholarships, the Foundation offers mentoring support throughout the term, meaning the recipients always have somewhere to turn should the experience become overwhelming or challenging.

‘We’re there for them every step of the way. We are setting them up for success, and I’m very proud of that.’

Applications for King’s College London scholarships from the Raheem Sterling Foundation starting in September 2024 are open to students from black, Caribbean or African backgrounds in Greater London until Thursday 30 May. If you are interested, you can get more information, find out if you are eligible and submit an application here.


 

 

 

 


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