Transcript: Undergraduate financial support at the University of Leeds

Transcript for the video embedded on the page What is Access to Leeds?

(Noami Maher in the Brotherton Room, a reading room full of rare books and manuscripts, in the Brotherton Library.) 

Noami: I grew up in foster care and I moved around to lots of different families. So I never really had the support of going to University. 

(Noami walking across campus at the University of Leeds.) 

Noami: Coming from my kind of background, it's very difficult to know where you are going to get money from. I don’t necessarily feel comfortable calling up my last foster parents and saying "Oh, could you wire me a bit of money?" like my other friends possibly could do with their parents. 

(Noami enters the large, circular reading room of the Brotherton Library.) 

Noami: Access to Leeds is a scheme run for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. From that I was then given the Pathways to Potential scholarship. For me the scholarship was just really important financially.  

My scholarship has opened other doors for me. I did a first year internship in Germany and I wouldn’t have funds to pick the flights to get out there and to organise all of that sort of stuff, if I didn't have my scholarships. It's been very important for me. 

(Noami takes a book from one of the shelves in the library and browses the pages.) 

Noami: Last year I did a Year in Industry, but the difference with my Year in Industry compared to normal ones was that I did mine in Germany. I worked for an accounting firm. I improved my German a lot and I made some really great friends and started to build a network there. 

It felt great to be getting that kind of experience, particularly because the company I worked for is one of the big four accounting firms. To me it just felt like worlds away from where I started and I just felt so grateful every day to be there.  

(Noami presents to an audience in front of a PowerPoint projection of a map.) 

Noami: I've been offered a graduate job at the same company. That's kind of been like a kickstarter for my career in Germany. 

I don’t think I would be where I am today without my scholarships. I think it's really helped me to stay focused and it's really helped me stay motivated and it's just really given me the confidence. 

It's kind of knowing that somebody out there believes in me and trusts that I am working hard. So I’m just really trying to throw myself in there and give Leeds everything I have, just like Leeds has given to me.