Changing lives through scholarships

(c) David Pratt

Third-year student Steph Tucker describes how her Futures Scholarship has supported her through the pandemic and inspired her career prospects.

When I found out I was a recipient of the Futures Scholarship I was over the moon. It was such a big relief. It confirmed to me that Bristol was the place I was supposed to be. I’m a Pharmacology student, and about a month after the pandemic hit, COVID-19 was on the syllabus. It’s been fascinating to study something so relevant to the wider world.

Last year the café I worked at closed because of the pandemic and I lost my job. The funding from the Futures Scholarship helped pay my rent over the summer and enabled me to put down a deposit on a house for my second year of university. During a really scary time, this support was invaluable because it took a lot of pressure off and made me feel in control of my finances.

This year, I’ve had regular meetings with Laura, the Futures Scholarship Coordinator. She has been so available – I just send her an email and she will make time for us to speak that week. It’s been very reassuring to have her look at my CVs and job applications.

I’ve recently used some of my scholarship employability funding to do an online internship with Bright Network, who connect graduates with employers. We were introduced to different organisations to find out what employers are looking for from graduates. It was so useful to hear that you don’t have to do the same profession forever. To learn from other people’s experiences and know that you can do different things further down the road was inspiring.

Thanks to the internship, I applied for a two-week teaching placement at Bristol City College to help prepare science lessons and observe classes, to see if teaching is something I want to pursue. I also started a part-time job with the University of Bristol’s Careers Service in September, working in employer engagement. This placement and new job opportunity have already been helpful in allowing me to branch out and try something different. I am so grateful for the Futures Scholarship as it has given me the financial security and confidence I needed to explore my career options.

**Our newest scholarship programme This September, our first cohort of Black Bristol Scholars began studying at the University. The programme, which was created to improve the representation of Black students at Bristol, will offer 26 Black Futures Scholarships to undergraduate students. It will also fund scholarships for postgraduate students, PGCEs, Black Humanities master’s students and Opportunity Bristol studentships. We’re so grateful to alumni and friends like you, who have committed an incredible £750,000 to make this programme a reality.

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