Lily is a former Brighton Aldridge Community Academy student.

“Business and Enterprise were built into the curriculum when I was at the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy. You might think those things only relevant for people looking to start their own companies but that’s not the case. I’m in my third year at Imperial College London, studying medicine, and the Aldridge ethos has helped me navigate the huge gap I found between school and university. You go there with big aspirations, but you need the perseverance and determination to push on through with them; to take knock-backs and meet challenges head on. You learn that at an Aldridge school.

I want to use my skills in the future to help struggling communities. There’s a team of us at Imperial working with a Nepalese NGO to help raise funds to build schools and improve conditions for local women. I was there last summer, teaching first aid. It’s incredible to have the chance not just to identify the problems, but to help address some of them.

That wasn’t the first time I’ve had such an opportunity: Aldridge schools encourage learning outside the classroom both locally and abroad, and in Year 10 I applied to go to Mumbai to see some different educational models in practice, including an orphanage that helped kids learn through sport. To go
on the trip, you had to produce something that showcased the Aldridge entrepreneurial attributes, so I photo-documented all my voluntary work with Oxfam and Girlguiding! The trip itself was incredibly motivating; I came home and redoubled my efforts at revision!

My mum’s always told me you have to rely on yourself: if you’ve the Aldridge Attributes drilled into you, then you can do just that.”