Students supported by philanthropy: Mollie Georgiou
Psychology undergraduate and Reuben Scholar Mollie Georgiou (Queens' 2016) tells us about how philanthropy made her ambition to study at Cambridge a reality.
"I am the first in my family to go to university, and the recipient of a Reuben Scholarship. I am also the first person from my high school to go to Cambridge. I went to an ordinary comprehensive, and not long after I started there, we had a new head teacher. He was very inspirational: keen for us all to do well. He led the other teachers — who were great too — in encouraging all the students to find our dreams and follow them.
The Sutton Trust supported me in attending a summer school at Cambridge in before I did my A-levels. It was the first time I visited Cambridge and I found the magnificence and the beauty of the buildings awe-inspiring. I was nervous, but I met a number of other school students from ordinary backgrounds at that summer school, which was brilliant because I saw that we had the potential to be accepted, and that we had the capacity to belong and to thrive here. I also met some undergraduates already at Cambridge who were very helpful, and also not so different from me.
I discovered I loved psychology, so I knew what I wanted to study, and where. I was supported by fantastic teachers who helped me with the forms and talked me through mock interviews. I was so thrilled when I received notice of my place here, and I think my parents could not have been more proud. They had always taught me to believe in the power of education, and they absolutely believed I could do it. They were worried though, about their ability to support me through it.
It was nerve-wracking starting my first term, but I was secure in the knowledge that I didn’t have to worry about my living expenses, as my scholarship covers all of that, and also goes so far as to pay for extra-curricular activities. That’s very important, because it means I can really belong here. I don’t have to miss out on things like sport or attending my College May Ball because I don’t have the money.
I love being at Cambridge. I love the study and the thrill of being among the other students, having amazing conversations, learning from the very best in their fields, and attending an institution that is so very much bigger than the sum of its parts. I’m so grateful to my parents, to the dedicated teachers I had at school, and to the Sutton Trust and the Reuben Foundation for making possible what would have seemed like a pipe dream when I started secondary school, if I’d even thought of Cambridge at all."