April 16, 2018 | Simon Jenkins
IntoUniversity has had a remarkable impact on inner city Leeds. To watch the centres at work and to see children captivated by learning, completely justifies the faith placed in them by those supporters whose passion for helping disadvantaged young people made this investment possible.
Mum Naoise Redman-Poku says that attending the East Leeds centre has made a huge difference to her three children – and has helped her eldest daughter Aysha to achieve a place at university. “IntoUniversity shows these kids that they really can succeed,” she says.
“Parents can tell their children what University is like, but IntoUniversity can actually show them. They give them a graduation ceremony in little caps and gowns and make them feel so special. No parent could provide that experience.”
And seeing her children succeed has inspired Naoise herself to further her education, and she is now nearing completion of a professional studies course in the Lifelong Learning Centre at Leeds. “It is one of the best decisions I have ever made,” she says. “I really enjoyed school but as an undiagnosed dyslexic student, I struggled to learn in the way the teaching was delivered,” she says. “I love being a student and thrive on the constant buzz of learning new topics.
“Now that I am at university, I get the help and support I did not get at school and I am doing very well. I am now looking forward to my future, with further studies and employment.”