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Inspirational, empowering, and supportive are three of the common adjectives used by the students to describe our programme.

Rewarding, satisfying, and enriching are words used by our mentors to describe their involvement and contribution to our initiative.

For over 10 years, African & Caribbean Diversity’s Mentoring and Enrichment Programme has been raising the academic attainment and the career prospects of African and Caribbean youth by bringing together volunteer mentors from city-based companies, largely from the financial and legal sector, and 14 to 18 year old black British young people from London's state schools.

Since 2003, we have had around 250 students come through our programme and have gone on to be very successful personally, academically, and professionally. ACD has actively contributed to narrowing the gap in the educational achievements of black British youth within Government statistics.

97% of ACD students continued into post-16 education;

71% gained admission to universities, with 27% going to the Top 30 universities. A

ACD has alumni present at the top 20 universities listed in The Sunday Times University

League Table.

ACD Alumni take up leadership positions at university, either in the Student Union or the

university’s African Caribbean society or organizing outreach activities or events such as TEDx.

ACD Alumni normally take a gap year giving back to the community by becoming assistant

teachers or arranging information and motivational workshops sharing experiences.

95% attained the Government's benchmark of 5 GCSE passes, including English and maths.

ACD aims to improve the academic and career prospects of pupils identified by their schools as having

academic potential, but who largely come from households that face inter-generational economic

and social exclusion, as a result of poverty.


2 | P a g e In our programme, Year 9 pupils are recruited through their schools and supported in their academic and personal development throughout the four years of their schooling with:

A corporate mentor;

Two residential Summer Schools (one at the start of the programme and one mid-way through the programme);

Workshops–geared towards academic, personal, and professional development Career days; and

Cultural visits to London museums and other arts and science activities.

This highly intensive programme involves a yearly minimum of 10 workshops by ACD and 20 mentoring sessions, on average, with corporate mentors.

Students are equipped with the information and tools they need to:

Make choices in relation to GCSE and A-level subjects;

Understand the examination results required to gain entry to universities;

Understand how university choices can improve their career opportunities;

Positively develop and promote themselves;

Primarily enhance and improve their career potential within commercial organisations.

Our programme is delivered with the support of staff from our corporate partners and other experienced business professionals.


Since 2003, we have had students come through our mentoring and enrichment programme from the following Southwark schools:

Bacon’s College

Harris Academy Bermondsey (Alwyn Girls School) Harris Academy Peckham

Kingsdale Foundation School Harris Girls’ Academy East Dulwich Notre Dame RC Girls’ Secondary School Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Secondary School

The Charter School St. Joseph’s College

St. Saviour’s and St. Olave’s Church of England School

Walworth Academy



Due to our relationship with key corporate sponsors in the City, ACD students have the opportunity to apply for junior internships at these firms. They include:

1 month paid internship at Citi in the month of August 1 week work experience at Withers


in the Spring

1 week work experience at the Bank of England in the Spring

These internships and work experiences have often led to student gaining either longer internships, or short-term, and sometimes long-term employment at these firms.

As most of our mentors are from the corporate world, they often have access to internships and work experiences for students that ACD staff may not be aware of or not have access to in order to help students apply. Thus, many of our students apply and gain internships and work experiences at firms across London and even in Europe in the fields of finance, law, architecture, and medicine through their mentors.



“I can choose to be greater than I expected”

~Seth, ACD 2013 Student

“When I go back to school, I would like to increase my contributions made in class. To do this, I need to force myself to do more presentations and things in class until I get to a high enough level of confidence where I no longer need to force myself.”

~Danielle, ACD 2013 Student

“Now I need to not be the one following, but being the one my friends are following”

~Deshane, ACD 2013 Student



“As I reflect over the last four years, all I can say is ACD helped build my character. Being part of the scheme is like having a second family, where Brenda, the chief executive, is your mother and the students and mentors are your brothers and sisters. Your family's job is to be your backbone, to help you and guide you through life. This is exactly what ACD is about.

There is a world out there where many people like myself are not exposed to -a world of success, where failure is not an option. ACD takes young African and Caribbean students from state schools and allows them to experience this world, encouraging us to work hard and become a part of these communities.

Through the help of ACD, I have been educated and taught so much about who I am, my history and culture as a person of colour in Great Britain and the world, and about my personality.

It means a lot to have that extra support and help from people who genuinely care about your goals.

With the help of ACD, I have been privileged enough to be part of internships at Citigroup and work experiences with Withers


just to name a few.

I am currently studying A-Levels and because of the support from ACD, I can say I'm aiming to attend some of the best Universities not only in the UK, but also abroad.

The life lessons and experiences that ACD shows helps build the characters of amazing people and I am very grateful to be a part of it all.”

~Aminata Vandy attended St. Saviour’s and St. Olave’s Church of England School. She joined ACD in 2009 and will be finishing her A-Levels next year. She hopes to pursue a career in photography or design.

“I learnt not to live up to people’s low expectation.”

~Shamillah Najjuma started ACD’s programme in 2003 and currently works for The Telegraph.

“All of the skills I learned from attending various ACD networking and workshop events helped me to gain a place on the Rolls-Royce placement scheme. The skills you learn by becoming a member of ACD are transferable and can be used throughout your life.”

~Folake Olaitan came to ACD in 2006. She is studying information management and

business studies at Loughborough University has is currently working as a member of

the Design Systems Engineering Programme management team at Rolls-Royce.



"Being part of the ACD programme made me fully aware of the importance of the third sector in narrowing the ever widening gap in life chances in the UK. It is very important to be inspired at a young age as it is a period where we develop ideas about what possible career paths are available to us. Without proper guidance, young people can often find themselves continuing the cycle of

deprivation that they may have been born into. During the programme, I was privileged to meet many top professionals from ethnic minorities. This inspired me to want to pursue even bigger career goals."

~ Olukayode Daniel Oki joined ACD in 2007 while he was a student at Bishop Thomas Grant School. He is currently studying medicine at St. George’s University of London, Medical School.

“It means a lot to have that extra support and help from people who genuinely care about your goals. With the help of ACDiversity, I have been lucky enough to attend a week residential at Cambridge University and to have a mentor. I am currently studying A/S Levels and because of the support from ACDiversity, I can say I'm aiming to attend some of the best Universities not only in the UK, but also abroad, to pursue a career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.”

~Janet Osunsami joined ACD in 2011 from Bridge Academy. She was awarded ACD’s 2013 prize for top GCSE results by a female in 2013.

“ACD has greatly strengthened my character, by boosting my self-confidence/ public speaking skills, but also laying the foundations of my adopted work ethic over the past few years, and for that I am grateful.”

-Dylan Carty joined ACD in 2011 from Chiswick Community School. He was awarded

ACD’s 2013 prize for top GCSE results by a male in 2013 and hopes to one day become a




“Someone once took a chance on me and gave me a helping hand. I would like to pay some of that back.” ~Paul Chapman, Barclays Capital

“The Citi Roots Internship programme which ACD is a benefactor of, is helping to build up an excellent pipeline of ethnic minority talent into Banking.”~ Amir Mushtaq Karimi – Managing Director, Citigroup

“We have worked with ACD for over 6 years. Over this time, we have worked closely on the launch of our mentor scheme, our annual career-dating event and two successful PRIME schemes. Without CEO Brenda King's inspirational attitude and dedication to her role, we wouldn't have achieved high level of participation needed to make all our schemes a success.

The students we have met over the years are bright and ambitious with a lot of potential to take forward into their future careers.”

Jaya Louvre, Recruitment Manager, Withers