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Welcome to my campaign: #StratfordToHarvard
My name is Isaiah Wellington-Lynn and I have just received an offer to spend the third year of my undergraduate degree at Harvard starting this August. I will also have the opportunity to take courses at a range of the Harvard graduate schools and MIT. In the next 5-10 years, I aspire to address the lack of diversity in tech and ultimately manage my own Venture Capital firm with a specific focus on social impact investing. I also aspire to set up my own foundation to offer full scholarships and grants to support students from overlooked backgrounds, those with limited resources, but limitless potential.
Some of my academic pursuits include computer science, medical anthropology and how mental health affects different demographics. One area I would like to explore is how we can use technology to overcome some of the implications of mental health illness. My initial source of funding from a charity has unexpectedly fallen through and neither UCL nor Harvard offer financial aid for this program; in order to apply for my student visa, I have two weeks to demonstrate that I have sufficient funding to cover the program's fees which Harvard estimates will cost around £64,000 (including tuition, accommodation, living expenses, insurance, travel costs, and Crowdfunder's fees).
- Grew up in a lone parent, reduced income household in deprived inner-city London
- One of the first to go to university in my family
- Second-year undergraduate at UCL where I read anthropology - intercollegiate student at LSE where I read Economic Anthropology
- Anthropology scopes: politics, philosophy, religion, biology, sociology, economics, medicine and even engineering. The premise behind the course is to understand what it means to be human
- Incoming Asset Management Summer Intern @ investment bank
- Amos Bursary UCL Scholar; Lloyds Bank Scholar; GLL Olympic Legacy Foundation Scholar; ThingMonk Diversity Scholar; Powerlist Leadership Foundation delegate
- Represented the national and international basketball teams in the UK and received invitations to compete in elite showcase tournaments and basketball camps in the U.S. for example, Columbia University's Elite Men's camp, '5 Star Basketball Orange Classic', Kenny Smith's UNC - Chapel Hill basketball camp, Nike Basketball Elite Showcase, and Fordham University Jim Couch basketball camp
- Work experience spans: technology startups (Fever, JustPark), investment banks (Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, J.P. Morgan), retail (Hollister Co), a hedge fund (Man Group), corporate law (Freshfields and Norton Rose Fulbright), criminal law (Garden Court Chambers and Tooks Chambers), medicine (the Royal London Hospital) and academia (Columbia University and NYU)
- UCL Venture Capital Executive - co-invest seed capital in innovative startups founded by UCL entrepreneurs
- Elected JCR Committee President @ Connaught Hall
- Investment bank UCL Campus Ambassador
- Board Advisor @ Business Launchpad - youth empowerment and entrepreneurship charity
- Hillsong Youth Leader Mentor - responsible for 11-14-year-old boys most of whom come from a similar socioeconomic background
- UCL Basketball First Team Member
- UCL Transition Mentor
- UCL Student Ambassador
- UCL Anthropology Ambassador
- UCL Institute of Making artist
- London Zoo Fellow
Sometimes we are told that we cannot achieve an aspiration or that our aspirations are too high. We are told that due to our ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, class, or disability, our dream is unachievable. No. What is important, as far as I am concerned, is not how our background can limit us, but rather how our background can propel us to our destination. Coming from a humble income, lone parent family, growing up in inner-city London could have stopped me reaching some of my aspirations. But, it has not. Instead, it has motivated me to explore just how far I can go with limited resources. I have come this far, and I still have a way to go.
I grew up in Stratford, East London, and I will be going to Harvard
Thank you so much for your support.
Please donate whatever you can
Every donation will receive a special thank you note
At Harvard, I will be joining the VUS (Visiting Undergraduate Student) Class of 2018, a one-year rigorous program offered to a small select group of undergraduates from around the world.
I am expectant for the year ahead. In addition to what I mentioned above regarding computer science and medical anthropology, I am also interested in everything else Harvard and MIT have to offer. Ultimately, I aspire to pursue a career in Venture Capital with a specific focus on social impact investing.
Outside of Academia:
In addition to my academic pursuits at Harvard, this opportunity is important to me because people from my demographic rarely have the financial resources or societal expectations to realise their potential. My offer from Harvard serves as a tangible reminder that we may have limited resources, but we have unlimited potential.
Some of my passions include basketball and mentoring. I have been playing basketball since I was very young and I have been fortunate to represent the national and international basketball teams in the U.K. and compete in elite basketball showcase camps in the U.S.
I have also been mentoring students with learning difficulties since I was 16, and I currently mentor 11-14-year-old boys from disadvantaged backgrounds through an enriching program at my church. I have been blessed with a mother who has continuously nurtured my talent, so I find it incredibly inspiring to offer support to those who may otherwise not receive the encouragement to reach their potential. Social mobility is very important to me.
I am where I am because of those who invested in me. In the future, I aspire to set up my own foundation to offer full scholarships and grants to support students from overlooked backgrounds, those with limited resources, but limitless potential. I am also keen to talk in schools and educational events.
On my way to a lecture at the beginning of the academic term:
Speaking at a large event about the importance of my faith and how it has helped me to remain composed throughout various challenges. My faith and relationship with God offer unwavering hope:
Raising money for Bone Cancer Research Trust with my work colleagues at Hollister:
Preparing for a presentation at the Common Purpose Global Leadership Conference at the University of Oxford:
Competing in the international Les Parisiennes basketball tournament at Sciences Po, in Paris placing 2nd:
London University Schools League Cup Champions:
Speaking on the panel at the UCL Economics and Finance Society:
Launching the Alumni Network at my Hall of Residence with a tech startup:
Celebrating some of my friends who were selected as the most influential future leaders in the U.K:
Learning from one of my key mentors, Peewee Kirkland, in NYC