My name is Fiona Asiedu and I am currently in the final year of my undergraduate degree in Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. I have been offered a place on a Master’s course in Human Development and Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education, due to begin this August.
What does ‘SW2Harvard’ mean?
I am from Tulse Hill which is in South London and has the postcode ‘SW2’ and Harvard is my destination … hence SW 2 Harvard!
What is Human Development and Psychology and why do I want to do this course?
Human Development and Psychology is the study of psychological development and how this can be improved across one’s lifespan as well as across different cultures.
I am particularly interested in psychological development of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds, specifically ethnic minorities and those from working class backgrounds. Within the U.K., these groups face many social adversities, ranging from, marginalisation, to stereotypes, to inequality in education and employment. All of which negatively impact psychological development, leading to low confidence and motivation, low aspirations and mental health issues.
Studying Human Development and Psychology will equip me with the knowledge and skills necessary to generate effective interventions, particularly targeted at young people, to uphold healthy psychological development within this community.
In the future, I would also like to go into research concerning how psychological development of young people from socially disadvantaged and ethnic backgrounds can be implemented within education, for example, how the cultural relevance of education and the curriculum can be used for empowerment. I hope that this research will go on to shape British Education Policy.
What will I do with the money?
- The estimated cost of my 9 months at Harvard is £59,000 (including tuition, health, rent & utilities, books & supplies, transportation and personal expenses).
- Thankfully, after many scholarship applications, I have been granted an external scholarship as well as financial aid from Harvard Graduate School of Education, along with family contribution. I have £12,000 left to source in the next 4 WEEKS.
- Due to my ineligibility to the Professional and Career Development loan within the U.K. and my inability to work during my time at Harvard, as I will be on a student visa, raising these funds will be extremely difficult on my own.
Any donations that you can give, big or small, will be greatly appreciated.
Make sure you LIKE, FOLLOW and SHARE the campaign social media pages:
USE THE HASHTAG: #SW2Harvard
Here you’ll be regularly updated with the campaign and the amount of money raised so far!
As a young black woman, from an inner city, working class background, this is such an amazing opportunity. Ultimately, I believe that this will encourage young people from similar backgrounds to aspire for greatness and reach their full potential! I really do hope that I am able to make my vision into a reality WITH YOUR HELP!
Thank you in advance for your time and generosity,
5 Fun facts about Fiona
I am a British born Ghanaian with a love for all things Ghanaian from the music, to the attire, the culture and the food.
Prior to Oxford, I attended a State Comphrensive school in South West London called La Retraite RC Girls School 11-18. I hadn’t known of many people who had attended Oxford University and the whole thing seemed so out of reach that it wasn’t in the picture for me. At the end of my 1st year at 6th form, I was (very vigorously) encouraged to apply for Oxford. My initial thoughts on Oxford were:
- ‘people like me do not go to Oxford, I will feel uncomfortable and will not enjoy myself’
- ‘I am definitely not Oxford Smart’
- ‘Where will I do my hair?’
I can say now that I do not regret it and if I had to make the decision again, I would choose Oxford for a 2nd time. I have been able to meet many different kinds of people that I would never have met had I not come to Oxford. There are also more extra-curricular activities and opportunities than you can imagine. I have really grown both in my academic ability and as a person generally. But most importantly, I can get a coach ticket for £1.50 to travel back to London (which takes 1.5 hours or 59 minutes on the train) to do my hair ;)
I am a huge music lover – some of my favourite genres include; Afrobeats, RnB, Hip hop, and Gospel. Basically, anything that has a good beat or anything with outstanding singing. I also love the theatre (especially musicals) and had the opportunity to be in the theatre production of ‘Anything Goes’ in October 2016 in Oxford Playhouse.
I have a passion for motivating and inspiring the younger generation. As a black woman from a working class, state school educated background at the University of Oxford, I believe that it is my responsibility to empower individuals who come from a similar background as me. I want those who see my current position as unattainable to be able to realise their full potential and to aspire for the very best. I often go back to my former secondary school/6th form to run workshops giving tips and advice on how to excel in GCSE’s and A-Level’s as well as assisting A-level students with university applications. Throughout my time at university, I have been thoroughly involved in the University of Oxford’s African and Caribbean society, of which I was Vice President in 2015/16. I enjoyed working on the ACS’ excellent access and outreach schemes run for students from Year 9 - Year 12/13 from African/Caribbean descent.
I believe that good eyebrows are very important for success. Hit me up for the contact details of an eyebrow connoisseur, situated in South West London ;)