Elsa’s Voice

Elsa’s Voice

Country: UK

Being a student from care, the first generation to go to University and coming from a low participating area, going to University felt like an impossible task.

I had never considered Higher Education before as none of my family or friends had been, I simply thought that it wasn’t a place for someone like me. But, after discovering my passion and talent for Law, I knew that I wanted to go to university to fulfill my dream of becoming a Lawyer.

As the end of year 12 neared, I attended a pre- law course run by solicitors and barristers and completed some work experience in Criminal Courts. This further confirmed my passion for law and being around legal professionals gave me the determination to succeed like they had. With my head firmly set on studying Law, I looked at the league tables and started booking open days for different Universities in London. I attended a few open days, but I finally came to Brunel’s open day, during which I knew Brunel would be the one for me.  Being a campus‐based University, everything I needed was around me, my halls of  residence, places to work, places to study and also extras like shops, a doctors and multiple  eating outlets. I knew this would be the place where I would be able to become independent but also have support readily accessible to me and be a part of the campus community.

After exceeding my grades needed for Brunel, I felt full of excitement to start my new life, but I was also anxious that I didn’t belong at University. My main concerns were that of finances and support. Thankfully, the Widening Participation team helped me with both of these concerns. I was able to benefit from the services provided through financial and emotional support, but I also made friends with people who had been through similar experiences to me, which made me feel less alone and more belonging. I also obtained a scholarship bursary from Brunel for obtaining A*’s at A‐level and became a Widening participation student ambassador which allowed me to develop key skills and benefit financially.

Since arriving at Brunel shortly after my 18th birthday I have transformed as a person, both personally and professionally. In my first year I enjoyed my course and relished in the legal opportunities available, made new friendships that will continue far into the future and became a student ambassador. In my second year, I was able to further my legal knowledge through various work experiences at Law firms, both paid and voluntary. I was able to immerse myself in the campus community by involving myself in volunteering opportunities, language classes and continue my paid work, also picking up another job at the campus bar.  In my third and final year, I have had the amazing opportunity to continue my volunteering work off‐campus and abroad, recently having volunteered for a week in Athens as part of the Brunel Law Refugee Project, focusing on Human Rights.

When I graduate, I hope to continue into post‐graduate education by completing my LPC and securing a training contract to become a solicitor. Past this, I also hope to complete a PHD in law so that I can make real change in the legal world, something that I would never have dreamt of before. Going to University has opened my mind to an array of possibilities for the future and built me and my self‐confidence to pursue these and make them a reality.