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Meet the Raleigh SES Bursary Winners Embarking on Summer Expeditions

Raleigh welcomes bursary Venturers onto summer Expeditions

This summer Raleigh International is proud to welcome 5 young people onto Raleigh Expeditions through the Raleigh SES Bursary Award. Through financial support from Raleigh Alumni and Raleigh International, these 5 young people are joining a fully-funded Expedition in either South Africa or Costa Rica, where they will take part in meaningful projects whilst gaining important skills and experience for their future ventures.

These 5 young Venturers are the first of 15 young adults who will be funded to join Raleigh Expedition through the SES Raleigh Explorer Award over the next three years. We are proud to be breaking down barriers to open the door to Expeditions for even more young people.

As they prepare to start their Expeditions this June, we want you to meet and get to know these impressive young people!

Paris, 19

a close up photo of Estrella

Paris, from North London, is driven by her passion to support those less fortunate and vulnerable in society, something she has down since childhood while assisting her deaf mother. Additionally, she has contributed to her community through an outreach project called Chrysalis East, which focuses on education and enrichment opportunities for children in the local community. She has not travelled far before and is excited to undertake an Expedition to immerse into new cultures and diverse ways of life.

What does joining a Raleigh Expedition mean to you? 

“It means a great deal to me to be joining the Raleigh Expedition. Coming from a less privileged background, it serves as a reminder that our circumstances should never limit our aspirations and potential experiences. If there is an opportunity, you should go for it and don’t let anything hold you back.”

What are you most looking forward to on your Expedition? 

“I am most looking forward to creating meaningful bonds and connecting with the people I meet within the local community and the fellow Venturers”.

Austin, 19

a photo of Austin

Austin, from Greenwich, is a recent care leaver. Having recently been employed in an NHS role, Austin is currently researching new job opportunities and university courses. At a crossroads, he hopes that his Expedition experience will help him to decide which direction to take his career.

What does it mean to you to be joining a Raleigh Expedition?

“For me this Raleigh Expedition is one of the hardest but most proud challenges I have ever come across. After applying for this SES Award, I did not believe I would even get an interview, so finding out I had got an interview and being successful made me realise that other people could see special qualities within me.

“As a care leaver there is a lot of time you are ignored for the true qualities you have within yourself and you get boxed into this small percentage, one not many people come out from in a positive way. I have put in years of work within myself and it really feels like it has all started to pay off in ways I never even thought were possible! I really cannot thank Raleigh International enough for having this SES award as it gives people like me a great opportunity that I never thought was possible.”

What are you looking forward to most on your Expedition?

“I am most looking forward to meeting people from all different walks of life and getting to know and adapt to them all. On top of this it will be my first time in Africa so there will be a lot of new experiences. Seeing beautiful wildlife and animals to me is one of the most important things, a lot of people forget how beautiful the world is and we have to appreciate it whilst it’s all here.

“On top of this this is an opportunity for me to give back to the less fortunate as coming from a first world country a lot of things get taken for granted such as education, access to clean water and healthcare. These are all things I wish to improve in a disadvantaged place, something I can do with Raleigh International.

Melika, 24

a close up photo of Melika

Melika, from London is a care-leaver, she approaches this opportunity with profound enthusiasm, having been deeply moved by the transformative influence of Raleigh International. She witnessed first-hand the life-changing impact of a Raleigh Expedition from her older brother, who journeyed to Borneo with Raleigh in 2015. Since sadly losing her brother to suicide, this has added a poignant layer of significance to participating in a Raleigh Expedition for Melika. Currently pursuing a master’s degree in real estate, she endeavours to synthesise her expertise in this field with her fervent commitment to sustainability, all the while honouring her brother’s memory through impactful endeavours.

What does it mean to you to be joining a Raleigh Expedition?  

“Joining a Raleigh Expedition is an incredible opportunity that holds profound significance for me. As someone who has long dreamed of participating in such a venture, the chance to embark on this Expedition feels nothing short of phenomenal. I understand the profound impact it will have on me, offering unparalleled personal growth, cultural immersion, and the chance to make a tangible difference in communities.”

What are you looking forward to most on your Expedition?

“On my Expedition, I am eagerly anticipating the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on an international scale. I am also excited to push myself out of my comfort zone. My passion for sustainability aligns perfectly with the mission of Raleigh, and I am excited to contribute to projects that support local indigenous communities. The prospect of working alongside like-minded individuals to create positive change is truly inspiring, and I cannot wait to dive into this transformative experience during the summer of 2024”.

Estrella, 22

a photo of Paris

Estrella, from Peru, who has lived in the UK for 12 years. She is a young carer who lives with her sister, mum and dog. She is particularly passionate about volunteering within a local community and is keen to continue volunteering upon her return to the UK. She has received support from the Renaissance Foundation. She is also looking for ways to use her studies in the biomedical sciences to benefit others in her future career.

What does it mean to be joining the Raleigh Expedition?

“Joining a Raleigh Expedition is a personal commitment for me. It’s about finding a sense of belonging in a community of like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations. I care about my contribution to environmental and community change in South Africa, and I’m excited to embark on this journey with other Venturers involved.”

What are you most looking forward to?

“I look forward to learning from diverse people on this trip and supporting each other through new experiences. I am also looking forward to more personal self-discovery. Additionally, I am thrilled to immerse myself in the local culture, meet new people, and witness wild animals in their natural habitats. Animals have been a passion of mine since childhood, and I am most excited to see my favourite animal – the lion.”

 

The SES Raleigh Explorer Award will run for the next three years and will fund 15 young adults from less socio-economically advantaged backgrounds to join a Raleigh Expedition. We are proud to be breaking down barriers to open the door to Expeditions for even more young people.

Read more about the SES Raleigh Explorer Award and stay tuned to see how our Venturers get on during their summer Expeditions.

Need more information about Expedition?

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Join an online info event

Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.