I first heard about Compass at a presentation at the University of Sydney, where I am a lecturer in Medical Radiation Sciences. I grew up in a socioeconomically disadvantaged area in England that didn’t place a lot of emphasis on higher education opportunities. When I was in year nine I was selected to participate in a ‘Future Women Scientists’ event at Imperial University. The taste of university I got through the workshops was what encouraged me to become one of only five students from my school who went to university.
I have seen the limited opportunities available to friends from my area who were not encouraged in the way I was, and strongly feel that kids should be given opportunities to experience university during their school years. Volunteering with Compass is the perfect way for me to help make that happen.
Being involved with Compass has also allowed me to have a different experience within the University aside from teaching, and to convey my life experience to the students as well as developing connections within the community. My time at Compass has been really good fun and I have been supported by staff through my experience. A highlight for me has definitely been facilitating the Global Hand Washing Day, where the enthusiasm of the kids throughout the activities shone through. I really enjoyed volunteering at the Smith Family Experience Day as well, where it was wonderful to see how engaged the kids were and what intelligent questions they were asking.
I have also formed a fantastic connection with a student I tutor at the Homework Club. It’s rewarding to feel that she is getting a lot out of the experience, and to watch her try harder in class. Seeing her so eager to show me her improved marks has made my Compass experience feel worthwhile.