Upgrade Yourself Celebration Evening 2017

On Monday 26 June, Coin Street neighbourhood centre hosted an inspirational awards ceremony celebrating young people, volunteers and their achievements; Upgrade Yourself Celebration Evening 2017.

Upgrade Yourself is a programme delivered by Coin Street and SE1 United that supports young people with their studies and advice about their future choices. And despite launching in 2008 as ‘Homework Club’, this was Upgrade Yourself’s first celebration evening. With laughter, talent and excitement in the air, we caught up with both tutors and tutees, programme coordinators and parents to discuss the importance of Upgrade Yourself, and why SE1’s young people are on the path to greatness:

Etienne Phillips, former GCSE science tutee, currently completing his A Levels:

“A year ago I received support from a tutor at Upgrade Yourself who specialised in science and I really enjoyed it. I loved the idea of getting peer-to-peer tuition because I felt less intimidated asking for help from people my own age. When I started, I was predicted to fail my sciences… I left with two Bs. My goal now is to become a tutor and give back to my community.”

Etienne Phillips

Shounde, Sessional Worker at SE1 United and Upgrage Yourself:

“Young people from SE1 aren’t just talented, they are extremely proactive as has been proven this evening. If they’ve got an idea or want to launch a project, they won’t stop until they get it done and they’re not scared to ask for help along the way. I have loved seeing everyone come together tonight and recognising the successes of young people, that’s such a big deal in itself. When I grew up, the focus on young people was generally quite negative; they’re turning that on its head.”

Shounde (centre) presenting an award

Adebola Showmimo, SE1 resident, launched ‘Homework Club’ (now Upgrade Yourself) in 2008, studied International Politics at Kings’ College, now works as a policy advisor for the civil service:

“I started the programme because I was struggling to study at home, my mum was driving me mad! I wanted a safe space where like-minded young people could get together and revise locally, and Homework Club was born. It’s crazy to see how it has grown; I am so proud of the young people using the service today, and the volunteers. Without a shadow of a doubt, Upgrade Yourself got me where I am today.”

Adebola (right) with the winner of the Special Volunteer Recognition Award, Chenaara

List of winners:

Tutee of the Year: JHNELLE LEEĀ 

Outstanding achievement and improved performance: DEVONTE SACKITEY

Continued excellence, consistency and commitment of the year: SAMUEL EDUN OLUSESI

Most improved academic: SANKOFA BRISCOE WARNER

Best moment of the year: JOSHUA GRANT (smoothie making competition)

Special tutee recognition: SANKOFA BRISCOE WARNER

Volunteer of the year: JESSICA GODDEN

Enriching student experience (volunteer): JASPER GREEN

Most innovative volunteer: WILLIAM ASHTON

Most enthusiastic volunteer: PHILIP PFEFFER

Continued excellence, consistency and commitment of the year (volunteer): ZAHARA SULAIMAN

Outstanding achievement and improved performance: ALEX GREEN

Special volunteer recognition: CHENAARA EDGEHILL-PEARL

With thanks to Peabody for providing a grant towards the event and our volunteers and funders from Gate One LTD and Westminster School.

Please get in touch with Dan on d.gibbs@coinstreet.org if you would like to hear more about Coin Street’s summer programme, which kicks off this July.

See the Facebook album below:

An evening to celebrate volunteers, young people and their achievements during the Upgrade Yourself programme

Posted by Coin Street Community Builders on Tuesday, 27 June 2017