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What S4S has taught me

Written by Lucy, our programme co-ordinator

I think it is probably safe to say that the past few years have been somewhat of a strange experience for everybody – for myself, it’s definitely been a period of change and new experiences!

One of the new experiences I have been privileged to undertake has been a new role in Students4Students, a project co-ordinator for the Durham branch. A (now-graduated) Durham student, I have volunteered with S4S for 3 years, initially as a recruitment officer for the Durham branch, and then as the recruitment lead for the charity, a role I still do and enjoy very much! The project co-ordinator role, however, was not only new to me but to S4S as a whole, and is thanks to a grant we received from September 2022, allowing for somebody to work a couple a days a week for S4S.

I’ve tried to maximise my role as much as I can – a lot of it has been focused on recruitment, and I am so excited for the new academic year and the fantastic new (and returning!) committee members at our 3 branches, as well as a new branch in York, where I am currently working on recruitment. The role has also allowed me to engage with S4S on a much deeper level than I have before, with my increased time to focus on my S4S work. Alongside Alex I have worked on how we train tutors and committee members, how we adjust our approaches to running S4S, and, with all the amazing national exec members, created a great timeline and plan for the next 2 years of the charity.

Above all, though, I think my time with S4S has enabled me learn some amazing skills and discover some cool things about myself!

Graduating in the midst of Covid and being unsure of my place in the world was difficult, but by working with S4S, and closely focusing on and researching educational inequality, and the role young people can play, I have realised that this is something hugely important to me, and my project co-ordinator role has involved a lot of duties I have really enjoyed and want to continue. I have also just learnt a lot about communication, strategizing, and team management, and I’m now using the skills I’ve learnt in an education internship in Washington DC, where I’m helping co-ordinate lots of different schools, organising different forms of communication with different people, and writing articles for a children’s magazine!

S4S also helped inspire my decision to enrol in a Master’s course in Social Justice and Education – hopefully this is a field I will get to work in for a long time, and that I will get to continue making an impact even in a small way.

My time working with Students4Students has really shaped my interests and made me realise that I enjoy working with children and focusing on supporting them achieve their potential. I know it’s this kind of work that I would like to be doing in the future.

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