Bright Stratford student’s Harvard crowdfunding bid
PUBLISHED: 15:31 31 May 2017 | UPDATED: 14:39 01 June 2017
A talented student is hoping to swap Stratford for Harvard – but needs to raise £64,000 to get there.
Isaiah Wellington-Lynn, 22, has launched a crowdfunding page “as a last resort” after previously promised funding fell through.
“I’m studying anthropology at UCL, and part of that is that you can spend the third year studying abroad,” he said.
“I’ve always wanted to study in the US and Harvard and Columbia were on my radar as I’ve played basketball for England and I was aware of them through that.”
Isaiah, who went to Guardian Angels Primary School in Mile End then to St Edward’s in Romford, explained that he initially faced difficulty in pursuing his dream as UCL did not have links with Harvard.
But after doing his own research, he came across Harvard’s visiting undergraduate student programme, which is offered to students from around the world.
He had to complete a rigorous application process lasting two months, including submitting four academic references and examples of his work.
“I was promised funding from a charity, but a few days before I got my letter, they contacted me to say they wouldn’t be able to because of funding issues on their part,” he said.
“I spent about two weeks, while I was on exams, calling and emailing lots of organisations trying to secure funding.”
He has already raised £8,000 – but that is still a long way short of his £64,000 target, which he needs to meet by Saturday, June 17.
Isaiah’s course, anthropology – or the study of humans – is broad, but he has already decided what modules he plans to take if he achieves his American dream.
“When I get to Harvard I want to look at mental health stigma,” he said.
“I know people with different issues and it can be quite isolating at times.
“I want to look at how techonolgy can be used to help people.”
Isaiah, who also mentors young people, is keen to use his story to show others that they too can aim high.
“I want to show through this whole experience that you shouldn’t be restricted in what you can achieve because of your background,” he said.
“I’m a student from inner city London, and it’s an incredible opportunity.”
To donate towards Isaiah’s campaign, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/stratfordtoharvard
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.