BAME Student Stories

BAME Student Stories

The Students' Union President Augusta Chidinma Nnajiofor believes it is important to share BAME student stories. These stories include students from diverse ethnic backgrounds who have shown interest in sharing their UWE Bristol journey. If you are BAME, please feel free to send your story and photo to sumarketing@uwe.ac.uk.

 

Adeyemi Adedokun

Where are you from?

My name is Adeyemi Adedokun, and I am from Oyo State, Nigeria.

What did you study at UWE/what are you studying? When did you graduate?

I completed the Master's in Public Health in 2020, and I am currently enrolled in a PhD in Public Mental Health programme

What is your positive/success story at UWEBRISTOL?

My experience at UWE has been remarkable. Graduating excellently from the Master's in Public Health was a dream come through for my career aspirations. During my master's programme, I have involved in different extracurricular activities, and my experiences in these roles added up to my fantastic university experience.

Volunteering for the role of Student Union BME Officer gave me an opportunity to meet many students from the BAME community and allowed me to relate with the Student Union Executive team and the University at large.

Also, I was a Public Health PAL leader, a member of the stakeholder team in my department, a member of the UWE research team for the Rockefeller Foundation competition, which made it to the semi-finals, an active member of the student consultation panel at UWE and a semi-finalist for the vice-chancellor’s award for representation at the student experience award 2020. Currently, I am the President of the RCCG Campus Fellowship Society and the UWE Public Health Society's Pioneer President.

Additionally, I am an entrepreneur with so much love for African culture, with few projects attached to my name. I founded Sisi-Ologe Affairs, which got me a space in the UWE enterprise summer scholarship 2020 as one of the scholars as well as a stakeholder Prospermaket.co.uk (An Online African groceries store).

Since starting my PhD programme in January 2021, I have lunched the "Unmute with Docyem", which is a mental health advocacy initiative aimed at improving access to mental health services for students and BAME communities at large

All these roles and experiences at UWE provide me with the opportunity to connect with other students and impact lives. Moreover, my success story at UWE would not be complete without the support I received from my lecturers, professors and fellow students.

What would you advice to your younger self at UWE?

Success depends on how many opportunities are converted into results. Make friends, network with industry experts, engage in extracurricular activities that will add values to you, and lastly, don't be afraid of challenges because challenges are "meals" for champions.

 

Anisa Rafai

My name is Anisa Rafai. 

My nationality is British Asian- indian. I am currently in my final year at UWE studying Computer Science Bsc.

During my time at UWE I have met some great inspirational individuals and had the opportunities to join several organisations and be part of there committee. Such as ISOC ,where I became the charity Week rep for UWE. I also joined the committee for the Pakistan society but unfortunately due to covid- 19 I was unable to fulfill it. I met several great people from different ethnic minorities which made my experience at UWE memorable.

The advice I would give to my younger self would be to enjoy all the opportunities thrown at you and get involved!  

Bassmala Elbushary

I am from Sudan. I study biomedical science (year 1)

One of the most successful stories that I had at UWE is interviewing Peaches Golden OBE. I gained so much wisdom and knowledge about success and life lessons from Peaches Golden. Another positive story I had is being able to give a talk about empowering Sudanese women. I am so grateful that UWE Bristol enhanced a platform for me (as a BAME student) to share my story, my background, and my interest freely. 

The first advice that I would give to my younger self at UWE is to take calculated risk e.g. applying for a particular role, joining a society, or engaging in live events. This is because each risk you take, will take you to a higher level of self-development. The second advice is asking for support when needed. Don’t be shy to ask for help when struggling. Don’t let your pride or ego be the barrier to success and personal development. Always remember to succeed, you need a supportive network.

 

Telisha Heslop

Where are you from? What did you study at Bristol?

I am originally from Jamaica, moved to the UK when I was 16 and have lived in Bristol ever since.

I am studying IT Management for Business, currently doing my placement year and I return to UWE in September 2021 to complete my final year.

What is your positive/success story at UWE Bristol?

I am a mature student and so I was always self-conscious that I would not be able to connect with anyone, but I was so wrong about that assumption.

I have made friends and gotten to know so many people at UWE, both students and staff and it has really been a great experience overall.

I am so happy I decided to become a PAL Leader in 2nd year, that has been such a great experience that opened the door to other opportunities and made it

possible for me to work on other student partnership projects at UWE.

What would you advice to your younger self at UWE?

I would tell my younger self to try and be present for each day, be present for each moment.

Stop being in your head so much, things are not as bad as they seem and If you just take

It one step at time everything will work out just fine.

 

Ameena Qureshi

I was born in Toronto, Canada and then moved to England when I was eight. I lived in West Sussex for a couple of years before moving to Bristol when I was twelve and have lived here since! My family is from Pakistan. 

I currently study Optometry at UWE and am in my second year. 

My positive success story at UWE would have to be when I got the role as one of the BAME Student Advocates for AHP. I was so excited for the opportunity to support BAME students. I have learnt so much from this role, including my ability to work with senior staff members. 

You're going to do amazing things! 

When I just started at UWE, I had no idea of the opportunities I would have to upskill myself. For example, getting the role as one of the BAME Student Advocates and being a committee member of the UWEye society, or even applying for a summer research scholarship with one of my lecturers! From my role as an advocate, I have met so many wonderful people, all from different courses which was one aspect I was worried not having as I already lived in Bristol. 

Mikella Richards

I was born in Jamaica but grew up in California. I am studying Politics and International Relations. 

I find that during my time at university, UWE has properly helped and motivated me to develop my skills. The most positive story at UWE Bristol is relating to the work experience that I have been able to gain. I did my placement year at the university, and I was constantly pushed to be creative and take on many projects that have helped to develop my CV tremendously. The staff truly supported me in gaining specific work experience surrounding what I would like to do after university. Specifically, the careers team has given me tremendous support that led me to getting work experience within Bristol City Council and other organisations within Bristol. 

I think when I first arrived at university, I would have like to focus more on the importance of developing friendships with likeminded BAME students. I would advise myself to take more active part in the societies and different BAME events taking place at the university. Now that I am due to graduate and transitioning to becoming more of an active adult, I feel like it is going to be bit more difficult to form friendships and be around people who relate closely to me and my life experiences. 

Obed Adomako

Born in Italy with Ghanaian origins, I studied Bsc Physiotherapy at UWE Bristol. During my final year, I got the opportunity to become a BAME advocate for all AHP courses which subsequently got me involved in a project to share my story.

I was one of 25 authors who published an inspiring collection of student lived experiences titled 'you are a limited edition'. We have received lots of encouraging reviews and feedback highlighting the level of positivity shared throughout the chapters.

My little advice to my younger self would be to enjoy every single step of the university journey. As aspiring young individuals, we tend to pressure ourselves to achieve everything in a short amount of time. But what i have realised is that there is an appointed time for everything. Little did I know that all these doors will be opened unto me in my final year.