Case Study 2: Gloria Shaza
Gloria Shaza is a project management intern at The Alpha Grove and now works with Southwark Council Her own challenges as a teenager make her a strong advocate for the work we do. She has a special place in her heart for the Breaking Educational Barriers Program – something she wishes was around when she was growing up.
“I didn’t think I would be able to make it to post-secondary school,” said Gloria. “I wasn’t going to have financial support from home. I had no savings because my part-time job helped pay the bills and put food on the table, and I did not have the best grades because picking up a shift at work came before my homework. I was a student who lost hope in a dream because of the multiple factors working against me.”
It was not until her second last year of secondary school that one of Gloria’s teachers, Mrs. Mueller, gave her that hope back.
“She stepped in and became a strong support system for me, helping me apply for bursaries and scholarships, and was a good listener when I needed someone to talk to.”
One day after class, Gloria confided in Mrs. Mueller about not being able to attend their end of the year trip. The following week, Mrs. Mueller handed her an envelope with an abundance of change and bills, as well as a note saying that her entire class chipped in whatever they had to make sure Gloria was able to make it.
“I will never forget the support I felt in that moment from my peers, and especially from Mrs. Mueller.”
Thanks to the mentorship, guidance and direction Gloria received, she went on to graduate from the University of Southampton, Law with Psychology (LLB). Today at Alpha Grove, Gloria champions programs like Breaking Educational Barriers, designed to helped children and youth living in low-income reach their full potential. It is a program she admits would have benefitted her growing up.
“Everyone needs a Mrs. Mueller in their life, especially kids who have so much potential but are facing barriers that prevent them from living up to it.”
“It’s because of my past experiences that I am so passionate about helping kids in low-income succeed, because I needed a Breaking Education Barriers as a kid. The program just speaks to me in such a personal way.”
Alpha Grove’s Breaking Education Barriers program offers supports that wrap around a family and help kids finish secondary school and go on to post-secondary education - the clearest pathway to a life of prosperity. The program also seeks to assist youth to develop skills and career networks to help them to succeed in the 21st Century job economy.
Your donation to Alpha Grove helps young people get the support they need to be successful. Students receive a £250 bursary for each year they’re successful in the program, as well as a laptop to help them with their studies.