Whitgift alumnus explains how a Whitgift Foundation bursary provides access to social mobility.
After receiving 3 A*s in Chemistry, Maths and Biology at Whitgift on a full Whitgift Foundation bursary, Stefan travelled across the world to study Ecological and Evolutionary Biology with a minor in Global Heath Policy at Princeton University in the US. Stefan hopes to further his passion for athletics by one day competing at the Olympics as a triple jumper for Great Britain. Now in his third year at Princeton, Stefan’s long-term goal is to become a doctor in Sports Medicine.
Stefan shares how The Whitgift Foundation bursary scheme helped him through his studies.
A Whitgift Foundation bursary can support the whole family
The Whitgift Foundation has been a strong support to Stefan and his family financially. The bursary scheme helped them greatly, particularly as, at one point, both he and his two siblings were attending the School at the same time. It also helped Stefan’s family get through financially during the illness and tragic passing of their father.
Proudest moment at school?
“There are so many to choose from,” according to Stefan. Two that stand out are delivering the closing speech as Head Boy for graduation and winning ISFA U15 Nationals. “It was certainly my proudest moment wearing a gold and blue jersey.”
What advice would you give a new starter at Whitgift?
Stefan’s advice to a new school starter is to: “get involved in as much as you can as soon as possible.” He explains, ‘there is so much to learn about yourself, your strengths and your own interests. Whitgift School really presents you with opportunities to explore and how to hone these.’
A Whitgift Foundation bursary provides access to social mobility
“What made Whitgift School so great for me is that it is so diverse and has people from all walks of life.” Stefan thought he wouldn't fit in at a “posh Independent school”, especially coming from a small state school. ‘Whitgift is not that stereotype, due in large part to The Whitgift Foundation bursary scheme, and I am so glad I have friends from all over the city (and beyond) from different cultures and nationalities.’
Caring for the community
For the longest time, Stefan knew that he wanted a career in service to others. “The opportunity to do work experience and even volunteer at Whitgift House, one of the three Whitgift Care homes, assured me that service through healthcare was what I would want to do in the long-term”.
Princeton way of life
“Lectures at Princeton University are challenging, intense and quite fast paced,” Stefan explains. “There's always a constant turnover of some homework or reading and we get through a lot of material during a semester.”
Continuing the Whitgift sporting tradition
“Athletics is still a big commitment for me!” Stefan exclaims. Although that is not the only activity that has captured his attention. “I also dance in DoroBucci which is an African Diaspora Dance group, and have a few jobs that keep me busy too like bartending and security for events.”
Advice for managing studies and extra-curricular activities
“Time management is key,’ Stefan advises. ‘If you want to do well at both, you need to organise yourself well. If you're struggling, talk to your coach or teachers so that you can work through it, but don't struggle alone.”
Whitgift School in 3 words
Nurture, Exposure, Excitement
Final words on The Whitgift Foundation bursary scheme
“Without the bursary scheme, I can say that I wouldn’t have been able to attend Whitgift School. For me and many of my friends, this scheme has allowed us to thrive going forward and I cannot express how glad I am that it exists.”
Photograph by Mark Shearman.