A support worker from UWE Bristol who works with and advocates for students from Black, Asian Minority and Ethnic backgrounds (BAME) has won a national award for her contribution as a role model and future leader of tomorrow.
Alisha Airey was one of five women within the field of academia and education to win a Rising Star Award at a virtual ceremony on 20 July. Organised by WeAreTheCity, the Awards recognise and celebrate female contributors across 25 industries in the UK who are considered the leaders and role models of tomorrow.
After joining UWE Bristol in 2012 as a supervisor to student mentors, Alisha moved on to her current role as BAME Project Officer where she supports and advocates for students from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds throughout their university experience, while also challenging discrimination and inequality.
Alisha said: ‘‘My commitment to social justice, equality and supporting others started when I became a peer mentor aged just 15, supporting young BAME males at risk of exclusion. This was my first experience of this type of work and sparked my interest in how I could support young people in innovative ways to overcome challenges but also consider how education and curriculum can be adapted to be more engaging and accessible to young people with diverse needs and backgrounds.
‘‘After becoming a young single mother myself at the age of 18, I have experienced a number of challenges personally and am passionate about using my role at UWE Bristol to tackle structural inequality and addressing the attainment gap within between BAME students and their white counterparts in our university.’’