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Parady Baptiste

Student, University of East London

I am a local East London resident. I was born in Hackney and grew up on the Kingsmead council estate. During my teenage years, I lost several close friends owing to violent crime in the borough. At 21 I was diagnosed with a mental health condition, and a year later I became a single mother. Having lived these experiences, I understand the complexities, challenges and issues that social groups from underrepresented backgrounds may face. Despite experiencing much adversity, I was determined to improve my life chances. I enrolled on the New Beginnings access course at the University of East London (UEL). I then progressed onto the BA Hons Special Education Programme and in 2016, I graduated with a first class honours degree.

I entered my first graduate role at UEL as a learning achievement assistant, providing pastoral and academic support to students from the CASS School of Education. Since then I have worked in a number of outreach and student engagement roles. I have worked within UELs Education and Community Partnerships (ECP) department as an ECP programme co-ordinator promoting widening participation by raising and increasing awareness of the educational and career opportunities available to students from Black, Asian & minority ethnic and underrepresented groups. I developed and delivered projects and events including Higher Education taster days and summer school programmes aimed to support young people to make informed decisions about their future education and career choices. I also led work experience, employability & transferable skills programmes aimed to support attainment and encourage young people to succeed. As an outreach intervention officer at a secondary school in Hackney, I provided interventions to disaffected and disengaged students to reengage them with the process of schooling and reduce levels of truancy and other anti-social behaviours. In all roles, I built and maintained working partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure the continuation of collaborative mutually beneficial work.

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Full Testimonial

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Community safety is paramount, however gang-related street violence remains a significant problem in London. I am extremely concerned about the culture of violent crime that permeates our boroughs. I fear that we have produced a generation of youths that lack moral consciousness and guidance as a result of risk-factors including poverty, low or no parental support and negative influences present in social media and in communities. Regaining safety is pivotal if we are to reduce the levels of violent crimes and number of lives lost. I recently completed the Youth Charter Social Coach Leadership Programme which aims to effect change through social coaching and modelling positive behaviours to improve youth safety. I have made efforts to address violent crime and have set up an organisation that aims to reduce the level of postcode conflict in Hackney. I am in the final stages of completing a Master’s degree in Psychology which I will use to help to develop a person- centred holistic psychosocial intervention within my organisation. I will also use my degrees to facilitate research into the psychosocial drivers of gang culture as well as widening participation within education.

Community safety is paramount, however gang-related street violence remains a significant problem in London. I am extremely concerned about the culture of violent crime that permeates our boroughs. I fear that we have produced a generation of youths that lack moral consciousness and guidance as a result of risk-factors including poverty, low or no parental support and negative influences present in social media and in communities. Regaining safety is pivotal if we are to reduce the levels of violent crimes and number of lives lost. I recently completed the Youth Charter Social Coach Leadership Programme which aims to effect change through social coaching and modelling positive behaviours to improve youth safety. I have made efforts to address violent crime and have set up an organisation that aims to reduce the level of postcode conflict in Hackney. I am in the final stages of completing a Master’s degree in Psychology which I will use to help to develop a person- centred holistic psychosocial intervention within my organisation. I will also use my degrees to facilitate research into the psychosocial drivers of gang culture as well as widening participation within education.

I would love to return to UEL and become part of the Civic Engagement team if the opportunity presents itself so that I can effect change both inside the institution and within the East London community in which we serve.