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News article

Bradford students celebrate Young Asian Yorkshire achievements at York St John University

Published: 10 June 2024

  •   Featured
  •   Community
Students and staff stood on a stage

York St John University has given school children an insight into university life as part of its Young Asian Yorkshire (YAY) project. 
Launched in 2023, the YAY project provides a mentoring programme to raise attainment within schools and support the future aspirations of South Asian pupils in Year 10 across Bradford and West Yorkshire. 
Students from two Bradford schools – Belle Vue Girls’ Academy and Co-op Academy Grange - took part in a day of events and workshops, culminating in a ceremony in which certificates were presented to students who had successfully completed the mentoring programme. 
The project is run in collaboration with the QED Foundation, a charity which works to improve the social and economic position of disadvantaged communities. 
Two students from each school were also nominated for the Yorkshire Asian Young Achiever Awards, affectionately known as the YAYAs, which will take place in November. The YAYAs are Yorkshire’s top awards to recognise the efforts of young people of South Asian heritage and are sponsored by York St John.  
They celebrate young people who have overcome deprivation and disadvantage, or successfully broken through barriers, to become successful role models in their chosen fields.   
Finalists are all born in or live and work in Yorkshire and are aged between 16 and 30. In 2023, for the first time, a special category was introduced to recognise the efforts of a Year 10 pupil.   
The inaugural winner of the YAY award 2023 was 15-year-old Umra Andar from Belle Vue Girls who impressed mentors and judges with her level of engagement and enthusiasm for the project.   
Lowri Clarke, Widening Participation Officer at York St John University, said: “Delivering the YAY YSJ project has been a real highlight for us this year.  
“We launched the YAY scheme to further a shared commitment to social mobility and race equality, and it has been wonderful to see the pupils grow in confidence. They have all achieved so much during their time with us.” 
Professor Adeeba Malik, Deputy Chief Executive of the QED Foundation, said: “I was delighted to attend the YAY celebration event at York St John University. It was a pleasure to see the Year 10 students participate in a bespoke, outreach mentoring scheme that ran over 6 weeks. 
“Students from each school were put into a small group and received in-person mentoring from trained York St John University students. Mentoring was tailored to young people’s specific aims and interests and focused on a range of areas such as effective revision, goal setting, thinking about future careers and making a solid path towards future aspirations.  
“Thank you to everyone at York St John University for delivering this important project.” 
More about the YAYA awards and the 2023 winners on the YAYAs website. 


Photo caption: Students from Belle Vue Girls’ Academy attending the YAY YSJ celebration event. 

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