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Hey, I’m Heather. I’m one of the FutureHY Outreach Officers based at York St John University.

I live on the outskirts of York though I was born and raised by the sea in Scarborough, or Scarbados as it’s fondly known.

My spare time is usually spent running round after my toddler, we are big fans of a family day out and I’m pretty sure I’ve visited most children’s farms within a 2-hour radius of York. When at home, I enjoy making home improvements, though after recently buying my first home, I’m quickly figuring that my DIY skills are pretty much non-existent. I’m a bit of a foodie and enjoy cooking ‘proper’ family comfort food but also have a real sweet tooth. I also enjoy exploring new places both in real life, and in the pages of a book. I’ll also a give a little shout out to the humble brew here – a cup of Yorkshire Tea deserves a mention, I genuinely don’t believe there is much you can’t make a little better with a brew. Life’s motto: stick the kettle on.

I graduated with a degree in law from the University of Manchester back in 2016 and after what I call my ‘quarter-life crisis’ (which involved a fair bit of crying and lots of phone calls to my mum) decided I no longer wanted to pursue a career in the legal sector. At the time, I was working for a local radio station and as part of this took part in some school-based outreach work. I’d started job hunting and found a role that seemed perfect and joined the FutureHY team right at the start of the programme in 2017. Since then, I moved across to work at York St John in their student recruitment and outreach team for 3 years before re-joining FutureHY.

I’m really looking forward to phase three of the Uni Connect programme, it feels like an exciting time to re-join and I’m mostly looking forward to starting work with new groups such as adult learners and disabled learners. I’m also just excited about joining a fab team who all are passionate about the work we do.

Going into Higher Education certainly isn’t for everyone, but I do believe the opportunities it affords people are second-to-none and I’m looking forward to helping learners decide if it is the right path for them. My top-tip for someone thinking about going to university would be ‘do what you love.’ Not what your parents or carers or teachers or friends think you should do, but pursue things that genuinely make you happy and fill up your cup! I don’t think you can go too wrong if you follow that advice.

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"I have been in frequent communication with my mentor, and I have a lot to learn from him. He is doing a Masters at Columbia University and works in investment banking. He has been very engaging, setting useful tasks for me to develop my understanding."

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“I have learned more about myself and the opportunities ahead of me"

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“Everyone is supportive and the staff are very friendly”

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“Thanks for the interesting talk. I’ll be using your positive thinking strategies in my exams.”

- Exam Prep Workshop

"UniConnect have been amazing to work with and we can't thank them enough for offering this additional support for young people. This has and will most certainly support them in their ideas and choices to access further education. The support, communication and dedication from the NCOP team has been second to none and we are so grateful of what they can offer/support young people with in terms of further education."

"the futurehy programme (and especially the team I have had the privilege of working with) has been a huge advantage to our school. I am very happy with their aims and ethos and they are consistent, organised and enthusiastic in their delivery."

"I experienced first hand at least one student overcome their insecurity and was able to fully engage in an activity led by an Outreach Assistant"

"Many students who came here (a University campus) today did not see university as an option but now feel confident that this is possible."