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Next up in our "Meet the Team" series, it's Rebecca from our Central Team!

Hey there! Please tell us your name, where you are based, and your job title.

Rebecca Harland, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, based in the Central Team at York St John University

Tell us about your background...

I studied for a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics as a part-time mature student whilst working in education. It took nearly six years to complete and was tough at times but also the most rewarding experience. I'm currently completing my MA in Education and Social Justice with Lancaster University. I've worked on NCOP since it began in January 2017 and another Widening Participation project prior to that.

What does an average day look like in your role?

Lots of data and spreadsheets! I also do a lot of work evaluating the impact of our activities. Sometimes this means creating a specific evaluation form or activity but also includes talking with young people and their teachers in focus groups or short interviews, which I really enjoy.

What has been one of your favourite moments on the project so far?

The Lost In Translation community projects. The films were fantastic and a brilliant outlet for our young people to express themselves.

Why do you think going to college and/or university is important?

There are so many skills you learn beyond your subject (such as teamwork, problem-solving and time management). It's a chance to develop, meet friends for life and can provide some great job opportunities afterwards.

What is your top tip for someone applying to university?

Do your research and go and visit the universities you are interested in. If you're going to be moving away from home, explore the accommodation and town/city as well to make sure it is right for you. You may end up applying somewhere different to your school and college friends but there will be lots of new friends to be made at your university on the first day!

Finally... what is your favourite inspirational quote?

You do you.

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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."

- Brightside - Prepare for HE online mentee

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

- People Like Me Workshop

“Everyone is supportive and the staff are very friendly”

- Project Dare Workshop

“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."