GENERATING GENIUS aims to inspire, motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects at school and to ultimately consider careers in these fields.
Since 2004, the organisation has supported over 450 state-school educated students from BAME and low-income households into STEM degrees at top universities and careers with leading companies in STEM.
The Junior Genius programme provides Year 11 students with inspiring STEM activities, university visits and skills development sessions that inspire them to study STEM A-levels.
The Uni Genius programme provides Year 12 and Year 13 students with work experience, university admissions support, STEM masterclasses and Dragon’s Den-styled challenge days that increase awareness of opportunities in STEM and gives the guidance necessary to pursue careers in STEM.
Alumni Genius is a pool of talented STEM geniuses who have progressed through the earlier programmes, providing scholarships, STEM internships and further support to ensure that graduates are motivated and well prepared to enter the world of STEM.
In 2019 alone, Generating Genius awarded more than £100,000 of scholarships through its generous donors.
A success story
Simeon Balson: software engineer at Growth Street
Simeon was in the first cohort of Caribbean boys in 2004’s Generating Genius programme. He attended a summer residential at the University of the West Indies STEM department, and later studied physics at Imperial College He was the first in his family to attend university, the only black student in the Physics department during his undergrad and achieved A grades at A-level.
He has retrained as a software engineer and attended a Generating Genius-organised internship with Google.
Why did he join Generating Genius?
“I knew it would give me exposure to higher education and the professional world. There was no one within my family network who had been to university nor had a professional job. As such, there was no one in my immediate circle who could provide me with guidance or insights into the working world of the city.”
What were some of the most useful opportunities you had with Generating Genius?
“The summer work experiences at Google and Shell as well as visiting some of the top universities in the country. Through Generating Genius, I developed what I consider my strongest soft skill to date, presentation skills. Generating Genius gave me the opportunity to develop this skill through giving talks in front of big audiences at some of world’s largest companies.”
How Generating Genius helps
In 2004, the nation had given up on London’s young and poor talent. There was no belief that students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds could be successful in some of the toughest jobs.
Tony Sewell, founder of Generating Genius knew that although students faced challenges due to their race and other socioeconomic factors, if they were given the right attention, he could generate and nurture the genius, pushing them into the toughest jobs in STEM.
In summer 2004, he took 10 boys to a rigorous skills-based University summer school at the STEM Institute at the University of West Indies, and the rest is history.
Generating Genius has been working for 15 years to ensure that talented and able students from BAME backgrounds are positioned to excel in STEM careers.