#StratfordToHarvard: Help bright student Isaiah achieve his potential

Isaiah Wellington-Lynn speaking at an event about the importance of his faith and how it has helped him overcome various challenges

Following the recent #SW2Harvard campaign which successfully helped Oxford student Fiona Asiedu raise the money she needed to allow her to complete her Masters at Harvard it is inspiring to see another student of academic excellence taking steps to realise their dream of studying at the prestigious institution.

Isaiah Wellington-Lynn, born and raised in Stratford, East London, is an undergraduate at University College London (UCL) currently in his second year of an Anthropology degree. A testimony to his hard work, Isaiah has been offered a place on Harvard University’s Visiting Undergraduate Student Class of 2018 programme, a one-year rigorous program offered to a small select group of undergraduates from around the world. Beginning in August, Isaiah now has a very short amount of time to try and raise the significant funds needed for him to confirm his place on the course.

Unfortunately the source of funding Isaiah was previously relying on has fallen through and having tried all of other avenues of raising the necessary funds he is now looking to crowdfunding as his last hope for raising the £64,000 needed to cover all costs including tuition fees, accommodation, flights, visa, insurance and more by the 8th June (next week!).

The UCL student’s ambitions for using knowledge gained on the course at Harvard are honourable and certainly a worthwhile investment, with him stating mental health as one of the areas he would like to focus on: “I am expectant for the year ahead. Some of my academic pursuits include computer science, medical anthropology, mental health stigma and how it affects different demographics. One of the things I would like to explore is how we can use technology to overcome some of the implications of mental health illness. I am also interested in everything else Anthropology has to offer.”

Isaiah with his offer letter from Harvard University

Having achieved so much already, against the odds, it would be such a shame for this bright young student not to achieve his full potential because of financial limitations. A role model for others, Isaiah’s journey to where he is now is inspirational. “Sometimes we are told that we cannot achieve an aspiration or that our aspirations are too high. We are told that due to our ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, class, or disability, our dream is unachievable. No. What is important, as far as I am concerned, is not how our background can limit us, but rather how our background can propel us to our destination. Coming from a humble income, lone parent family, growing up in inner-city London could have stopped me reaching some of my aspirations. But, it has not. Instead, it has motivated me to explore just how far I can go with limited resources. I have come this far, and I still have a way to go,” says Isaiah. “This opportunity is important to me because people from my demographic rarely have the financial resources or societal expectations to realise their potential. My offer from Harvard serves as a tangible reminder that we may have limited resources, but we have unlimited potential.”

Isaiah has expressed his hopes that one day he will be able to help other students who come from non-privileged backgrounds like himself to achieve their full potential. “I am where I am because of those who invested in me. In the future, I aspire to set up my own foundation to offer full scholarships and grants to support students from overlooked backgrounds, those with limited resources, but limitless potential. I am also keen to talk in schools and educational events.”

Fiona Asiedu’s #SW2Harvard campaign showed just how generous people can be and that crowdfunding can offer a financial solution where there are no others forthcoming. It would be devastating if a lack of money were to stop an incredibly talented person like Isaiah, who has got where he is today because of his own hard work, from realising his full potential.

We wholeheartedly hope that #StratfordToHarvard enables Isaiah to successfully raise the funds needed to secure his place and his dreams.

If you can donate anything – no amount is too small – then please head over to: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/stratfordtoharvard

And don’t forget to spread the word!