UpRiser StoriesUpRiser Stories

UpRiser Stories

UpRiser Stories

July 5, 2018

The following stories showcase the impact UpRising has on young people's leadership and employability skills. As emerging leaders, they have a ripple effect, positively impacting their local communities and making change in sectors such as law, politics, media and social enterprise. 



Areeq Chowdhury

UpRising Leadership Programme Birmingham 2011/12

I first got involved with UpRising when I joined the Leadership Programme in 2011, whilst a student at the University of Birmingham. It was a great way to get involved with the community in Birmingham and to learn valuable skills about campaigning and social action. The best thing about UpRising for me however, is the networks and friendships I’ve made by being involved. Even now, 7 years later, I continue to make new and inspirational friends as a result of UpRising. I’m now the founder and chief executive of Webroots Democracy, a think-tank focused on democracy and technology. The skills I picked up from UpRising have undoubtedly helped in this endeavour.


Ifraah Samatar

UpRising Leadership Programme London 2012/13

Prior to Uprising I had somewhat of a fair knowledge of the issues affecting my community, but I lacked the knowledge and skills to take action. The leadership programme gave me all the knowledge, skills, network and confidence that I needed in order to make a difference and change my community for the better. UpRising taught me the importance of working with others and the value of partnerships. It brought me together with so many passionate community minded people who I would never have met otherwise. I think that it is a rare opportunity in life. My social action campaign team have opened my eyes to so many interpersonal and project management techniques. UpRising gives individuals like me an incredible opportunity that can’t be found elsewhere; I truly believe if a person has the determination and passion to make a difference in their community, UpRising will equip them with everything they need and point them towards the right direction.


Elizabeth Roberts

Fastlaners Programme London 2012/13

I was selected to be part of Fastlaners back in 2013 in London after graduating from a BA course and struggling to get my foot in the door and find work in what I was passionate about. The UpRising team went above and beyond to help me find a job. This not only uplifted my spirits about finding a job in what I wanted to do but also boosted my confidence and self esteem. Also, Fastlaners gave me the opportunity to realise that I’m not alone and there are young people out there in the same boat I was in. I’m even still in contact with a few of them now. Since Fastlaners and being assigned with a fantastic mentor Radhika Bynon who works at the Young Foundation, I have worked at the Royal College of Art and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. I recently moved jobs to work at Scope, a disability charity that exists to support disabled people, and create everyday equality.


Ruth Reid

UpRising Leadership Programme Birmingham 2013/14

I am originally from Sheffield and studied Law at Aston University, Birmingham. After finishing Law School, I was searching for my first graduate job but have always been interested in developing my soft skills and extracurricular activities. The UpRising Leadership Programme was recommended to me by a friend and it was an amazing experience. Due to UpRising, my confidence increased and I learnt how to further my leadership skills, business acumen and how to make a positive social impact. UpRising is very important for young people "finding their way." I have made some amazing, like-minded friends and seized a number of subsequent opportunities from the UpRising scheme.


Sheetal Mistry

UpRising Leadership Programme London 2014/15

Before I started UpRising, I had just graduated from university and had no idea what I wanted to do next. Surrounding myself with so many like-minded people on the programme helped me to build my confidence and ‘find my space’ in society. I now work in the charity sector, supporting young people both academically and pastorally. Additionally I have co- founded my own community project, creating South Asian Sisters Speak (SASS), a platform for South Asian women in the UK. UpRising was such a huge turning point in helping me to believe in myself and finding the right people to support me.


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