UpRiser Stories

UpRiser Stories

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. 



Liz Bull-Domican

Environmental Leadership Programme Birmingham 2016/17

The primary reason for signing up to UpRising was that I needed to start working out my passion and potential career path during my first year of University. Our social action campaign, Hidden Voices, started off as campaigning for the official recognition of climate refugees, which entailed meeting with Councillors, MPs and environmental organisations. Myself and another alumni decided to continue after the programme ended, and the number of signatures on change.org has now reached 1,700. We also took part in a competition, where we developed and presented our idea of a refugee apprenticeship model in Lithuania. In addition, we have started running Erasmus+ youth exchanges. Our first will be at the end of April in Bulgaria and will cover the topic of the refugee crisis and climate refugees. In addition, in 2019 we are planning to run an exchange between young people from deprived areas in Chicago and Birmingham to teach them about youth empowerment, leadership and social action. None of this would have been possible without UpRising – it provided me with the networks, confidence and tools required to help make a positive impact.


Tina Nalova Ikome-Likambi

Environmental Leadership Project Manchester 2016/17

At the age of 21, I left my home country - Cameroon and travelled for almost 20 hours to the UK for my Masters programme in International Journalism, which was made possible thanks to the Roscoe Full Tuition Waiver Scholarship obtained via Liverpool John Moore's University. Liverpool became my new home; different people, buildings and above all a totally different culture.

During the first few weeks of my stay, I developed the urge to know, explore and fit in more. I wanted to  be part of a gathering where I could develop more skills and meet like-minded people. Upon doing some research, I became part of the UpRising programme. UpRising contributed immensely towards my acquisition of several skills and in the creation of several memories. It helped bridge the gap between people I considered 'elites' in the society and myself. Via UpRising I revamped my networking skills and got to work with people I looked up to, which built up my CV.

Currently, I am back in my home country operating my own start-up media company called Lady T which includes blogging; content creation; online promotion and recently, online TV. UpRising creates an arena for youths to come together, be kind to one another, learn new skills, meet mentors and create lifetime memories. So, I would advise any other youth out there to be part of it and above all, make the most out of it.


David Byrne

UpRising Leadership Programme Liverpool 2016/17

I have autism which has affected my communication and my confidence, and I deal with mental health problems. However, since I joined UpRising my life has changed for the better in a networking, confidence building and determination sense which is why UpRising matters to me so much to me. My family is also proud of UpRising for its effect on me as an individual. After UpRising, I joined the University Model United Nations (improved my leadership skills) as well as participated in other leadership programmes with the likes of the British Army. Furthermore, I decided to do stand up comedy (which is surprising) as a way to improve public speaking and I have joined the University’s autism society to help people bring awareness as well as bring down the stigmas that relate to the disorder.


Jenny Mullinder

Fastlaners Manchester 2016

I've moved back down south since the end of Fastlaners, but the skills and experiences I had on the course have stuck with me. I'm working on my own project to run wellbeing workshops with young people, adults in employment, and community groups, and remember the skills, motivation, and friendships I got from UpRising as I embark on this journey. The main things I got were confidence in myself, and tools and ideas to help me grow and reach out for my dreams. I have struggled with my own wellbeing and mental health issues, but I try to bring myself back to that time, and remember the things we talked about and worked on. UpRising staff  gave me the chance to do my first workshop with our group, which was such an amazing step for me. I am forever grateful to UpRising for giving me so much.


Rosemary Grant-Muller

Environmental Leadership Programme Manchester 2016/17

UpRising matters to me as it connected a generation of us with local projects and gave us the confidence to get involved and to set-up our own projects/events. It helped me see the opportunities and barriers (to be overcome) in coordinating key stakeholders and help me to have a voice and care about local policy. This programme along with all the other programmes helped me develop professionally and helped me open the door. During some of my experiences in the months after completing the programme someone remarked that I was brave and I just hope that these programmes continue to help young people make those decisions to improve the world around them.

Since the end of the programme I have applied for ambassadorial and board work at Manchester Climate Change Agency. I have maintained contact with my cohort which have continued to inspire me. I have started to value social action initiatives including getting involved with Manchester Cares and Carbon Co-Op.


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