Oxford graduate crowdfunding to become barrister pledges free tutoring for underprivileged kids for each donation
An Oxford graduate hoping to become a barrister has pledged to offer free career and study sessions to underprivileged children for in exchange for donations to his GoFundMe campaign, where he is crowdfunding to pay for his training.
Mohamed Hussein Iman, 23, a working-class son of a Somali immigrant became the first person from his school in south Croydon to apply and study at Oxford University when he was offered a place to read History.
Now, the 2020 graduate is asking for help to fulfill his dreams to become a barrister, hoping to help other disadvantaged children like him in the process.
Mohamed is hoping to raise £11,900 for tuition fees in six weeks to take up his place to study a Graduate Diploma in Law at City University, London, as well as £3,000 in living costs for the time he cannot work over the exam period. His campaign, supported by legal figures Judge Rinder, Crimegirl and Jeremy Bier, has seen the hopeful raise more than £6,000 to date.
He was inspired to offer time to volunteer after he spent his degree campaigning to help people who are from minority ethnic backgrounds, LGBTQ+, or struggle with mental health issues. To date, Mohamed has spent 300 hours volunteering to help underprivileged students with university admissions and their studies. He said for every £15 raised through his fundraiser, he will dedicate another hour to helping other prospective students in need.
Mohamed was raised in South London by his mother. “My mum managed to look after me and my elder brother, keep a roof over our heads and learn English,” he said. “There was always a sense of wanting to do a little bit more, but not really having the money. I loved the theatre but there was no way of getting a ticket, so when I got a weekend job, one of the first things I did was go and see a show. The tickets were £5 and you had to squint a bit to see what was going on, but it was worth it,” he said.
Mohamed was inspired to attend Oxford when his history teacher saw him reading through prospectuses and asked why he didn’t have an Oxbridge brochure. “I was confused, I thought a degree was a degree,” he said. “It was when she told me that I should be applying for the best institutions possible with my grades that something hit home.”
Backed by Judge Rinder
The 23-year-old decided he wanted to become a barrister after he listened to Judge Rinder talk about his career at university.
“I think I’m deeply attached to this sense of fairness,” he told i. “If you go to a private school, you be supported and coached through an application to Oxford or Cambridge, but if you go to a state school, you might be the only person who’s ever applied and still have to fight your way there,” he said. “I would love to not only be good at my job, but to fight for structural change in the law as well.”
While the recent graduate is glad for the kindness of strangers, he said the fact he has to crowdfund for his education “is indicative of a wider issue”.
“In recent weeks there’s been a lot of high profile online fundraisers for students, all of who are black and from less well off backgrounds, yet their peers are going to have people who are self funding the extortionate fees due to their parents income,” he said. “I think people are turning to crowdfunding because they have no other choice. If reasonable loan facilities were available, of course people would use them. The fact of the matter is they’re not.”
“Nobody is going to take out a loan of £45k at an interest rate of 20 per cent regardless of their course, and they shouldn’t have to. The state has a failing postgraduate loan system and these fundraisers are a collective attempt to mitigate that using the power of small contributions from many people,” he added.
This content was originally published here.