Call for Homerton Changemakers Student Ambassadors 2023/24
Each year a group of Homerton Changemakers Ambassadors are appointed as champions of Changemakers thinking and activities in College and beyond.
Becoming a Changemakers Ambassador is a chance to join a thoroughly energetic and engaged group of people serious about making a difference. Recent ambassadors include successful entrepreneurs & founders; podcasters, authors & broadcasters; and creators of award-winning social innovations.
We meet termly (usually over a simple dinner at college but sometimes online) & the role is initially for one academic year, extendable up to three.
As an Ambassador you’ll have opportunities to:
- advise the Changemakers leadership team on the programme’s structure and focus
- lead your own Changemakers events and initiatives if you wish
- champion Changemakers informally at college and in your own academic and professional contexts
- build experience through accessing bespoke training through partner groups (such as the Tavistock Institute and the Eden Project; contributing to schemes with partner organisations (such as Form the Future and local charities)
- have first access to all of the Changemakers programme, including mentoring programmes and sponsored places at external events; informal support for initiatives you’re leading; and occasional opportunities for internships
- attend Changemakers Steering Group meetings & be part of other advisory groups
- and, of course, expand your network across disciplines, sectors and interests
Each year 8-12 ambassadors are appointed, working with Dr Alison Wood (Academic Director), Dr Soraya Jones (Director of Engagement) and Jane Mumford (Changemaker Programme Coordinator) If you are interested in being an Ambassador this coming year please write to us at email@example.com before 9 October 2023 outlining in a paragraph or two why you want to join the team, and what you’d bring to the role. The first meeting of the 2023/24 Ambassadors will be on 16 October, 4-5pm.
NOTE: The call is open to all current Homerton students and recent graduates (<5yrs). The only criteria are an interest in changemaking, and that you’ve participated in at least 6 hours of Homerton Changemakers events 2021-2023
Meet the Ambassadors 22 /23
Jesimiel Akinsuyi, 2nd year Natural Sciences
I am a 2nd Year Undergraduate Natural Sciences student with a focus in Chemistry, Neurobiology, and Environmental sciences. My primary passion lies in Sustainability systems and how we can utilise scientific knowledge to improve our world across a multitude of areas. The notion of providing impact in every place I go has driven me to become an ambassador for Changemakers, I want to provide a place for people to grow and also curate an environment for myself where I can grow, smile, and make a change.
Anushka (she/her/hers) is an intersectional climate and health advocate and the founder of environmental justice and health equity organization Avritah. Deciding to start in the environmental space at age 10 after learning about the human health effects of plastic pollution, her passion for taking action against systems of injustice that harm both human and earth systems has only grown over the past decade. Now as a graduate of Harvard University’s Government and Molecular and Cellular Biology departments and an MPhil candidate in Population Health Sciences at the University of Cambridge, she hopes throughout her life to uplift the voices of those most impacted by environmental and public health crises and to activate those with resources and access to take action by following the lead of BIPOC youth and their allies. She is deeply passionate about health policy and both reforming and restructuring the American healthcare system, an effort that is interlinked to the work that she does in the environmental space. Health policy and medicine are also at the core of Anushka’s academic interests and career aspirations, and she hopes to bring her perspective on their intersections with the environment to her research, advocacy and clinical practice. Changemakers is an incredible community that Anushka is incredibly passionate about cultivating and deepening, and believes in the transformative power of the liminal spaces and communities we coexist in to train our presence and energy for change.
Laurène Blanchard, MPhil in Management
I am Laurène (she/her) and this is my fifth year in Homerton. I just completed my undergrad in Education, Policy and International Development in Cambridge and I am currently doing an MPhil in Business Management at the Judge Business School. I am passionate about access to quality education for children who are discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity, disability, gender and socio-economic class. Being French and having lived in Asia my entire life, including in Tokyo and Hong Kong, I have developed a strong interest in global issues and in international development. Changemakers has allowed me to connect with a community of people driven by purpose, impact, and I am beyond humbled to become a Changemakers ambassador. The discussions, workshops and activities organised during the programme have pushed me out of my comfort zone and provided me with the tools necessary to become an agent of change. I look forward to continuing this journey with new people onboard!
Ellen Bridson, MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society
As a historian (MPhil in Health, Medicine and Society), I am used to thinking and talking about the past. Changemakers allowed me to develop the language, toolkit and mindset to pose questions about the future and enabled me to understand how I can be an active agent for change. There are lots of causes that I am passionate about, including women's participation and equality, diversity and inclusion in sports, and demystifying politics for young people. One of the most valuable aspects of being involved with Changemakers for me is the network of enthused individuals who all share the desire to make positive changes. Through this I have developed my understanding of how to make a tangible difference with the causes I care about and am looking forward to continuing on this journey.
Garat Chandigere Uria, 2nd year Geography
Hi, I am Garat. I grew up in Newham, East London. I study Geography at Homerton. I am proud to be an ambassador as I had an amazing experience on the changemakers residential. I had the opportunity to discuss change going all the way from the individual scale to the global scale. From this experience I learned of the importance of valuing our differences and being your authentic self. I found that learning from and building on others lived experiences a global, yet personal understanding of change could be taken. I feel that my own ambitions to make change in my community have been greatly benefitted by the discussions and ongoing dialogues the changemakers program encourages. As an ambassador I hope to contribute to such dialogues and to help foster a generation of future change makers.
Bethany Clarke, Recent Alumna
Whilst undertaking the PGCE at Homerton in 2021, I suffered a major medical trauma, followed by significant mental health challenges. The Changemakers community helped me to regain trust in myself and hope for the future. I successfully completed my PGCE with a research focus on trauma-informed approaches to teaching. I now lead a mental health and psychosocial program for refugee children, at The Fáilte centre in Athens, Greece and am working towards establishing ‘WellMinder’: a social venture which will harness the power of community, cutting edge technology, and scientific research, to support children affected by trauma or adverse experiences to grow into healthy adults with positive coping mechanisms. As an ambassador, I am committed to ensuring the Changemakers community continues to be a compassionate and inclusive space to uplift all.
Eyal Cohen, MAST in Mathematical Statistics
I am honoured to be part of Changemakers as an ambassador. I am a student in the part III of Mathematics, currently studying Statistics, Probability theory and Information Theory. I would like to get a PhD in Machine Learning after this year. I have always been interested in data and how to connect elements and make predictions. I also love sports, poetry, drama, music and cooking. I want to be able to bring a change in today’s society, and aim for better. I would like to tackle the climate emergency using data and modelling.
Laura Curtis, MPhil in Education
I am an MPhil Student in Education (Arts, Creativity and Education), with a particular interest in the importance of process orientated creativity in the area of STEM. As a primary school teacher, I am passionate about the need for curricular change, especially in terms of inclusion and representation. Changemakers has helped me to develop the confidence and toolkit to engage with these interests beyond written words and to recognise my ability to become an agent for change. The impact Changemakers has had on me is immeasurable, especially in relation to the network of awe inducing people I have gotten to meet and continue to learn from each day. It is an absolute privilege to be a Changemakers Ambassador and I look forward to both continuing my journey of self-development this year as well as encouraging those around me to get involved with the empowering family that is Homerton Changemakers.
Vincenzo Di Bartolo, PhD in Pure Mathematics
I am a great lover of music, mathematics and more generally of the harmonies around me, which here at Homerton I have the pleasure of perceiving deeply. We are inclined to think that what we imagine or conjecture is "only" something of our own, destined to break on the insurmountable wall of reality, which others seem to pretend to know by heart as it is ... objectively. Yes, our thoughts are powerful waves in our inner sea, stirred by our personal winds of imagination ... but there is no wall they cannot overcome. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of the Changemakers ambassadors and more generally of a project that has opened my eyes to how necessary it is for each of us to contribute to the blowing of our own wind, to also allow our own sea to shape the reality around us making it wonderful, for us and for others.
Arlette Doko, Recent Alumna
I see immense value in harnessing the knowledge provided by the study of psychology to enrich societies: improving the way that we think, work and interact with each other. I am particularly passionate about mental health and health psychology. Sustainability and environmentalism are also keen interests of mine. Now more than ever we need to find innovative solutions to the problems our world is facing. The Homerton Changemaker program has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and develop the skills that I need to be an effective agent for change in this world.
Rosina Dorelli, Recent Alumna
After 20 years of teaching I decided to study the PGCE at Homerton, with a vision to build a showcase, model school of the future. I have dedicated my life to making education more creative and inclusive. My aim is to help alleviate the growing mental health crisis, by supporting students to find and nurture their unique talents and potential. Da Vinci Life-Skills, like Homerton Changemakers, is helping prepare students with the essential skills for the 21st century. Purpose, self-esteem and a sense of belonging can enable everyone to make a difference to their community/planet, we all have a duty to do what we can to make the world a better place. I am honoured to be a Homerton Changemakers Ambassador, and I look forward to collaborating and promoting their excellent ambitions and projects.
Deborah Esan, 2nd year Modern and Medieval Languages
I am a second-year Modern and Medieval Languages student. As a Cambridge student, it can sometimes be very easy to focus on just the academic side of things and not pay attention to what truly grounds us, our values. I believe that it is very important to not have narrow-minded and to be open to other perspectives as it helps both communal and personal growth. Being a linguist, I am interested in modes of communication and building further relations with people. I hope, as a Changemakers Ambassador, to open up conversations that are typically disregarded and that play an essential role in our society.
Evelyn Gilbert-Bair, PhD in Education
I am a PhD student in Education and am researching adolescent freedom within higher education and careers. This interest grew out of my work as a US university admissions counsellor where I observed first-hand the confusion and distress many adolescents and their families experience when navigating the transition out of secondary school. But equally, I observed students who used the university application process to figure out who they are, what they want to do, and how to take their strongest next steps towards self-authentic, positive futures. It has been inspiring to see these students develop and I am committed to helping others undertake this kind of positive transformation. Changemakers shares in this mission, and I am excited to join forces as an ambassador.
Zahra Grieve, MPhil in Education
I’m Zahra (she/her), an MPhil student in Education (Critical Approaches to Children’s Literature) and I’m new to Homerton this year! I leaped at the chance to be a Changemakers Ambassador because of how deeply its values and central mission, that is, equipping students to make positive change for the social good, resonated. I recently completed my undergraduate in Classics at Wadham College, University of Oxford. During my time at Oxford, I was heavily involved in fundraising and access initiatives at Wadham, as well as University outreach programs such as UNIQ and Target Oxbridge. Initiatives like these brought into acute focus for me the transformative power of education. Homerton Changemakers is a way for me to gain the necessary skills to make meaningful change in the Education sector, and to learn from others on their own ethically ambitious journeys!
Ben Grischeff, 3rd year Human, Social and Political Sciences
Hi, I’m Ben and this is my third and final undergraduate year at Homerton reading Human, Social and Political sciences- specialising in politics and international relations. Throughout my studies and wider experiences, the cruciality of sympathetic collaboration and open-minded engagement with ulterior, especially ‘on-the-ground’ perspectives, has appeared as a constant theme in determining the sustainable effectiveness of tackling both smaller and larger scale issues. Having attended the autumn residential as well as subsequent ambassador meetings, I have found Changemakers to be an actively facilitative platform for interactions towards this end, and more importantly, one that can translate these interactions into valuable, tangible action.
Reyhannisa Haji, 3rd year Natural Sciences
I'm Reyhannisa. I'm a third year biological Natural Scientist. Science is always changing at there is always something new. I'm interested in genetically modified (GM) crops and how they can positively contribute to food security and the environment. I aim to be involved in policy making around GM crops to ensure that their full potential in making the world a better place is achieved properly. Homerton Changemakers is a great way to be introduced to the necessary skills needed to achieve my goal. As an ambassador, I hope to help others achieve their goals too.
Kardika Kukreia, LLM (Socio-Legal Forum)
I’m pursuing LLM at the University of Cambridge. Law is something that has always intrigued me because it is a tool for people to gain justice and it has always strengthened democracy. This is what assisted me in my pursuit to venture my career into legal studies. Since I was young, I used to read articles where noticeably there used to be publications of at least one activity of grave injustice against women; this is what led me towards the conduit of law. Women's Rights are something that I am passionate about. Homerton Changemakers for me is a way to learn from like-minded people where we can create a society where there is inclusion and equity. I am sure that through this platform I can polish my leadership skills and be a benefactor of women's rights as well as social justice.
Annalisa Lanza, PGCE
Hi, my name is Annalisa. As an undergraduate at the university of York, I studied for an integrated masters in biology, using machine learning to explore variation between Covid-19 genomic sequences for my dissertation. Deciding to veer from my roots in data science, I spent my summer working with the director of the GenOmics And Life Stories (GOALS) education research group, before coming to Cambridge to study my Primary PGCE. As an advocate for improving access to education, becoming a changemaker ambassador is an amazing opportunity that I know will help me grow as a person, providing me with essential skills in making a real positive difference in society. I hope to continue representing this amazing programme as I follow along my educational journey, hopefully going on to study an additional masters next year in transforming practices in education, with the aspiration of undertaking a PhD one day.
Yiwen Li, 2nd year Education
I’m a 2nd-year undergraduate student studying Education and Psychology at Homerton. As a people-person, I’m always fascinated by people’s authentic bonding. And Changemaker is such an ideal community where people can empower each other and get connected to the deepest level. During my participation in the Changemaker events, I was often amazed at how wholesome and supportive people could be, and how this program had led us to discover a new self. Noticing my personal transformation, I applied to be a student ambassador, hoping to use my power to open more possibilities for others.
Aurora Lixinhao Gao, PhD in Education
As a first-year PhD student in Education who graduated from Cambridge with Best Dissertation Award in her MPhil, Aurora truly cherishes the academic and social opportunities she has been offered at Homerton. Coming from a Spanish major and Psychology minor background, she is looking for challenges and opportunities in the sphere of multilingualism. Personally, being a Homerton Changemaker ambassador is a great opportunity to further proceed her research exploration and personal development as a lifelong lover of languages. Apart from discovering more about herself and making friends with people from various backgrounds, she would be able to contribute to her MPhil college via her own strength. She always says: “wherever I go, Homerton is engraved as my hometown in my heart forever.
Abiel Ma, recent Alumnus
I am Abiel, a recent Mst graduate at Homerton and the CEO and Co-founder of Vuala. Our company is working to make food waste recycling easy with our automatic waste sorting technology. Our solution automatically liquifies and separates food waste from other waste, turning them into raw material for biogas and animal feed production within hours on site. Homerton Changemaker has been a life-changing experience for me, it has provided me with a lot of opportunities and networks, which has been essential to develop my company. As an ambassador, I am looking forward to serving, and sharing my entrepreneurial experience to fellow students, as well as acting as a bridge to facilitate more opportunities and network for the wider Homerton community.
Inès Magré, 3rd year Human, Social and Political Sciences
I'm a 3rd year studying HSPS (Social Anthropology) and have loved my time at Homerton and discovering the Changemakers programme. I was involved with organising the Annual Residential over summer and the values Changemakers stand for, of collaboration, ethical ambition, risk-taking and regenerative systems all resonated deeply. Human connection and community is the most important thing to me and Changemakers has allowed me to meet like-minded people from such a diverse range of backgrounds, like I never experienced before at Cambridge, as well as showing me that I have the power within myself to turn my ambitions into reality.
Josh Moreton, 3rd year French and Arabic
I’m Josh, a third year French and Arabic student currently on my year abroad. I was a Changemakers sceptic before this year’s Autumn Residential and now I advocate with the zealotry of a convert! Not only does the Changemaker programme give you concrete skills to help you make your way in the world, it ensures that you do so with confidence and integrity. Thinking about life post-uni is like finding your way through a dark tunnel, but Changemakers provides a torch to light the way. It also shows you that if you have exciting plans, you can get started right away!
Rebecca Myers, PhD in Psychology
Cornelius Palm, Recent Alumnus, Founder of Happyr Health
As a University of Cambridge postgraduate alumni in Entrepreneurship and social entrepreneur, making change is close to my heart. Before co-founding Happyr Health, a social healthcare venture that supports teens in pain, I gained experience in strategy consulting at KPMG and in the leadership team of a high-growth start-up. I combine business expertise with experience from the health sector, from >5 years of working as a paramedic. Homerton Changemakers has inspired me with new systemic methods to tackle the major problems we face. I hope to support the practical implementation of those methods in my ambassador role.
Subhankar Paul, MD in Transplantation and Vascular Access Surgery
The Homerton Changemakers is a novel and unparalleled platform to connect with like-minded people and to pause and reflect on what truly matters. The innovative and interactive Changemaker sessions have initiated and facilitated a deep dive into exploring our core values and provided a safe space to express, discuss and guide our thoughts towards a positive pathway of self-growth and clarity of purpose. To learn from the experience of professionals and academics who have excelled in their fields is a rare opportunity. I am very excited to be involved as a Changemakers Ambassador and work with an ever-growing network of motivated individuals who believe in the power of positive thought, leading to positive change.
Sandaleen Qaiser, Recent Alumna
I studied English Literature at Homerton, and am now pursuing creative writing. Throughout my university experience and beyond, I've had a wide variety of interests and a deeply held desire to understand and help affect societal change, especially in my community in Pakistan. The Changemakers programs have been invaluable in helping me pin down my strengths and reflect on where and how to best focus my energies, in a world that demands a scattering of our attention. I hope to encourage positive change through my creative pursuits, and being part of our community of changemakers is endlessly inspirational.
Goncalo Araujo Regado, PhD in Theoretical Physics
I studied Natural Sciences followed by a masters in Mathematics at Homerton and I am now doing a PhD in Theoretical Physics in the field of quantum gravity. As much as I have a passion for understanding and solving difficult problems, I cannot but feel gratitude for the opportunities I have been provided since my childhood and for the people along the way who showed me where I could and should dare to look. Seeing how there are others around the world who systematically miss out on such fortuitous encounters gives me a strong ambition to create streams of opportunities that go against this flow and enable individuals to reach their potential. This is one such difficult problem that I would like to contribute towards solving and Changemakers is the perfect platform of collaborators and like-minded students devoted to making the world better than it was yesterday.
Megan Renoir, PhD in History
I am a first year PhD student in History working with the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe in California to examine land conflict and contemporary Indigenous sovereignty and survival via a framework of ‘competing cosmologies’. From roughly 10 years of working in the international peacebuilding sector, I have been consistently amazed by how vital cultural (or cosmological!) literacy is for effective and sustainable peacebuilding. To me, Homerton Changemakers is a peacebuilding course at its core, and one that provides the most effective methods towards developing this type of literacy that I have ever seen. It is for this reason that I am beyond humbled to become a Changemaker Ambassador. Within this role, I hope to facilitate wider recognition and broader access to the program so that more people are able to become peacebuilders in their personal and professional lives.
Enelton Satria, MPhil in Technology Policy
I am passionate about the discipline of digital innovation and learning how I could help SMEs and enterprises seize the opportunities of digitalisation. I aspire to be a competent public-interest technologist and utilise technology to advance equity and inclusion in the wider community. As a Homerton Changemaker ambassador, I am determined to empower Homertonians to create the future they desire. Through this empowerment, I hope not to only influence them, but also to all the people and communities they would influence in turn through their meaningful initiatives and leadership. Let’s work together towards a more inclusive, diverse, sustainable, and better future.
Najib Sharifi, PhD in Chemistry
Besides being very passionate about science and academia, I have always been driven by the interests of my community, a persecuted and oppressed ethnic minority. The thought of contributing to a positive change, no matter how small, is what influences most of the key decisions I make. I not only learnt a lot from the changemakers programme but also met amazing and inspiring individuals that are passionate about solving the big problems. I want to join Changemakers as an ambassador so I can continue to work with like minded people and also develop myself further on how I can help persecuted communities like my own.
Isabella Todini, 3rd year Human, Social and Political Sciences
I am a third year Social Anthropology (HSPS) student, so I am always thinking about the world and the communities within it, always seeking to understand what it means to be a human and how we relate to and interact with each other. Through Changemakers I have gained professional and personal skills that have empowered me to draw from within and use my strengths to create positive impacts both in my immediate community and more globally. I’m looking forward to sharing the inspiration I have gained and continuing my own growth as an Ambassador this year.
Kogulan Vipulan, 3rd year Chemical Engineering
In order to solve any global issue, we require well-rounded individuals who can see from all angles. Changemakers proudly delivers these personal development opportunities. I was drawn to the programme's willingness to explore critical themes and provide students with a more holistic approach to problem-solving. I believe these skills of compassion, building a compelling argument and empowering others are essential for achieving ambitious goals such as net-zero: innovation and people must progress side by side. Within the Ambassador role, I am looking to strengthen the engagement of scientists and engineers with Changemakers events.
Changemakers has introduced me to a community of wonderful and inspiring people. Each Changemaker event I have attended has left me feeling energised and excited to tackle the big challenges our world is facing today. Having the right values, tools, attitude and people on my side has emboldened me to champion radical positive change.
"Homerton Changemakers is a brilliant and necessary invitation for us to raise our game as humans. To explore how to draw new maps for a world with a future.”
"Homerton Changemakers helped me realise how much push for change there currently is - the programme creates a supportive environment to channel it into proper changemaking."
"Making change by dissenting from old orthodoxies is Homerton’s DNA. At Homerton I learned how to be an agent of change rather than a passive bystander. That’s why I support Changemakers."
“Above all, I feel empowered by the opportunity that Changemakers have given me to deeply connect and exchange ideas with like-minded people of all ages and backgrounds - and a powerful reminder that it is up to our generation, each and every one of us, to make this world a better place to live in.”