The application stage involved detailing the rags to riches journey of University of Leeds African & Caribbean Society (ACS) under my presidency.
I joined the African and Caribbean Society with aims of broadening my perspective on the various diverse cultures whilst being part of a student body that plays a significant role across the campus. To do so the society would also need to embody such qualities, but our ACS lacked this and more. The society was essentially non-existent.
To lead a society is no small feat, to do so with a society which lacks repute makes it even tougher. My vision for the ACS was one of national recognition, northern coalition, and sponsorship acquisition. A bold pledge for a society without a single paying sponsor.
Upon my election, I began the uphill task of ensuring that I delivered on those aims.
I took the society from zero sponsors to over 10 corporate sponsors, from pitching to and securing sponsorship from leading commercial partners. I went on to successfully build and maintain healthy relationships with the university union, members and factoring in Equality & Diversity considerations such as celebrating the LGBTQ+ Month for the first time in the society's history. I also created a ‘Northern Alliance’ with various other African & Caribbean Societies across the north of England to collaborate on events which we then hosted the biggest University ACS sporting tournament in Leeds.
Preparing for the awards lunch
When members from my committee informed me that they nominated me for such an award; President of the Year, I was elated with the happiness of just being in their thoughts. Upon receiving the email on my nomination, I was ecstatic! I was very eager to deliver our society’s journey to the rest of the Bright Network team and various other societies at lunch. I made sure to speak to each member on my committee as the nomination was just as much theirs as it was mine. The emphasis was resilience to demonstrate the tough journey we had overcome in the academic year.
I took an early train from Leeds to London to arrive just in time for the awards lunch. Being at the awards lunch was an incredible experience, from the reception to the organisation! I was sat with the Founder of Bright Network, James Uffindell, Simon Lyle, from London Business School and the 5 other President of the year finalist. The atmosphere radiated positivity with proud committees' members. I had the opportunity to listen to the incredible work the various presidents had done in their society and learnt more about the astonishing societies they lead. It was truly a pleasant experience which I will cherish.