Nineteen-year-old Avision Ho has spent all his life in Lewisham, south east London, and was educated in the state school system.
Neither one of his parents attended university but were desperate for their son to benefit from educational opportunities they never enjoyed themselves, growing up in China and Hong Kong.
When LSE tutors offered this opportunity in 2012 at Avision’s school, Christ the King Sixth Form College, he grabbed the chance with both hands.
For 10 weeks he spent an hour and a half each Wednesday afternoon being tutored in economics by LSE students. The experience opened his eyes to options for further study and focused his mind on a career that his parents could only dream of.
Fast forward to February 2014 and Avision is now six months into a 3-year undergraduate degree in Mathematics with Economics at LSE.
He’s far busier than he ever imagined, with heavy study commitments, but there are no complaints from his quarter.
“It’s all part of the challenge of adapting to university life and I am making new friends from so many different backgrounds,” he said.
In between assignments and essays, he is treasurer for LSESU’s Literature Society and is involved with the London-based collective Point Blank Poets.
Every Wednesday afternoon during the Lent term he is also visiting his old stamping ground at Christ the Sixth Form College to return the favour – tutoring students and hopefully shaping their lives in a positive way.
“I volunteered on the LSE tutoring program because I wanted to give back. It also helps keep me grounded and reminds me that the opportunities I have received to study at LSE shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
There have been other unexpected benefits. Avision says he is more organised and structured as a result of preparing specific lessons for the tutoring program.
To other students contemplating the tutoring experience he gives the following advice: “It opens your eyes to other parts of London which are a world away from LSE, and introduces you to a really diverse mix of people – not just culturally, but socially and economically as well. I would recommend it to anyone.”
For more information
If you are a student or staff member who would like to help raise the aspirations of London’s state school students please visit: www.lse.ac.uk/wideningparticipation
14 March 2014