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Volunteering sums up Leyla's approach to life

At 21 years of age, Leyla Mahirah Nor has a CV that most of us would be proud of and she hasn’t even graduated yet.

The second-year LSE Actuarial Science student is combining her academic studies with a range of voluntary activities that span cooking to gardening, running, tutoring and wildlife preservation – all in the space of 18 months.

Since enrolling at LSE in 2012, Leyla has taken up various causes close to her heart, helping six different charities and organisations along the way.

They include Teach for Malaysia, LSE’s Widening Participation Program, Pertiwi Soup Kitchen, LSE Food Cycle, London Wildlife Trust and cancer research.

Her secret to juggling academic studies with her volunteering commitments? “Choose activities that you enjoy doing and then nothing seems like a chore,” she says.

Leyla’s love of running (she is a member of LSE’s running club) will take her all the way to Paris this April when she competes in the French capital’s annual marathon to raise money for the Association of International Cancer Research.

The motivation is personal: at age 10 she lost her grandmother to cancer and is keen to do whatever she can to spare others from the same trauma her own family experienced.

Leyla and her running partner, Tze Ni, have pledged to raise £1000 for cancer research in the lead up to the marathon. They are already well on their way to achieving that goal after holding donut and lunch box sales, and charitable proceeds from an upcoming music concert, squash tournament and bake sale will go some way towards reaching the fundraising target.

“It’s been a group effort, thanks to the combined efforts of various LSE societies and friends and family,” Leyla says.

To donate to Leyla and Tze’s Paris Marathon charity run, visit this website.

For more information about Student Volunteer Week at LSE, go to: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/careers/2014/02/05/student-volunteering-week-2014/

For LSE volunteering activities in general, visit: http://www.lse.ac.uk/lifeAtLSE/volunteeringOpportunities.aspx

24 February 2014