LSE student receives Social Mobility Award

Your background does not define your future. It may shape your journey, but it does not determine the heights you can reach.
- Aleesha Bruce
Aleesha Bruce2 747 x 560
Aleesha Bruce upReach

LSE undergraduate student Aleesha Bruce has been recognised at the Student Social Mobility Awards, organised by the charity upReach.

The prestigious Awards ceremony, which celebrates incredible achievements by undergraduate students against all odds, was held at London’s Mansion House earlier this month.

Aleesha, who is studying Politics and Economics and is going into her final year in September, was presented the ‘‘Academic Success Award” for her impressive and barrier-breaking academic achievements. These include receiving multiple awards, three full scholarships and a bursary. Aleesha has also gained work experience in consulting, politics, and business, including at McKinsey, BCG, J.P. Morgan, PwC and IEA.

The Student Social Mobility Awards are organised by the charity upReach to recognise the achievements of undergraduate students, organisations and individuals striving to improve social mobility across the UK.

The UK faces a persistent social mobility problem with recent research from the Social Mobility Commission, revealing that “people from professional family backgrounds are 80% more likely to enter professional jobs compared to their less-advantaged peers.”

As a first-generation student, Aleesha encountered numerous barriers during her school life and while entering higher education, including caring responsibilities for three younger siblings and attending nine different schools. To help others from similar backgrounds navigate the higher education process, Aleesha runs her own YouTube channel where she makes career, studying and lifestyle content and provides mentorship and guidance.

Outlining her personal experiences, Aleesha says: “Throughout my upbringing, the absence of positive, diverse role models profoundly impacted me, fuelling my passion to make a difference through YouTube, mentoring, and public speeches.

“One of the significant barriers I have faced is being the first in my family to navigate the complexities of higher education. Without the guidance and firsthand experience of my parents, who are unemployed, I have had to pave my own path and seek out resources independently. This has required me to be proactive in seeking out opportunities.

“Gaining a scholarship to LSE was a game-changer, opening doors to invaluable connections and equipping me with the tools necessary to propel my career forward. I have learned the importance of maintaining a positive mindset and celebrating the achievements that come from overcoming the odds. I am proud of myself for defying expectations and making it this far.”

Commenting on her success at the Awards ceremony, Aleesha says: “Being recognised at the Student Social Mobility Awards is an incredible and humbling experience. This recognition serves as a powerful motivation to keep pushing forward in my mentoring work, delivering school speeches, and creating meaningful content.

“To fellow students facing similar challenges, I offer this advice: your background does not define your future. It may shape your journey, but it does not determine the heights you can reach. Believe fiercely in yourself, even when the odds may seem insurmountable.”

This summer, Aleesha is interning at Oliver Wyman.  After completing her degree, she plans to continue working within consulting across multiple industries. Longer term she would like to pursue advisory roles with a long-term goal of contributing to impactful policy-making and societal development.

Behind the article

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