Helping young people to aspire and older people to thrive

Case Study: Youness El-Hayani

I am Youness El Hayani and I grew up in the Churchill Gardens neighbourhood in Pimlico. Eager to break out of this bubble, I’m the first from my family to apply to university, a move driven by my privileged journey in the world of science, stemming from visits to the Science Museum with my mother and sister as an infant, and 10 years later, to writing a research paper for the Dean of Engineering at City University and becoming one of two students to achieve the A* double in Maths and Further Maths A-Level at Pimlico Academy.

In the summer of 2016 I was granted admission into Imperial College London. The intense advance into university was met by the Sir Simon Milton Foundation’s magnanimous scholarship.

I have gone on to win first prize at the Civil Engineering Creative Design week for my proposed idea and presentation to ‘Biodiversify’ Hyde Park, and I have come to relish the opportunity I’ve been given to live this part of my life without much of a financial burden.

I come from a close-knit French/Moroccan family with a strong family ethos at the core of my identity. Outside of the classroom I can either be found developing my sprinting skills on Battersea track, designing clothes and attending Imperial Fashion Society events or tutoring SATs and GCSE students - an activity I have done throughout sixth form.

I used to go past the Sir Simon Milton Foundation building every weekend on my way to work during Sixth Form oblivious to the fortuity that would soon bless me, the same way we would go to the Museums every Saturday without ever noticing Imperial College on the same road - I could say my story gives me a feel of success, but what’s even better than that is the fact it brought me back home.