Oxford Scholastica Foundation

If you’re an Oxford Scholastica Academy student and you want to make a positive difference to society, we want to help! We support our students’ social impact projects and charities around the world through the Oxford Scholastica Academy Foundation. Learn more about the Foundation and how to get involved below.

Summer school alumni
As part of our mission to make the world a better place, we want to support social impact projects that our students and alumni are passionate about. That’s why we set up the Oxford Scholastica Academy Foundation, through which we are able to provide advice, publicity and funding to students’ charities and projects.

While we are able to give larger sums to help fund projects set up by Oxford Scholastica alumni, we are also more than happy to consider causes to which our alumni have no official ties, but which they are dedicated to supporting. In this case we would ask that you are able to show evidence of this e.g. previous fundraising done for a charity, or voluntary work undertaken.

Funding Applications 2021

See below for details of applications to the Foundation in our current funding round, and vote for the one you’d like to support!
Ariana - HomeWork Aid
What is it? Virtual Tutoring
Experience at Oxford Scholastica: Psychology & Neuroscience Online Course, 2020
Favourite memory of Oxford Scholastica: “The experiment I designed and the class discussions/working in groups were my favorite parts of the course. I also enjoyed a lot studying the mood induction and found neuro-imaging fascinating. I learned many concepts and great information since the course covered all the 9 major areas of psychology. The course reinforced my desire and interest to pursue neuroscience and psychology as my majors in college.”

Ariana is the founder of HomeWork Aid. Their motto is: “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace” (Confucius). Their project’s mission is equality in education and support of students in need by providing free tutoring and homework help. They’ve volunteered over 60 hours of free tutoring since January! Ariana has so far created a website, recruited tutors, worked on promotion and publicity around local schools and NGOs. Their project was even featured on Family Fun Twin Cities, Parents Together (Parenting in a Pandemic), and the newsletters of Minnesota Transitions Charter Schools, Girls Scouts troops, Cretin Derham-Hall High School and St Thomas More School.

Ariana is now a Kids In Need Foundation Ambassador and currently fundraising for under-resourced students from local schools.

What difference would the funding bring to Ariana’s project?
The funding will cover the cost of the monthly website hosting fees and Calendly fees and allow more tutors to be added. So far, Ariana has been covering these costs herself. She also hopes to be able to offer free tutoring services through her partnered organisation, Kids In Need Foundation, for under-resourced students in local schools.

Why is Ariana passionate about the project?
“I am grateful for this wonderful opportunity to share our free tutoring/homework help website and idea to inspire others to try to make a change. I believe we all have the power, and also the responsibility to try to make a difference. This coronavirus time is challenging and uncertain. There are many difficulties caused by online learning, so I thought some families may be in need of extra support. I took an online course in tutoring offered by Minnesota Literacy Council, recruited a few friends and launched HomeworkAid.org.

Many parents have been really grateful that our service is free and virtual. All the kids that signed up for one session, ended up signing up again, some even a few times a week. One of our students has improved a lot her math skills, and another has gained a lot of confidence and enjoys reading now.

We believe it’s good to try to get involved and help. We learned a lot about how great it is to be helpful, selfless, patient, and to put the needs of others before our own. We realized how grateful we need to be for the chance to be in a position to help others less fortunate than us. Many kids have families that can not offer them the time or the support they need to thrive. The smiles and happiness on the kids faces when they understand a concept or learn something new are so rewarding. There is great satisfaction that comes from helping. We already had many successful sessions, but plan to reach out and help more families, and continue tutoring after the COVID-19 crisis has passed.”

Rafay - Roshan Kal School
What is it? Vocational training for women
Experience at Oxford Scholastica: International Relations & Leadership Online Course, 2020
Favourite memory at Oxford Scholastica: “My favorite memory from Oxford Scholastica is one of the guest lectures. The speaker talked about her life and about law, which was her major. I think that this was very memorable because it gave me a good insight as to how law actually works and whether or not I would want to pursue it as a career.”

Rafay wants to take a step towards helping underprivileged women in Pakistan who do not have the opportunities to make an income for themselves and their families due to lack of education and traditional cultural views. He has already identified a vocational training school in Lahore, Roshan Kal (a brighter tomorrow) School, where women of the underprivileged community learn to sew clothes. However, whilst the women are capable and have developed an immense skill set, they do not have sufficient funds to convert this skill into a business. Rafay has explored the potential of his project by meeting the women and their teachers and teaching them the basics of finance including profit, loss, pricing, investment, how to market the products with an aim for them to make profit out of their talents and skills. He hopes to be able to help this community to sell their products locally and online.

What difference would the funding bring to Rafay’s project?
The funding would allow Rafay to give the women an investment, without which a business is nothing. His goal is to help them establish a business and if it becomes successful, the women will gain financial independence and will have created a new source of income for their underprivileged families.

Why is Rafay passionate about the project?
“People should support this cause because I believe that independence and success of these women is key for my country to advance. I think that this is important because I believe that with this project all the underrepresented, unheard women will improve their knowledge and will be able to sustain themselves and their families now and for the future.”

Sandro - Net Buddies
What is it? Potential project offering internet access to children in a local orphanage in Georgia
Experience at Oxford Scholastica: Engineering Online Course and Business Development Internship, both 2020

Sandro is currently a volunteer at Help Kids, a local orphanage in Georgia, and helps the children there to access Internet resources, participate in online education during the pandemic and practice everyday English, all of which can help them later in life! Now Sandro and his friends want to expand this work and launch a new project to expand internet access even further.

What difference would the funding bring to Sandro’s project?
“Funding can support the first phase of the project by purchasing one Computer with internet connection. Sandro hopes to set up a basic site where other people can also donate money towards buying an old computer or support with the internet.”

Why is Sandro passionate about the project?
“Internet became one of the most essential products during the pandemic. We were able to continue our studies and online school thanks to the internet resources available. Our school helped with online content and our parents were able to support us by making sure that we had required gadgets and a high-speed internet connection.
However, this is not the case for other kids in Georgia. Other kids had to still walk to school as they couldn’t afford the internet, whilst some kids in orphanages didn’t even have any education at all. There are a lot of kids in Georgia who have no access to the Internet and since the internet and English language skills to access online resources are hugely important for learning, we want to help the kids who are less advantaged.”

Cendrick - STC x Branches of Hope
What is it? Coding and sports programmes for refugees
Oxford Scholastica experience: Politics & Debate and Law Online Courses, both 2020
Favourite memory: Role-playing real-life court cases

Cendrick’s project hopes to further integrate the refugee community through student-led coding and sports programmes.

What difference would the funding bring to Cendrick’s project?
“Due to COVID, fundraising is banned at our school. Funding from Oxford Scholastica would allow us to advance beyond the planning stage and begin implementing the sports programme. Furthermore, while our coding program has held its first class at the end of March, the software could be improved to enhance the learning experience for members.”

Why is Cendrick passionate about the project?
“Refugees’ lives are filled with strife, especially in Hong Kong. They are not allowed to work, they live in horrible conditions and often suffer. I believe that if refugees were integrated into our communities, they’d feel less mentally stressed and be provided an opportunity to impact society.”

Cate - Greenhouse Theatre

What is it? A zero-waste performance venue
Oxford Scholastica experience Experience Creative Writing Academy, 2015
Favourite Oxford Scholastica memory: I have a very vivid memory of winning one of the awards during the debate workshop. I was a painfully shy fifteen-year-old, and it took me a while to get into the rhythm of things at summer school. That was the first time I had ever debated, and I loved it – it even led to me starting a debate team at my high school in Canada. Less specifically, I would go so far as to say that my experience with Oxford Scholastica was a driving force behind coming to study in the UK, which has been by far the best decision I’ve ever made.

Founded by students from the University of St Andrews, The Greenhouse is the UK’s first ever zero-waste performance venue. Cate has produced two shows with the pilot project last summer and is now on the executive team as Head of Education and Outreach. In this role Cate is responsible for programming their education events, coordinating outreach programme and overseeing all of the ‘extracurricular’ (non-theatre) events that the venue hosts. Overall, Cate and her team want to see people switching to more sustainable lifestyles, empowering them to realise that their individual actions can have a huge impact. They hope to achieve this in four ways: through their shows which often discuss our relationship with the natural environment, and invite audiences to be a part of the conversation; through education and outreach including free hands-on workshops and talks from experts in sustainability; through social events brings people together to learn from one another and see that they are not fighting alone; and by setting an example such as with a zero-waste policy, paperless systems, second hand costumes and the theatre building itself constructed from reclaimed materials.

“The Greenhouse bridges the gap between concern and activity. We believe that shifting the way people talk about climate change can shift how they act. The project emotionally connects people to the natural world, to show them it is a world worth saving. A visit to The Greenhouse will serve as a call to action, giving people the drive and the tools they need to protect our planet.”

What difference would the funding bring to Cate’s project?
“We cap all of our ticket prices at £5 to ensure financial viability for everyone – theatre is often seen as something elite and inaccessible, and we are doing our best to combat that. While keeping our ticket prices low is really important to us, it also means that we have to look to external sources for our funding.

“We are requesting funding for various building materials (timber, PVC, and fixings). While all funding for the project is essential, this grant would go towards materials that hold the physical structure together, and thus are quite literally integral to what we do. Our venue is constructed entirely out of found and reclaimed materials, which keeps building costs relatively low, so this funding would account for nearly half of our entire building budget.”

Why is Cate passionate about the project?
“A recent BSA survey shows that while 70% of people are worried about climate change, they believe there is just a 44% chance that their actions will have an impact. People are worried about climate change, but for the most part, do not think that they can do anything about it.
To tackle the root cause of climate inaction, we want to create a society where acting sustainably is second nature: where sustainability is not a sacrifice, but simply how you live. By harnessing the power of theatre and storytelling, we approach climate change in a deeply human way, taking an issue that can be seen as abstract and terrifying and making it feel personal and hopeful.

It is our belief that this shift in mindset will create, at long last, the deeply rooted, meaningful change that is absolutely crucial in the face of the climate crisis.”

Previous Projects

Gemma Postill –
Be The Vibe Jewelry

Founded by alumna Gemma Postill (Experience Medicine Academy), Be The Vibe is a fantastic social enterprise which sells jewelry made by Gemma to raise funds for sustainable water projects in Rwanda.

Noa Donvan –
UMTTR

Alumna Noa Donvan (Experience Medicine Academy) is heavily involved in the work of UMTTR, a peer-led organisation aiming to change the face of teen mental health in the US.

Discover more, and donate here.

Noa Donvan
Oxford Scholastica Foundation funding
Elliot Mack –
AIME & Ban Pak Audomsung Learning Center

Alumnus Elliot Mack (Experience International Relations, Politics and Leadership Academy) spent five months volunteering at the Learning Center during his gap year in the spring of 2018. Located along the Myanmar border in Northern Thailand, the Ban Pak Audomsung Learning Center is a local partner of the French-Canadian non-profit AIME (Association Internationale de Mobilisation pour l’Égalité).

How it works

Our funding structure is as follows:

  • ‘Do it’ fund: for alumni to set up a new project, and get it off the ground. Grants from this fund are worth up to £500
  • ‘Grow it’ fund: to grow an established project (founded by Oxford Scholastica alumni), which has already seen results, and to enable it to widen its scope. Grants from this fund are worth up to £1000
  • ‘Support it’ fund: for projects not set up by alumni, but which they are dedicated to supporting. Grants from this fund are worth up to £250

You can apply for funding by filling in our form, and all successfully shortlisted applications will then be voted on by our alumni and wider community. If your project meets our threshold of likes, we will be able to support you with funding.

(Please be aware that while we will try to consider any reasonable cause, the Oxford Scholastica Academy has the final decision on whether or not causes will be considered for support).

Can I Apply For Support?

  • Does your project make a genuine difference to the world?
  • Will our community be inspired to support it?
  • Are you passionate about it?

If yes, you are eligible to apply for support!

Applications for this round of funding are now closed, and we are reviewing applications. We will be in touch with all alumni to let you know when the next funding round opens.

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