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Dagenham woman’s dream to study at Cambridge University comes true thanks to ‘generous’ donors

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 September 2020

Tamara Valentina is on her way to Cambridge University thanks to generous supporters. Picture: Tamara Valentina

Tamara Valentina is on her way to Cambridge University thanks to generous supporters. Picture: Tamara Valentina

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A woman’s dream of studying at Cambridge University has come true after she raised more than £23,000.

Tamara Valentina frm Dagenham has raised more than £23,000 to secure her place at the University of Cambridge. Picture: Savanna AchampongTamara Valentina frm Dagenham has raised more than £23,000 to secure her place at the University of Cambridge. Picture: Savanna Achampong

Tamara Valentina from Dagenham is due to start her master’s degree in psychology and education thanks to donations from the public, a scholarship and her determination not to let humble beginnings hold her back.

A delighted Tamara said: “It’s just amazing. It’s mind-blowing. I feel overwhelmed at people’s generosity. This changes everything.

“It means I can now go to the university, but also not have to worry about the financial burden. Friends and family feel like they are coming with me. Everyone is rooting for me.”

The Warwick University graduate raised £13,100 through a GoFundMe page, smashing a £11,640 target.

On top of that, the 23-year-old scooped £12,500 from The Black Heart Foundation which improves access to education for underprivileged young people.

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To supporters, Tamara said: “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. They are part of this journey with me now. Whatever I do next, I am forever grateful.”

Before achieving her goal, Tamara had feared she would lose out on a rare opportunity for people from poorer households as well as black and ethnic minorities because of the expense.

But she had this message for anyone else faced with a similar situation: “If you know what it is you want, go at it with every fibre of your being.

“When you want something hard enough, people can see that passion and will find a way to help you. Don’t let funding put you off.

“It’s definitely difficult, but if you want something, go for it.”

Tamara’s study will focus on ways of breaking down the barriers which can prevent youngsters from less well off homes doing well in education, something which the coronavirus pandemic has affected with children having missed months of school.

She explained how Covid-19’s impact on youngsters’ schooling has shone an even brighter light on already existing gaps in attainment between poorer children and better off peers.

And that’s a gap which Tamara is determined to narrow through her work at one of the world’s top universities.


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