Charity Liaison Partners
Eastside Young Leaders Academy (EYLA)
What is EYLA?
It’s an after school and weekends educational school for BME (black and minority ethnicity) kids based in East London. It aims to teach skills the kids may not have, for example public speaking, debate, self analysis and promote confidence to succeed at school etc .
Its funded by various foundations, The Springboard Trust, National Lottery as well as corporate sponsors and The Fishmonger's Trust.
The CEO is Ray Lewis (ex prison service and adviser to Boris Johnson) and the trustees are headed by Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York.
What does EYLA offer?
The Academy was modelled on a school project for troubled youngsters Ray Lewis visited in Southern USA. There are various programmes available to all EYLA’s 440 students.
The Leadership programme runs on Saturdays, after school and during school holidays with an average attendance of 280 young leaders.
The Scholars programme offers talented kids the option of a leading boarding school education as a bursary student. See the Sunday Times article of four EYLA boys at Rugby: https://www.eyla.org.uk/post/sunday-times-may-2018 . There are 88 scholars currently in boarding school with a further 33 preparing for entry this September.
How did I come across them?
I first met Ray Lewis at my kids school (City of London Freemens) where he gave a talk about EYLA, bursaries and the boarding programme. At the talk were two current EYLA sponsored students who have received bursaries part sponsored by the City of London Corporation. One of them gave a talk about her experiences and to be frank she was so impressive, her talk delivered with great modesty that I felt I had to approach Ray and offer to help with mentoring.
Whats my involvement?
I am the WCMPCC charity partner for EYLA but also as a mentor to Omar picture below.
Omar is 16 and has just started to board at Whitgift school. He plans a career in politics after university. We meet every month or so and go to exhibitions and discuss politics and books he's reading. He's and impressive young man who has come a long way from a troubled start. Boys like him ie the bright ones can be targeted by gangs on the E.London estates. His mother refused to leave the EYLA offices until they took him onto their programme. My aim for the summer is to get him an internship with an M.P. at the HoC.
How has WCMPCC helped EYLA?
The funding from the Makers of Playing Cards specifically covered the cost of the young leaders’ journals. The journal is a bespoke work book which enables the students to keep a record of their learning. This feeds into the Eastside Leadership Diploma which is made up of units accredited by AQA.
What impact does EYLA have? This has been debated in the press recently. Academies such as EYLA have had a major positive impact on BME school success in recent years , see the illustration below from EYLA’s website