Hello all! My name is Rachel, a 19-year-old from Kent currently studying English Literature at the University of York. When I’m not reading (a rare occasion) I am learning French, acting as a Sport’s Officer on the Alcuin JCR committee, running long distances or petting dogs

How did you first hear about Our Moon?

My story at Our Moon begins on a flight back from Rome, following a Christmas trip with my boyfriend, Joe. Exploring the architecture of the ancient world had clearly been an exhausting activity, as less than 10 minutes into the flight he had fallen asleep, leaving me companionless for the journey back to London. In a bid to speed up the remainder of the journey, I turned to the woman on my right and struck up a conversation; as it happened, this lovely woman was Helen Leale-Green, CEO of Our Moon. During the course of the flight, Helen was more than happy to discuss what Our Moon was, the aims of the charity and the projects, and upon descent left me with a web address, allowing me to explore the world of Our Moon further.  

What do you do as an Our Moon volunteer?

I am in control of social media, running various accounts and publishing a multitude of blogs surrounding current work in Our Moon, forums and life in Zambia

Why do you believe Our Moon’s work is important?

When I decided that I wanted to go to the University of York, I was supported every step of the way, with exceptional academic help from my teachers, and astounding emotional support from my family and friends. From experience, I know that getting into university was hard enough, even with such overwhelming support and a free school education. Our Moon struck a chord with me as I was able to envision how easy it was to take everything that I had for granted; the free education, the personal support and the opportunity to obtain the correct qualifications that would get me into higher education. I know that I am incredibly privileged, and I would like to give someone else the same opportunities that were offered to me for free

What do you hope to contribute to Our Moon?

I hope that by volunteering with Our Moon, I can raise awareness of the obstacles that intelligent Zambian students face when considering application to university, and to provide opportunities for these students to go into higher education.

What advice would you give to a student thinking of applying to higher education?

Make sure you work hard, but also take advantage of the opportunities around you. University is such an enriching experience that I feel it would be a waste to spend the entire time tied to a desk; there’s so many more ways in which you can learn and grow without being engrossed in a textbook. Also, make sure you study what you love, as you’re going to be living and breathing it for the next three years

Favourite book?

As an English Literature student it is impossible to skip this question! Probably Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights; I studied the novel at A-Level and loved it so much I chose to move to Yorkshire for university

Most adventurous/daring thing you’ve ever done?

I love travelling a lot, so I’d probably say the last-minute travel plans that I make. It’s stressful to plan, organise and fund the escapade, but every trip is worth it. My last-minute adventures have so far included London, Edinburgh and Rome, and each experience has been unforgettable and invaluable.

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