Nafees (19) is going to study Computer Science at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA. “It will be a big deal for my parents for me to go to university,” he tells us. He’ll be the first person in his family to go on to university.

His journey with The Access Project

Nafees has been a part of our programme for four years. “I remember first finding out about The Access Project in 2016. We were told about it and everyone was excited and wanted to apply to get onto it.” He was first matched with a tutor at GCSE for History, then the following year in Spanish. 

His latest tutor in his final year of A levels has been in Physics. “I was starting to hate Physics,” he explains. “I was seeing no progress and it was frustrating.” Nafees was matched with a tutor who really helped him. “She explained everything perfectly. If I didn’t understand she’d find an easy way to explain. I started to understand the subject more.”

“I don’t hate Physics any more. It’s still frustrating, but I can tolerate it now!”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a struggle for Nafees and his family. Both his parents have health conditions – which has made their life as a family difficult at times. “I remember doing the shopping and spending ages disinfecting everything,” he reflects. “The second and third lockdowns were particularly stressful because I had to stay up late to catch up on my studies.”

Online tuition through The Access Project helped Nafees to play catch up after the disruption that the pandemic played on his education. Getting tutored has also helped him gain confidence, and he has met many people as a result of his work with The Access Project.

The first person in his family to go to university

As the first person in his family to go to university, Nafees hopes to be someone that younger people in his family can look up to. “I have nieces and nephews and I want to be able to impart some of the knowledge that The Access Project gave to me so I can help them. Like I can help them with their UCAS applications, or help them choose what GCSEs to study.”

Nafees’ younger brother is also now taking part in The Access Project. “By going to university I hope to be an inspiration to my younger brother,” he says.