The LDE UTC celebrated Black History Month in October in style with an innovative and fun event that was well-attended by learners and staff. There was an array of Black inspirational role models sharing their experiences amongst a vibrant cultural backdrop of Afro-Caribbean food, music and dancing.
The event was organised by Onyinye Iwu, the Head of Year and a Built Environment teacher at the LDE UTC working with the Art teacher Sharon Morgan, with lots of assistance from learners and other staff. The purpose was to learn about the Afro-Caribbean cultural experience, and to inspire the many learners at the College from diverse backgrounds to unleash their potential and become the role models of the future.
Beautician to the stars and property magnate, Eryca Freemantle, told UTC learners how she had overcome bullying, abuse, mental health issues and a near fatal car accident that left her with life changing injuries to become an internationally renowned make-up artist to A-list celebrities. Moving from there to develop and grow her own global beauty business and then diversifying to build a property empire. Her underlying message of working hard, never giving up and overcoming obstacles was well received by all learners.
Chair of the Youth Charter and five-time World Karate Champion, Geoff Thompson MBE, gave learners an insight into his life journey, and the need to work hard if you want to succeed in life.
Des Amey, the Managing Director of the Amey Finance Academy based in Canary Wharf, challenged learners to create personal goals and a development plan, and strive towards achieving it. Having a good quality mentor to guide and steer you was a top tip he gave learners if they wanted to succeed. He was so impressed with one Year 11 learner, Diane, that he offered her a work placement within his company at the event.
Interdisciplinary IT professional, best-selling author and Digital Strategist, Yvonne Mbanefo, who has made many historical journeys to Nigeria, entertained the young audience with stories of the Nigerian Igbo heritage. Whilst, Shermara Fletcher, former Chaplain at LDE UTC and part-time singer brought music and dancing to the occasion, inviting everyone to join in with the festivities.
Amazon Web Services kindly sponsored the event and paid for all delicious African and Caribbean food and refreshments, which enabled everyone to learn about and sample the ethnic cuisine.
The event was a huge success and illustrated that that everyone, regardless of their background and race, has potential which if nurtured and unleashed can help you achieve and accomplish great things. Just be prepared to work hard, set goals and to rise to the challenge!