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Becoming A Mathematician

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My name is Vitoria Mario, and I am a young Black 18 year old with a dream.

I have received a conditional offer to study Mathematics (MMath) at the prestigious University of Warwick. I have already attained AABB at AS Level and I have recently achieved A*A*A in my A-Levels in Maths, Further Maths and Physics, respectively.

However, I am still in a position of uncertainty as I may not be able to attend university due to my circumstances. I have lived in the U.K. for 4 years now, after migrating from Portugal to live with family in Tottenham. The socio-economic barriers of not being eligible for maintenance loans/grants is due not only to not having ‘Home’ status, but also because my family are low income, and unable to help me self-fund through university.

Sadly, my father has passed away, and my mother remains in Portugal. Moving away from her was a challenge but it was a sacrifice worth being made, in my family’s eyes. “If you can get a university education in the UK, you will be set apart for life”.

In spite of this, I have always been a studious person, and after coming to the U.K. in 2016, unable to utter a word in English, I achieved 100% A*-As in all my GCSEs in 2018, getting a grade 9 and 8 in Maths and English respectively. I am currently a student at Brampton Manor Academy, notorious for their work in helping young Black and minority ethnic students such as myself gain entry to top U.K. institutions.

Only 35% of STEM students are female, and as of 2018, they make up just 26% of STEM graduates. In addition to the gender imbalance, there is further under-representation of BAME women, particularly Black women, who are in shortage within the field and academic institutions.

Why didn't I do this earlier, you may ask?

I emailed numerous (442 to be exact) people from top firms to see if they were able to assist me or point me in the right direction, but was rejected or left without response. As desperate times called for desperate measures, I also went to some of the most affluent postcodes in London, including Kensington, to post my story through letterboxes, but unfortunately faced the same response.

Though my story is not unique, my dream of becoming a Mathematician is not only a chance at social mobility for my family and I, but to inspire people who have been in similar positions to aspire to be the best version of themselves and strive for their dreams despite gender/racial inequality, immigration issues and financial barriers.

Financial Breakdown (estimate for 4 year course)

Accommodation - £24,000
Equipment (e.g. Laptop, textbooks ) - £3,000
Living costs (e.g. food, transport, gas, electricity etc.) - £13, 000

I am grateful for any assistance with my journey and appreciate the time taken to engage with my story.

Vitoria Mario


Vitoria Mario

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