Zero Gravity, a new digital mentoring start-up, has launched today. Building on the success of Access Oxbridge, Zero Gravity seeks to pair students looking to apply to any university with undergraduate mentors from Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities. Students will receive mentoring and application advice via the Zero Gravity app up to and beyond receiving an offer.
Zero Gravity gets its name from the idea that disadvantages may act like ‘gravity’ on the ambitions of students from low-income backgrounds. The scheme aims to help lessen these disadvantages, so the student has ‘Zero Gravity’ and is free to achieve their full potential.
Access Oxbridge was founded in 2018 by Mansfield College graduate Joe Seddon to help widen access to Oxford and Cambridge. The scheme was entirely voluntary and received over 100 mentor sign-ups within 24 hours of its launch. Access Oxbridge paired state school students looking to apply to Oxbridge with mentors from Oxbridge, often reading the same course and therefore knowledgeable about the application process. Within its first year, mentors helped over 100 students win places at Oxford and Cambridge.
Seddon said, “Access Oxbridge proved that Oxbridge undergrads have the power and the determination to transform access to Britain’s best universities. Zero Gravity is a movement which is driven by current Oxbridge students who want extend the ladder to those who will come after them… The Zero Gravity credo is that wherever you’re from, whatever your background, whichever school you attend, the only limit is the scale of your ambition and your desire to make it a reality.”
Alana Stewart, previously an Access Oxbridge mentor and now a Zero Gravity ambassador, told The Oxford Student: “Sparing an hour or so a week mentoring students from more disadvantaged backgrounds is a small way you can help level the academic playing-field. It’s extremely rewarding to watch somebody’s self-confidence grow in just a few weeks, and to help empower them in their application for really competitive university places that they might otherwise feel are inaccessible.”
Last October, The Oxford Student reported that Seddon was recognised with the Points of Light Award by the Prime Minister, which distinguishes outstanding UK volunteers who make a change in their community.
Upon winning the award, Seddon said, “Education has the ability to transform lives, and we must continue to work to ensure that those with incredible talent are able to succeed irrespective of background. Every day I wake up with a spring in my step knowing that we have the ability to make a lasting impact on people’s lives, and empower our students to succeed without limit.”
Over 800 mentors have signed up to the scheme already. Undergraduate students looking to become mentors can visit www.zerogravity.co.uk to sign up.
Image credit: Zero Gravity