Urban Synergy brings positive change to St Matthew Academy

NigelRole Model Seminars

Urban Synergy St Matthews Academy 2013 08Urban Synergy hosted one of a series of unique ‘Top Tips to the Top’ Role Model Seminars at St Matthew Academy in Blackheath on Wednesday, 6th February 2013. Over 100 young people attended the seminar to listen to the panellists talk about their own experiences as well as provide insights into the skills and behaviours required to succeed in their future careers.

  • Nonso Anozie – Film and Theatre Actor.
  • Ed Simpson – Corporate Lawyer.
  • Lotwina Farodoye – Entrepeneur, Speaker and Author.
  • Toks Aruoture – CEO Punkinpatch.
  • Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock M.B.E – Space Scientist.

Nonzo Anozie – Film and Theatre Actor. Nonzo has appeared in productions including ‘Game of Thrones,’ Shakespeare’s ‘Othello’ and also movies ‘The Grey’ and ‘Rocknrolla.’ Nonzo talked about his career and told the audience that they should ‘aim for the moon and if you miss, you will be among the stars’ he also said that ‘your dream should be so big it frightens you – face it and throw yourself at it.’

Ed Simpson – Corporate Lawyer. Ed set up his own business called The Legal Director and now manages a group of ten lawyers providing advice to businesses. Ed spoke about educating the whole child and the benefits of a good education, using common sense and communication.

Lotwina Farodoye – Entrepeneur, speaker and author started her own business with her own brand of natural fruit bars which achieved nationwide distribution with major supermarkets including Sainsburys and Waitrose as well as being sold globally online. Lotwina told the audience to ‘be the best that you can be. School is a gift and your career journey starts now.’

Toks Aruoture – CEO Punkinpatch. Toks is the mother of four boys and is an Interior Designer with her own business offering interior design services, custom-made and bespoke items of furniture with a focus on children’s bedrooms and nurseries. Toks told the audience that you should ‘make sure that you do something that you love doing. Everyone has a gift, a talent – trust your instincts.’

Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock M.B.E. – Space Scientist. Maggie obtained her degree in physics from Imperial College and also her PhD in Mechanical Engineering. Maggie has worked on and managed the observation instruments for the Aeolus satellite, which measures wind speeds to help the investigation of climate change. Maggie talked about her fascination with space at a young age, she wanted to go to space and loved watching ‘The Clangers’ and ‘Star Trek’ because of this. Maggie spoke about the challenges of being dyslexic and of also changing schools thirteen times in her childhood. Maggie talked about the power of dreams and ambitions and also about being bold and brave. ‘Take opportunities and grab them with both hands.’

The seminar was mainly managed by students at St. Matthews who filmed, took pictures and hosted the event together with our own Sue Watson.

Other Urban Synergy role models in attendance on the evening included; solicitors, barristers, Engineers, IT Sign Language Interpretor, Journalist, Firefighters, Teachers, Anti-Money Laundering Analyst, Microsoft Specialist, Business Analyst/Project Manager, Advisor to the Mayor’s office, Architect and Entrepreneur.


The students provided some feedback on the evening;


Dante, aged 14yrs

‘Nonso inspired me because he came from the same background as I did, so if he can make it I can make it. The seminar was truly inspirational and I hope I can attend next year to feel the same magic I felt today.’


Leau, aged 15yrs

‘Ed inspired me because I am also interested in becoming a lawyer and owning my own law firm.’


Victoria, aged 15yrs

‘It’s fantastic for students like me to be inspired and know that we are special in some way and can be whatever we want by working hard.’


Rytis, aged 15yrs

‘I learnt that I should always follow what I believe is my calling and never let anyone change my mind for me.’


Dorcas, aged 15yrs

‘The seminar is a great and fantastic idea. Today I felt more confident than ever and more motivated at the end of the seminar.’


Jordan, aged 16yrs

‘Nonso inspired me because he comes from a similar background as me and has big dreams like me. This has taught me that impossible is nothing.’


Dexter, aged 15yrs

‘Toks inspired me as she had already built a career and life and had a hobby she loved and had the courage to chase her dream in interior design. Which is what I want to do.’


Simon, aged 14yrs

‘Nonso and Maggie inspired me, he spoke words of wisdom and strong guidance. Maggie showed me that no matter how bad a situation you are in, you can do anything.’


Peter, aged 14yrs

‘Lotwina inspired me as she told us to keep moving forward, even if bad things happen along the way.’


Marcus, aged 14yrs

‘It was a great opportunity to meet new people and a chance to learn new things and I decided what I want to be in the future.’


Fleuranelle, aged 15yrs

‘I think that all pupils in all schools should be able to experience this opportunity, so that it can inspire them as much as it has inspired me.’


Urban Synergy would like to thank the Principal of St. Matthew Academy, Michael Barry, and all of the staff and pupils for working with us to host our Role Model Seminar ‘Top tips for the top.’

Urban Synergy’s seminars and workshops are provided free of charge, but please consider supporting our work by making a voluntary donation for the cost incurred to organise our events – https://urbansynergy.com/donate/