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Grainne Mc Laughlin

#WeWill Lead & Head, The Gateway Academy

My background is completely within the education sector, and I began my professional journey as a Maths teacher, working with young people on a day-to-day basis. I found it extremely rewarding working with young people through their educational journey and it served as a catalyst for my wanting to get more involved in school leadership and support students further. I am extremely passionate about ensuring all young people have equal life changes and I’m excited to be leading The Gateway Learning Community’s Youth Social Action Campaign, #WeWill. My main aim is to support our young people to take on leadership roles around social action and make a difference in their own lives and have a positive influence within their local community and beyond. It is also incredibly important to me that we support our young people to lead the way in shaping our world and have a deep understanding of their social responsibility.

Jessica Odewole

#WeWill support & Teacher of Business

During my education, I discovered I had dyslexia in sixth form. This taught me the value of having dedicated teachers that motivate you no matter your struggles. This is why I decided to encourage others to pursue their dreams, no matter their trials. Along my journey, my interest in social responsibility grew, across all parts of my working environments. I took to implementing the best values in the organisations I worked at, such as giving back to the community and improving our environment. I’ve also had the opportunity of visiting many African countries by working with amazing charities and seeing the daily struggles that individuals have to overcome. I find working with young people exhilarating and I love having the opportunity to impact a positive change in their lives. I am excited about assisting on, The Gateway Learning Community’s Youth Social Action Campaign, #WeWill.

Jamie Richards

Inclusion Manager, Tilbury Pioneer Academy

I began working for The Gateway Learning Community in 2017 initially as an Inclusion Advocate at The Gateway Primary Free School (GPFS). Then progressed on to working across GPFS and Tilbury Pioneer Academy leading on Inclusion. I am a trained Forest School Leader, and as a school, we offer Forest School as a provision for wellbeing and learning – being a keen gardener, it has been great to spend more time outside and see the benefits that nature has on children. As a child, I was excluded from school – a real risk that could’ve led me on a path of social exclusion. Fortunately, my local youth services worked with me to help me believe, in achieving my worth. With love and understanding, they were able to guide and inspire me to become an adult who cares, this is ultimately why I do my job; every child should have someone who cares. It’s a joy to see the impact young people can have – this is why I wanted to take part in the #WeWill campaign. Young people don’t always realise just how powerful they are, I think it is time they did!

Clare Jones

Teacher, The Gateway Primary Freeschool

I have been a teacher for quite a number of years now. I was inspired to go into teaching, as my mum used to be a teacher. I have great memories of going into class with her as a child and watching some of the wonderful activities she engaged her pupils in. I have cousins who are teachers too, so it’s a real family of educators! One has taught abroad for a number of years and I went to stay with her when she lived in Brunei. That was a fabulous experience seeing her teaching the children there! I’m feeling excited to be part of The Gateway Learning Community’s Youth Social Action Campaign, #WeWill. I believe all children no matter what their age can make a difference and have a positive influence on their local community and beyond

Dr Ute Steenkamp

Progress Leader, The Gateway

It is with honour that I continue to serve as Progress Leader for Year 9 at The Gateway Academy, part of The Gateway Learning Community. This is my fifth year at The Gateway Academy and I feel blessed to be working with our lovely students. I am an experienced leader with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry and providing holistic wellness to students. My PhD investigated cultural diversity within schools and this is my focus area. Skilled in pastoral development, inclusive education, and teaching and learning with 15 years of teaching experience. I am ecstatic to be leading The Gateway Learning Community’s Youth Social Action Campaign, #WeWill. I’m passionate about helping others, especially in my immediate community. I am excited to start my social action journey and I hope to have an impact on our student’s lives.

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