Hannah Edebeatu is studying for her masters in financial and corporate law at Kingston University. She shares her story...
Hannah has been in and out of care since the age of nine. She is rightfully proud of her first class undergraduate degree in law from Kingston, her coveted place on the University's Community Legal Centre team, winning an Annual Fund postgraduate scholarship, and being the president of the Kingston University Law Society.
"I'm proud of my achievements and frustrated by a lifetime of battling preconceptions." says Hannah. "When you are in care you get that 'look' – the patronising one that seems to say you'll never get far. My whole life has been about proving people who give me that 'look' wrong!"
Hannah feels that too many of her fellow care leavers have been left behind. "Though they didn't have my confidence or drive, they certainly had intelligence. But they needed someone to believe in them, to push them, and then to keep on pushing them and make them feel that a place at university was possible. Therefore, I feel that Kingston's work with care leavers is vital."
Hannah is testament that growing up in care should not be a bar to achieving amazing things. Because of her experiences, she's motivated by social justice, "Stories like mine shouldn't be the exception. Education is the way for people from my background to change their future."
And how does she see her future? "Well, my ambition is to become a solicitor advocate at a 'magic circle' firm. I really want to keep on pushing myself. I don't want to be defined as just a care leaver; I want to be defined by my achievements and my potential."