Aspiring Professionals Programme for Year 12s from the Social Foundation

The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) is a charity that runs a range of completely free of charge programmes for high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds.

Students in Year 12 can apply for the Aspiring Professionals Programme (APP) with a focus across 11 different career sectors. Every successful student will receive professional mentoring, university application support, skills development, and access to internships. Each year, over 60% of the university destinations of our cohorts have been Russell Group institutions. We continue to provide further support during university to help participants obtain graduate-level employment in top professions.

Below is a personal account from SMF alumnus Yasmin, who lived and attended school in Waltham Forest. She joined the programme in 2012 and currently works in public relations and political lobbying. Below she shares her experience of the programme and how the SMF supported her from Year 12, throughout university and into employment.

“I’m lucky to have grown up and spent my educational journey in Waltham Forest. I graduated from the University of Exeter in 2017 with a BA in English and completed an exchange year in the Netherlands during my degree, where I studied European politics and culture. I was the very first person in my family (on both sides!) to attend university and the support I received from being on the Aspiring Professionals Programme was instrumental in making this possible.

For students like me, without familial connections or someone at home to give first-hand advice, things as simple knowing your options or understanding what university life will entail can be scary. Luckily, attending workshops, networking with students and professionals, and staying in touch with a mentor opened the world of higher education to me and put my mind at ease. I even completed an internship in the House of Commons, which convinced me to pursue a career in politics!

For prospective students who are thinking of applying, I’d want them to know just how important it is to make the most of it by simply saying yes to everything on offer and not being afraid to make the first point of contact with anyone interesting they might meet – there’s a world full of opportunities out there!”

We very much hope that young people you work with will apply for the programmes. There is no cap on the number of students that we will accept from any school, college or local authority so please promote this to your own students, you could help us reach other schools and colleges in your area.

A member of the team could visit your school to promote the programmes to eligible students, or perhaps there is a meeting that is already scheduled with teachers where we could speak briefly at.

Applications are now open and close on Wednesday 18 December 2019, 12.00pm (midday).

Students can apply here. 

If you are interested in finding out more, please get in touch with our team via or call 0207 183 1189.