Edward Flood, trustee
In ROK, I am … one of the six trustees, with all the responsibilities which come with that. I have also been joint mentor lead with Michelle Edwards. Otherwise I assist with the various initiatives undertaken by ROK.
I joined ROK … after a mutual friend of [founder and CEO] Denise mentioned the charity to me a few years ago. I had done work with the Oxford Access Scheme while at University, including visiting inner city schools, and wanted to continue such work after I left. I was keen to ‘give back’ and was looking for ways to do so. ROK came along and seemed a great fit. We have a great body of professionals. It is empowering making a difference in young people’s lives; and we have a great time doing it!
I think the work ROK does is important because … it remains a sad reality that many young people from black and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds feel hampered in their career choices due to feelings of limitations based on outside perceptions and forces. They often need guidance to show them the road to achieving their full potential.
ROK is comprised of professionals mostly from BAME backgrounds from a range of industries, and so our presence alone is hopefully a powerful visual tool to show what can be achieved. We shed light on the possibilities out there with our own journeys, though the various initiatives offered to schools: mentoring, CV interview and training, industry days, and presentations to name but a few. ROK’s strength is in its members and the breadth and depth of our work.
My favourite ROK memory … would have to be my mentee, Myles, achieving great GCSE grades and going on to be Head Boy at College, and thanking me for our work together. To think I may have made a small difference to incentivise change is humbling.
A second if I may! A few of us from ROK took on Tough Mudder to raise money for ROK. A great symbolic act to show the young people what can be achieved when you put in the work and persevere, even when you sometimes have to wade through mud to get there!
If I could sum up ROK in three words, they would be … Denise, transformative, inspiring.