meet reema


Reema was studying for her Masters in Medicine in London. The programme was very intense and included placement in hospitals alongside her studies. She was self-funding the £9,000 course fees and covering her own living expenses which she managed by taking additional night shifts in the hospital and working in administration at her local GPs.

Compared to students from more affluent backgrounds, Reema felt that her extra work and money worries were preventing her from doing as well as she wanted on the course. This was really upsetting for Reema as she saw the university course as her opportunity of leaving behind financial insecurity and breaking out on her own.

One day she was at work and she saw an email in her spam folder; a leaflet from Peabody about Make My Mark. She didn’t believe it could be true, but thought she had nothing to lose, so she went to the introduction session. Reema was concerned that Make My Mark wouldn’t want to fund her application to help pay for her degree but she received a lot of encouragement from Make My Mark and from Peabody to apply. When she was awarded funding, Reema was delighted and shocked. She remembers crying the day she found out and thinking, ‘oh my gosh, this is really happening!’

Make My Mark paid £3,000 funding against the course fees. This meant that Reema no longer needed to work ‘crazy hours’ and could focus on her course. She stopped working the hospital night shifts which meant she was less tired and more efficient at her GP surgery placement. After graduating she got a senior role at the GP surgery and is now rotating across West London surgeries. At this point she wrote to Make My Mark to explain how it had changed her life. As she explained:

It was like a miracle. My life has just completely changed. I really did make it out.


One thing Make My Mark taught Reema was not to be ashamed of her story. When she first drafted her application form, her Peabody mentor told her she needed to be less embarrassed about where she had come from. Reema has taken this approach into her work, and believes that this has helped her be a better clinician. She now uses her lived experience to bring new ideas to her work and support surgeries to work with the greater community.

Reema’s dream is to own her own GP practice in future and to work closely with the Clinical Commissioning Group to help local people, and particularly those who are struggling financially.

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Our aim is to level the social mobility playing field for young people in the UK