Joe Seddon (born June 1997) is a British social entrepreneur and the founder of Zero Gravity, a digital social enterprise which connects students with mentors, universities and employers. He is previously the founder of Access Oxbridge, a non-profit organisation which provides mentorship to students from low-income backgrounds who wish to apply to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.
Seddon was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire in June 1997. He was raised in Morley, West Yorkshire by his single mother, Catherine, who works as a speech therapist in the National Health Service. He is the oldest of three children, alongside his younger siblings Harry and Tilly.
Seddon was educated at Heckmondwike Grammar School, a state school in Kirklees, West Yorkshire. In his later years at school, Seddon was involved in competitive debating, where he represented Yorkshire in the National Final of the English Speaking Union's Mace. This led him to qualify for World Schools Debating Championships|England's National Debating Team.
After leaving school, Seddon read Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Mansfield College, Oxford, graduating with first class honours. During university, Seddon was an occasional contributor to the education section of The Daily Telegraph, where he wrote articles focusing on Britain's higher education system.
Immediately upon graduating from the University of Oxford, Seddon founded Access Oxbridge, a non-profit organisation which connects students from low-income backgrounds with undergraduate mentors studying at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. The mentoring sessions take place in hour-long video calls via an app once a week.
Seddon founded the organisation at the age of 21, initially funded from the remnants of his university maintenance grant. Within its first year it recruited over 500 undergraduate volunteers to mentor 200 students in Year 12 and 13 from underrepresented backgrounds, resulting in 50 of those students achieving offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge.
In 2019, Seddon relaunched Access Oxbridge as a mobile app. That year, 60 students from the program achieved offers to study at Oxford and Cambridge.
In January 2020, Seddon founded Zero Gravity, an organisation which plans to extend the scheme beyond Oxford and Cambridge to other Russell Group universities and graduate employers. Whilst yet to be made public, Zero Gravity plans to launch in early 2020.
Awards and recognition
Seddon's work as a social entrepreneur has been covered by a number of major publications, including BBC News, The Times, The Telegraph, and Corriere della Serra.
In October 2019, he was awarded the Prime Minister's Points of Light award for social impact in education.
Seddon is a contributor to BBC News, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live, where he discusses social mobility and increasing access to higher education. He has also been a guest speaker at the Cambridge Union, where he has delivered lectures on social entrepreneurship.
- ↑ "Meet the 21-year-old from Yorkshire giving hundreds of state school students the secrets of how to get into Oxbridge". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ Gill, Gurvinder (2020-02-11). "I spent my last £200 getting people into Oxbridge". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-03-30.
- ↑ "Celebration for pass masters at two schools". The Press. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ "Debating Matters - People - Joe Seddon". archive.debatingmatters.com. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ "Oxford grad offers free tutoring to poor kids". Metro Newspaper UK. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ Seddon, Joe (2017-07-18). "In defence of tuition fees: a student's perspective". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ Mintz, Luke (2019-06-17). "Can mentor schemes really turn the tables for disadvantaged students applying to Oxbridge?". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ "Joe Seddon: 'Access All Areas'". The Cambridge Student. 2019-01-26. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ "This app helps students with Oxford and Cambridge University admissions". Study International. 2020-02-17. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Gill, Gurvinder (2020-02-11). "I spent my last £200 getting people into Oxbridge". BBC News. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
- ↑ Bennett, Rosemary (2019-02-02). "Joe Seddon". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ "Student-led outreach initiative Access Oxbridge launches 'groundbreaking' new app". Varsity Online. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Penna, Dominic (2020-02-12). "Want to go to Oxbridge? 5 insider tips for state school students from a 'super mentor'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Editor, Rosemary Bennett, Education. "Young mentor secures 60 Oxbridge offers for deprived pupils". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 2020-02-12.
- ↑ "PressReader.com - Your favorite newspapers and magazines". www.pressreader.com. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
- ↑ "Access Oxbridge founder receives Prime Minister's Points of Light award". Varsity Online. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
- ↑ Joe Seddon from Access Oxbridge on BBC Look North, retrieved 2020-01-07
- ↑ "Easter Term 2019 | Cambridge Union". Issuu. Retrieved 2019-10-26.
- Joe Seddon on linkedin
- How I help people get into the top universities - BBC News
- Joe Seddon | AngelList
- Joe Seddon: 'Access All Areas' - The Cambridge Student
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