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Ambitious Adeola shows why she's one to watch

MODEL STUDENT: Adeola Gbakinro is studying at the University of Wolverhampton.

A WEST Midlands university student is in the running for a national Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) award.

Adeola Gbakinro, 21, a third-year biomedical science student in the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Wolverhampton, is a finalist in this year’s WISE One to Watch award later this month. WISE is a campaigning group that works to enable and energise people in business, industry and education to increase the participation, contribution and success of women in STEM.

It supports a nationwide push to encourage people from under-represented sections of society – women, younger people and those from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds – to pursue studies in these subjects and potentially lucrative careers as a result.

Evelyn Forsyth-Barnett, WISE Awards & Promotions Officer, paid tribute to all the finalists and said that the award serves as a beacon of hope for others.

“The WISE One to Watch award identifies young women, aged 21 and under, who are trailblazing and will light a fire under the next generation.

“The competition for this category has been extremely fierce and we have ten fantastic finalists.”

Adeola is not a recent convert to the lure of STEM. She added: “I was interested in science when I was at primary school and I continued with this into secondary school.

“During a gap year before university, I worked in the NHS and realised that there was a gap within the science and technology sector between men and women.

“I started a community project called Uplifting, offering young people from disadvantaged backgrounds a series of conferences and workshops designed to get them thinking about the opportunities out there, and inspiring them to think about careers in all kinds of sectors.”

Alongside her studies, Adeola is president of the Biomedical Science Society, which has partnered with the Institute of Biomedical Science and organises career-related conferences as well as revision workshops for students.

She won the University’s Enterprise and Employability Gold Award earlier this year, an award that focuses on students gaining skills and qualities to maximise their chances of employability after graduation.

Adeola is also an advocate for Girl Guides and leads a local Brownie group where she volunteers on a weekly basis with girls aged 7 to 10, helping them develop their creativity skills and build new friendships. Her dedication in helping her local community also earned her a place as a finalist for the Volunteer of the Year Award 2017 at the University of Wolverhampton.

With the aim of encouraging more girls to explore careers within STEM, Adeola is training to become a STEM Ambassador in the West Midlands.

“I am really excited to have been nominated for such a prestigious award,” she said.

“It is a real achievement after all of my hard work over the past few years and I hope I am lucky enough to be celebrating a win at the awards ceremony.”

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