Amy King has been a science enthusiast from a very young age. Her school told her that “science isn’t for girls”; she proved them wrong by achieving straight As at college. A university interviewer told her she was “too glamorous to be a scientist”. Since then, Amy has enrolled on a BSc in Natural Sciences with The Open University and has started a charity, GlamSci, to encourage disadvantaged men and women into careers and education in STEM.
We originally spoke to Amy early last year. As part of British Science Week 2019, we caught up with Amy to see how her journey has continued.
Points of Light
In February this year, to coincide with International Day of Women and Girls in Science, GlamSci were awarded a Points of Light award from Prime Minister Theresa May. The awards recognise outstanding volunteers; people who are making a change in their community. GlamSci received the award for their work supporting young people and adult learners in STEM.
In a personal letter to Amy, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Your work has been invaluable in transforming the lives of young women, inspiring them to study STEM subjects. Drawing on your own experience, you are also raising awareness of the issues facing disabled women in science and further breaking down the barriers for young people, irrespective of gender, disability or background. I wish you every success with your continued work.”
“This has come as quite a shock to both of us. It isn’t every day you receive a letter from Downing Street thanking you for your work!
When mum and I started GlamSci, we had no idea that it would take off in such a way and become so successful. Here we are, years later still doing the thing we love most in life – helping young people to recognise and unleash their hidden talents and consider careers in subjects that they had previously believed weren’t available to them.
To be recognised by such high office for the support we give learners, makes all the work we have done even more worthwhile.”
Amy is also a Commissioner with the Learning and Work Institute’s Youth Commission. The Youth Commission has been set up to look at how to improve education and employment opportunities for 16-24 year olds; a perfect fit for Amy and GlamSci. As a Commissioner, Amy’s been helping to compile research into a report about opportunity areas around the country.
At a recent Youth Commission conference, Learning and Work’s Patron, HRH Princess Anne, gave the keynote speech. The Princess Royal then met with a wide range of young people, policymakers and practitioners, all committed to improving employment & education opportunities for young people.
Amy told us “The event was really interesting, we heard from some amazing young people about their backgrounds and education and how we can provide more support for similar students.”
A juggling act
Despite her busy schedule, Amy is still keeping up to date with her studies.
“My studies are going really well- they fit in really well with my career. Studying with the OU means I can both study and run my charity; without it, I doubt I would have progressed as far as I have with the charity.
The modules have helped me with knowledge that I have been able to use in my charity and in my educational roles, and I can’t recommend the OU enough!
The OU module material is so educational yet functional in the work place, it blends both academic and vocational subjects into a work-ready blend ideal for students looking to reskill and train.”
Validates all of the hard work
“My proudest moment so far, apart from meeting royalty and making BBC news several times this year, really is receiving the Point’s of Light award from the Prime Minister, it really was a great honour and validates all of the hard work we’ve done with GlamSci.
My aim is to continue with my studies and hopefully go on to do a Doctorate in Education with The Open University.”