Natasha at Jacari
Alumni Q&A with Rebecca Middleton
1. When did you volunteer with Jacari?
Between 2003 / 2004 and 2006 - I’m not sure exactly when I started but I think it was during the first year of my PPE degree at Merton.
2. Who was your pupil?
I tutored an 8 year old girl who lived on Magdalen Road and who spoke Urdu I think with her family at home - her mum grew up in Pakistan and didn’t speak much English, whilst her dad, a taxi driver, had grown up in the UK and would chat to me when he was around. She had a little brother who sometimes listened in to our tutoring sessions. Sadly I didn’t stay in touch after I left Oxford.
3. Can you tell us the most vivid memory of your time as a Jacari volunteer?
I think it would be getting delicious, freshly cooked samosas offered to me while I tutored! It really spoke to me of her mum’s hospitality and appreciation, even though we couldn’t easily communicate verbally.
4. What are you doing now?
I work for the University of Cambridge as a data and evaluation analyst for a regional widening participation project related to higher education.
5. How has being a volunteer with Jacari influenced you later in life?
After leaving Oxford I went on to use my tutoring skills with a family learning English in Paris during a gap year. A few years later I ended up doing an ODI Fellowship working on gender parity issues in the Ghana Education Service, and after that I worked for several years in roles related to educational inequality internationally. Getting involved in Jacari definitely contributed to my motivation for that work, and helped me to have an understanding of some of the challenges of equity in education in the UK.