Per Ardua Ad Alta (Through Efforts to High Things)

By Natricia Duncan, bursary recipient, 2011/2012

Someone asked me recently where I get my drive from, and I suddenly remembered the Latin proverb that was engraved on my St.Vincent Girls High School badge.

Coming from a third world country and one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean, it is easy to grow up feeling like you are limited by an impenetrable glass ceiling.  But the motto from my high school days, which means ‘through efforts to high things’, has been like an engine, propelling me to constantly challenge myself.

It led me to seek a place at Brunel University, one of the UK’s top journalism training centres.   I had no way of paying for the course, but I was determined to find a solution.

It gave me the courage to ignore my nagging doubts and apply for the Journalism Diversity Fund, and I am so happy I did.

This year has been an adventure, fraught with peril because of my financial limitations, but full of great accomplishments.

The journey has taken me to places like the Daily Mirror news desk and BBC London studios, and allowed me to gain PBS Frontline film credits.

The Journalism Diversity Fund has done an excellent job of supporting me, by arranging an internship with Clover Films – a leading Independent Production Company.

They also assigned me a mentor – top journalist BBC London Special Correspondent Kurt Barling, who went above and beyond the call of duty to support me.  But most importantly, by funding my course, they gave me access to world-class training, and the opportunity to be the first in my mother’s family to get a masters degree.  Words cannot express my gratitude

The excellent training I received at Brunel is already reaping its benefit.  I was shortlisted for a student award for my course video, and my local paper invited me to apply for a job because I impressed them during work experience.

Despite the great challenges, I feel confident to forge ahead and establish myself as a journalist, and it is all thanks to the Journalism Diversity Fund, Brunel University and those who have supported and mentored me.