The ISLA Gift

with the University of Cambridge from 2021

To make a donation, and help make the cash gift a reality, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.

To make a donation, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.

What is the ISLA Academic Gift?

The ISLA (pronounced ‘Isla’) Gift is an annual initiative founded in 2020 by Imani, which pledges to support and invest in a number of black students each year with a crowdfunded financial gift towards their study costs.

Last year we raised £1700 in 4 weeks and paired 38 students with a personal 1-to-1 mentor in their field. This year, we’re excited to share that the Gift will be managed in partnership with Churchill College at the University of Cambridge.

How can I donate?

In order to award the cash prizes, we need your help! This year we’re aiming to raise £3000 to award 10 students £300 each.

To make a donation, and help make the cash gift a reality, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.

Why Cambridge?

When I joined Cambridge in 2015 only 14 black men were admitted out of c.2000 freshers. It’s well-reported that there’s work to be done to increase representation at the University. Churchill College and I are committed to being the change we want to see.

Where will the money go?

This year’s award will be open to UK undergraduate students of Black African or African-Caribbean heritage at Churchill College or who are holding offers from Churchill College. In future years we are also planning to extend the award to students from schools and colleges who partner with Churchill College through its outreach/widening participation work.

The aim of the fund is to give cash awards of £100-£300 to recognise outstanding achievement in the following key areas:

  • Achieved academic grades (GCSE or equivalent and above)
  • Music /the Arts
  • Sports
  • Science and Technology (outside the curriculum, e.g. Olympiads; scientific or technological creativity or innovation)
  • Initiatives creating a positive social, educational and community impact
  • Other extra-curricular activities

If the appeal reaches the target set of £3,000 the College will be able to award a total of 10 winners with maximum cash awards of £300 over the first two years.

Awardees will also have access to informal mentoring from Churchill alumni.

Any extra funds raised will be used to support the award in future years thereby deepening the long-term impact of the award.

To make a donation, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.

How did it all begin?

Click here to read the full story of how a personal pledge to give 3 students £50 and mentor them for a year, blossomed into a cash gift of £1700 raised in 4 weeks for 17 students, plus 21 additional students being paired with a personal mentor for the year!

When will applications for the award open?

If sufficient funds are raised, the 2021-2022 Gift will be launched later in summer. Check back here for more information, or follow Imani on Instagram and Twitter to be the first to know when applications open.

Enter your email address in the top right corner of this page (on desktop) or scroll down (on mobile), to subscribe and receive the announcement blog post directly to your inbox.

To make a donation, and help make the cash gift a reality, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.

Full round-up of last year’s winners:

To make a donation, and help make the cash gift a reality, please visit our official donation page on Churchill College’s website. Donations close on 31 July. Thank you for your support.