Young women from Ilford and Romford launch mentorship scheme to help BAME students break into Stem

PUBLISHED: 10:00 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:33 09 October 2020

Simran Sangla and Jasneet Kaur Taak have launched a STEM outreach initative for BAME students called Accelerate. Picture: Jasneet Kaur Taak

Simran Sangla and Jasneet Kaur Taak have launched a STEM outreach initative for BAME students called Accelerate. Picture: Jasneet Kaur Taak


Two young women from Ilford and Romford have started a mentorship programme to encourage more BAME students to break into Stem fields (science, technology, engineering and maths) after successfully doing so themselves.

Jasneet Kaur Taak and Simran Sangla, who are now studying for their Master’s degree in physics and engineering at Imperial College London have launched Accelerate, a student-led Stem outreach initiative.

They created an educational platform with useful tips and advice as well as career opportunities.

It targets A-level students, those in university or recent graduates who are looking to improve their prospects and land an internship or a full-time job through a one-to-one mentorship scheme which runs through the end of November.

Jasneet said: “Accelerate aims to create a supportive community of mentors and mentees, and to help students gain access to resources and opportunities that we wish someone had told us about when starting our own academic and career journey.

“But more importantly, we realised there aren’t many initiatives focused on helping BAME students get into STEM related fields and degrees.

You may also want to watch:

“Therefore, we wanted to create a platform that helps bridge the diversity gap for ethnic minorities through mentoring!

“We very rarely saw BAME candidates in high positioned jobs when we were going through the application cycle and therefore hope this scheme will educate students so they can one day be those BAME role models we wish we saw.”

They thought the initiative would be particularly useful in today’s climate with people struggling to gain work experience and jobs due to the pandemic.

“Our main aim is to improve the representation of BAME students in universities and diversify the workforce.

“We therefore hope Accelerate will help achieve a connection with as many students as possible to help offer advice and guidance during their early years.

“In the long term, we aim to create a supportive and inclusive community of mentors and mentees, which is especially important given the current climate.

“We are hoping after students have been mentored and have received our resource bank, they feel more confident in securing those all important offers.”

For more information visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ilford Recorder