Fairooz Islam went to Manchester High School for Girls on a full bursary funded as a result of the school’s Pankhurst Bursary Appeal. Her fellow students there voted her the student ‘most likely to achieve world domination’.
She comes from Longsight in inner-city Manchester, an area with high levels of poverty, deprivation and crime. In 2015, she passed her A levels in maths, further maths, biology, chemistry and physics, and the leading UK cloud computing firm UKFast – founded by entrepreneur Lawrence Jones – was so impressed that they found an extra place for her on their already full work experience programme.
Passionate about what she called ‘futuristic areas of work’ – artificial intelligence, robotics and biological modelling – Fairooz went on to study computer science at King’s College, Cambridge. She is now Technical Delivery Manager for OpenMarket, helping enterprises use mobile solutions to transform their business.
She is also involved in a diversity initiative that inspires primary school children about computing and coding.
I received a bursary as there was no way my family could have afforded the school fees. The school, and the belief the teaching staff had in me, gave me the confidence to aim high and really fulfil my dreams.
Fairooz’s parents, Mrs Laila Arjumannessa and Mr Mohammed Islam, a pharmacy technician, said:
Due to our low income we thought that it would be impossible to find a school that would be able to support [our daughter] properly. The bursary the school gave her has changed her life altogether.