This student has just 10 days left to crowdfund his Harvard tuition fees

‘This is about demonstrating that regardless of your circumstance, your aspirations can be limitless’

Isaiah Wellington-Lynn has received an offer to study at Harvard this fall – and has just 10 days left to crowdfund his tuition fees of $82,000.

Isaiah, a student who grew up in one of London’s most deprived areas, earned a place at Harvard but the charity backing him unexpectedly pulled out. So he set up a crowdfunder to raise the thousands of dollars needed. With less than two weeks to go, he’s raised $32,927.

We talked to Isaiah about his journey and plans for the future.

Tell me about your childhood.

I’ve lived in London my whole life in an area called Stratford which at the time was one of London’s most deprived areas. I grew up in a socially disadvantaged family, I was raised by a single parent. I’m one of the first to go to university in my family. School was quite a challenge, in terms of receiving encouragement from my teachers. They always encouraged me in athletic activities but academia was an area they thought students from my demographic didn’t have much potential in.


You have a very impressive resume. What excites you the most?

Giving back! I mentor 11 to 12-year-old boys and that’s what excites me the most: being able to share my experiences with people with similar backgrounds to mine. The main reason why the #StratfordToHarvard campaign is going so strong is because this isn’t about Isaiah getting into Harvard but it’s about demonstrating that regardless of your circumstance or your socio-economic status your aspirations can be limitless.

Pick a Harvard professor who you admire.

Laurence Ralph. I admire him because he is one of the first black professors that I’ve ever met. When I met him, he gave me a copy of his book and it was a very important moment for me because seeing him in a position that I could potentially be in made it a reality. Given the lack of diversity in academia and coming from my background, you usually think that going into academia is not a possible option. Meeting someone like him reaffirmed that it could be an option one day.

To visit Isaiah’s crowdfunding campaign please click here.