SCA and Grey London announce scholarship initiative for care leavers

The scholarship is launched in addition to SCA and Grey’s extensive diversity and inclusion work together

The School of Communication Arts (SCA) and global ad agency Grey London – an SCA partner – have announced the launch of Next of Kin, a joint scholarship initiative that will each year provide a care leaver with an all fees paid place on SCA’s 10-month Portfolio School course.

Next of Kin is the brainchild of SCA alumni and Grey London creative Naomi Taylor who came through the foster care system and won a scholarship to the Portfolio School back in 2016. Taylor, who went on to win a Black Pencil at the D&AD Awards, graduated in 2018 having spent an extra year on the course and later spent time at R/GA and Mr President before joining Grey full-time.

Taylor says she hopes the initiative will help people from a similar background to her’s to realize their potential and succeed in the industry. She says: “A few years ago, Next of Kin was a dream. I wasn’t in a position to do it justice, but now with the backing of Grey and Laura [Jordan Bambach, Grey’s chief creative officer] in particular, it’s a reality. Getting into advertising is hard enough. Getting in when nobody believes in you is almost impossible.

“Care leavers are angry with the world – we feel let down, unloved and forgotten about. Stats say we should be in prison or dead by the age of 28, but stats can be changed and they will be. I’ve had to do things that I’m not proud of to survive, but it made me who I am.

“My life gave me a perspective and understanding of people that are often ignored. It’s this difference that makes care leavers perfect for this industry. We know what needs to change, we know how to hack it. Marc [Lewis, dean of the SCA] and Laura believed in me and now I can believe in others like me.”

The scholarship is launched in addition to SCA and Grey’s extensive diversity and inclusion work together – the agency is already partnered on SCA’s partner program, which offers full scholarships to those from underprivileged backgrounds, as well as providing mentoring, support and placement opportunities for SCA students and graduates.

Other agencies that are part of SCA’s extensive partnership network include Adam & Eve DDB, VCCP, AMV BBDO, Creature, Mother, JKR, Havas, Dentsu MB, Gravity Road, The&Partnership and Specsavers.