The School of Communication Arts (SCA), the most awarded advertising school in the world, and Global advertising agency and SCA Partner, GREY, have announced the launch of their joint scholarship initiative, Next of Kin. The scholarship will provide one care leaver with an all fees paid place on SCA’s 10-month portfolio school course every year.
Next of Kin is the brainchild of SCA alumni and GREY London’s Naomi (Gnome) Taylor who came through foster care, battled demons and won a scholarship to the Portfolio School back in 2016. Naomi went on to win a Black Pencil at the D&AD Awards and graduated in 2018 having spent an extra year on the course. She spent time at R/GA and Mr President and is now a full-time creative at GREY London.
Naomi has launched this initiative to help others from similar backgrounds to realise their potential and succeed in the world of creative advertising.
The scholarship is launched in addition to SCA and GREY’s extensive diversity & inclusion work together, having already partnered on SCA’s partner programme that 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 join GREY as part of SCA’s extensive partnership network include Adam & Eve DDB, VCCP, AMV BBDO, Creature, Mother, JKR, Havas, Dentsu MB, Gravity Road, The&Partnership, Specsavers and many more.
Naomi Taylor, creative at Grey said: “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 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. 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 and Laura believed in me and now I can believe in others like me.”
Marc Lewis, Dean of the School of Communication Arts, said: “I’ve always seen it as a competitive advantage that we should endeavour to have at least a third of our students on scholarships. The school stands for diversity in every sense of the word and Gnome taught me the power of diversity when she joined us on a scholarship in 2016. Gnome was a victim of having been institutionalised within the care system and was on the path towards becoming another sorry statistic. The school believed in her and she was given an environment where she could shine. I am so proud of Next of Kin and I'm so grateful that a dream of Gnome's has been made possible by our fabulous partners at GREY. I’m looking forward to seeking out creative stars from the care system for years to come and finding them their right place in our great industry.”
Laura Jordan Bambach, president & CCO UK at GREY added: “We are over the moon to be supporting Next of Kin with the SCA. The SCA are an exceptional school who have done so much to widen access to our industry, and Naomi is a perfect example of that. Grey are delighted to be able to support such a talented creative and her organisation in widening that access even further.”
Find out more about Next of kin and apply here.