A large group of people standing together celebrating with their hands in the air

Empowered by Vee at LMH

LMH alumna Vee Kativhu (2017, Classical Archaeology and Ancient History) and former LMH JCR President Josh Tulloch (2016, PPE) returned to Oxford on 13 August to co-host the annual Empowered by Vee Academic Empowerment Conference.

Sponsored and hosted by LMH, this year’s conference brought together over 100 underrepresented or unsupported 16-18 year old students for a day of free workshops and talks, providing practical skills and advice to help them realise their academic and personal ambitions.

With speakers including Young Engineer of the Year 22/23 George Imafidon MBE, Podcaster and author Renée Kapuku, One Young World Ambassador and Diana Legacy Award recipient Zubair Junjunia and LMH alumnus and founder of The Generalist Company Josh Tulloch, those in attendance weren’t short of advice and inspiration. The day’s talks covered a wide range of topics, from preparing a university application and writing a personal statement, to how students can fine-tune their study skills and access scholarships and funding to support them on their academic journey.

LMH was proud to host this year’s conference, and to play a part in helping Vee spread her message of empowerment to a new generation of talented students.

Empowered by Vee, launched in 2018 while Vee was still studying at LMH, seeks to bridge the gap between self-belief and academic ability in talented students. Coming herself from an underrepresented background, Vee gained admission to Oxford via the LMH Foundation Year programme. During her studies, Vee founded her YouTube channel as a space where she could share her story and provide academic empowerment to other students who felt like her. Her channel, which now has over 270,000 subscribers, quickly became a resource for students applying to university and a source of inspiration for those already at university who came from similar backgrounds.

Since graduating from LMH, Vee has received widespread recognition for her efforts to empower young people around the world. She has been named as a Diana Award Legacy Award Recipient, a United Kingdom Rare Rising Star, and a Diversity Champion by the Vice Chancellor of Oxford University. Vee is a Young Leader for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and is an active ambassador for United World Schools, CAMFED and GirlUp Zimbabwe. In 2022 she published her first book, EMPOWERED: Live your life with passion and purpose, a practical and motivational self-help book for young people.

Having completed her Masters in International Education Policy at Harvard, Vee is about to start her PhD studies at Claremont Graduate University in California. We can’t wait to see what she does next.

Vee Kathivu standing at a podium wearing a bright yellow t-shirt

Vee's thoughts on this year's conference

Reflecting on this year's conference, Vee said: "I had the most amazing time coming back to my college, Lady Margaret Hall, to host my 6th annual Academic Empowerment Conference! In the place where it all began. We had the best day, the students took many notes, the speakers were so inspiring and I was left feeling motivated to continue my work for access to education!" 


Photo credit (all images): Qing Lu

About applying to Oxford

For all those thinking about applying to Oxford, there are lots of resources available on the university's website: www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/applying-to-oxford 

Following on from the LMH Foundation Year, the University of Oxford has launched the Astrophoria Foundation Year, a one-year fully-funded foundation programme for up to 50 UK state school students with significant academic potential who have experienced severe personal disadvantage and/or disrupted education. More about the programme can be found here: https://foundationyear.ox.ac.uk/

You can also contact LMH’s Outreach Manager (and former LMH student) Marrium Khan for help and advice: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk/prospective-students/working-schools/our-outreach-manager

LMH will be open for the University of Oxford Open Day on Friday 15 September, where potential applicants can come and take a tour of Oxford's colleges and departments, and speak to our lovely student helpers. More about the Open Day can be found here: www.lmh.ox.ac.uk/prospective-students/working-schools/open-days

A group of young people in a lecture theatre, with Vee Kathivu wearing a yellow tshirt and holding a microphone