Skip to content

We're currently recruiting mentors for 2024!

'I wrote my own mini poetry collection and held a poetry reading'

With a passion for writing and Classics, Jenna completed an Arts Award and did work experience at the Financial Times.

My experience as a mentee makes me want to become a mentor. Signing up was accidental, but it has been one of the best things I’ve done!

Initially my application form had lots of different ideas, lawyer, journalist……I wasn’t sure if classics would be a smart choice. By the time I got my application form back, I’d forgotten what it was I had applied for. But with Arts Emergency it’s not a generic mentor you get, they match you with someone who will actually help you with what you want to do.

A young woman speaks from behind a podium into a microphone.
Jenna speaks at an Arts Emergency Celebration Event

My mentor, Josh, played a great role in teaching me about the classical world through museums and galleries. When Josh and I went to the Wallace Collection together, we looked at a painting of Mary and Joseph, and Josh described the blue colour associated with Mary as ‘della robbia’. And how in A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche wears a della robbia dress, indicating her desire to be seen as pure. I realised then that there’s links in everything! That drove me a little crazy for a while!

Josh also supported and encouraged me throughout my entire Oxford application. The best feeling was being able to tell him that I got an offer from Oxford to study Classics and English. That really felt like a big moment for both of us.

My relationship with the charity did not end with mentoring. They offered me amazing opportunities such as work experience at Quarto Publishing and The Financial Times. They supported me through a Silver Arts Award, by the end of which I had grown in confidence so much that I had written my own mini poetry collection and held a small poetry reading. Even whilst at university, the team never fail to put me in contact with people who can help me pursue my interests in writing.

I hope to have a career in the arts and make a decent amount to live off. But really arts careers help you to enjoy your life. As long as I can write, I’ll be really happy. Arts Emergency have helped me so much in understanding what cultural capital means in the world and how students from particular backgrounds do not have access to the same opportunities. One day I want to mentor students like myself to achieve their full potential - something Arts Emergency has helped me do.