RARE  RISINGSTARS - The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 6


Roy Sefa-Attakora

Public Policy
Oxford University
Youth Activism

James Frater

Roy was born in Lambeth and raised in Lewisham with his three siblings, in a single parent household. Growing up in Lewisham, he experienced many of his friends losing their lives and going in and out of prison. Seeing people that he grew up with end up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system motivated Roy to want to make a change in society.

Alongside his A-Levels, Roy started working for Safer London in 2013 to bridge the gap between the Metropolitan Police and his local community. He worked as a Safer London Ambassador for a year, helping his local youth team reach out to young people getting themselves in trouble and act as the middleman between their peers and youth offending teams. As a result of this work, Roy was invited in-house to work more strategically with Safer London, holding regular meetings with Prince Charles on how they could improve the relationship between communities and the police.

Following this, Roy was asked to co-chair the Youth Justice Convention in 2015 where he worked with MPs within the Ministry of Justice, judges and charities discussing how to improve criminal justice policy for better outcome. Through this convention, Roy and his partners were able to bring data forward to parliament which allowed them to pass legislation that put restrictions on the controversial Section 60 order, which allows police officers to stop and search individuals. However, this law has now been changed back under the current Prime Minister’s government, much to Roy and many others’ disappointment.

Roy then joined the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales, reporting to the Chairman of the board and the then Secretary of State for Justice, David Gauke and after him, Robert Buckland QC. Roy led a panel to provide ideas and solutions on youth crime prevention that helped to shape both the Youth Justice Board and future government policy. Roy also worked on educational policy within the custodial estate, working with five prisons for young people, government officials and key stakeholders to introduce more mainstream education into prison. Since then, Roy has also been a part of steering group meetings with both the former Prime Minister Theresa May and the current Prime Minster Boris Johnson, advising on efficient and effective ways to reduce serious violence and re-offending rates in the UK.

These experiences led Roy to start his own mentoring programme under the banner of the Roy Sefa-Attakora Academy (RSA Academy). Roy started mentoring young people between the formative ages of 14 – 16. He would support them with academia whilst also bringing them to shadow him when he could at the Ministry of Justice or Nomura International. He has self-funded the mentoring of six different students and is currently mentoring three more. Roy is also the youngest Governor of Addey and Stanhope Secondary School, his old secondary school, where he helps to oversee the financial and educational performance of the school.

“I understand the importance of allowing children, regardless of their circumstances, to dream and aspire to greater things.”

Alongside all this, Roy was able to graduate with a 1st Class degree from the University of Loughborough. Last year, he was awarded the 2019 Duke of Cambridge Scholarship given to one student per year and is now undertaking his Master’s in Public Policy at the University of Oxford.

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