Launch of the McCann Reach Bursary Scheme

At the end of last term, we were delighted to welcome Mr Richard McCann to speak to Years 12-14 about the McCann Reach Bursary scheme, which is a new and exciting opportunity for Sixth Formers.

Richard is a former RSD pupil and the Chief Financial Officer of Kainos, one of Northern Ireland’s most successful technology companies, offering digital solutions to businesses and public sector bodies. Richard has been at the heart of that success and growth for more than a decade and he approached RSD to ask about giving something back to his old school. Over time, we’ve talked about how that could play out and we have put together a Bursary scheme aimed at encouraging RSD pupils to broaden their horizons when applying to university and thinking about careers.

Richard explained his motivation and ideas to the Y12-14 pupils, telling them about his own experiences of RSD, and university and career choices. Having ‘played it safe’ by opting for a Medicine degree, he discovered that it wasn’t for him and he switched to Finance & Business, ending up in the USA for a number of years. It was there that he realised that his American colleagues were no more able than his friends from RSD but they had more self-confidence and were more willing to take a risk. His idea is to help the RSD pupils of today to think about universities and courses in GB, Europe and North America, to think bigger and reach out and explore different opportunities – hence the name, the McCann Reach Bursary. Richard concluded that he hoped that pupils who studied and worked outside Northern Ireland would then one day return and encourage others to see how good they were.

The Bursary scheme is open to any RSD Sixth Former who visits a university in GB, Europe or North America, with funding ranging from £200 to £2000. The focus is on encouraging RSD pupils to visit universities and courses they may not have considered before and to find out if it is for them or not. Year 14 pupils with university interviews will also be supported and there is additional support for pupils who receive Free School Meals or the Education Maintenance Allowance.

We are really excited to be launching such a great Bursary project and are looking forward to the many stories which emerge over time, as RSD pupils explore the opportunities on offer. None of this would be possible without Richard’s generous support and thoughtful approach and we thank him on behalf of the entire RSD community.

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