David Wilkes for the Daily Mail

Two outstanding aspiring journalists have been chosen to receive the first scholarships created by Stephen Lawrence’s remarkable legacy of hope.

Victoria Ibitoye and Alexander Holmes were selected from countrywide applications for the new journalism scholarships, which are sponsored by the Daily Mail.

The pair will learn the trade on the Mail’s renowned training course, starting on August 24. They will be paid a competitive salary while they train, leading to consideration for a full-time post.

Alexander Holmes

Outstanding: Victoria Ibitoye and Alexander Holmes have been chosen to receive the first scholarships created by Stephen Lawrence’s remarkable legacy of hope

Victoria, 21, from Darenth, Kent, studied law at Nottingham University but has always wanted to be a journalist, amassing an impressive list of work experience placements at national newspapers and broadcasters since she was a teenager.

She said: ‘At university I realised the next step to get into journalism was to do a postgraduate degree. But I knew it was going to be hard without having the funds. I couldn’t have done it without this scholarship.’

Alexander, 23, from Greenford, West London, was the first person from his immediate family to go to university, studying French and Spanish at Nottingham Trent.

He spent a year abroad teaching English after graduating as he tried to save up enough for a postgraduate course.

He said: ‘This scholarship gives me the opportunity to get the qualifications and experience I need to kick start my career.’

The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, founded in 1998 by the murdered teenager’s mother Doreen Lawrence, now Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, already has a track record of helping disadvantaged students into careers in architecture, the profession which A-level student Stephen hoped to enter.

As part of an initiative to expand its work into other professions, the trust joined the Mail to offer the journalism scholarships for the first time this year. Baroness Lawrence says the trust’s aims and ethos are ‘watering the seeds of ambition’.

Stephen was stabbed to death at the age of 18 in an unprovoked racist attack at a bus stop in Eltham, South-East London, in 1993.

 

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