Adam is featured in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
In his interview he reflects on his time with the School of Education and an important partnership with Archbishop Blanch School which is connecting LJMU to communities across Liverpool that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education.
Adam’s work during his time as a lecturer in education, and that of LJMU outreach teams, embodies our vision and values, particularly pertinent in our 200th year, of representing diversity and making a difference to people’s lives.
“John Moores isn’t a red brick university, it doesn’t have that Eton feel, it’s a scouse institution. It’s a massive part of the community and I love that. I’m really proud of that.”
– Adam Vasco
Adam's Humans of LJMU interview
“We’ve struggled to recruit teachers from ethnically diverse backgrounds in this city despite LJMU's building of education being right on the doorstep of Toxteth, where roughly 25% of Liverpool’s non-white population live. When I was an education lecturer at John Moores, the work I look back on that I am the most proud of is the outreach and research we did in the local community.
“Speaking to those representing the local community, they put it to us that they were the most consulted community with the least amount of action. So, we decided to take action and put our money where our mouth was, rather than just constantly ask questions as to why they weren’t coming to study at the university.
“Working with a local Sixth Form College, Archbishop Blanch, which is sat right in the heart of that community, we came up with the project ‘everyday heroes’. This was originally meant to be about the students exploring the lives of heroes in their local community. In the end the pupils became the heroes - they are incredible.
“We encouraged them instead to explore their own identity and present work around that. They then work with younger children as mentors to help them explore their own identities. This gets the idea in their head of being a teacher and nurturing others and hopefully inspires the next generation of educators. This rolls on and on so we can inspire each year group, year on year.
“The young people have been unbelievable. With the world the way it is at the moment, seeing kids with a smile on their face and the world at the feet does give you hope that things will get better. I feel we’re really having an impact on the futures of these young people.
“John Moores isn't a red brick university, it doesn't have that Eton feel, it's a scouse institution. It's a massive part of the community and I love that. I'm really proud of that.”