Catriona Maclay

Sir Cyril Taylor Memorial Award for Social Entrepreneurship, Harvard Kennedy School - Public Administration

I first trained as a Citizenship teacher, teaching in a challenging London secondary school. I soon learnt that for many pupils, a key barrier to effective Citizenship was their weak literacy, and I was frustrated that we did not have the resources and opportunities to help them catch-up. This led me to set up The Hackney Pirates, a non-profit which develops literacy, confidence and perseverance among pupils falling behind and facing disadvantages. The organisation has delivered over 60,000 hours of learning activities, accelerating literacy progress by 52%. After 7 years of tunnel vision focusing on one element of educational disadvantage, it’s time to refresh my perspective on how social change happens and develop my skills so that I can have greater impact. I will be pursuing a mid-career Masters of Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School. I want to develop my skills and knowledge in public policy and economics so that I can better affect the systemic change which is needed to give everyone fair educational and social opportunities. Being part of Fulbright is an incredible opportunity for new perspectives, and to learn from the rich and diverse network of other scholars. I’m excited about meeting them and about living near the sea!