UCL School of Life and Medical Sciences


Anxhela Gradeci

Spirit of SLMS Winner (Community Engagement & Citizenship)

Anxhela is currently in her 6th year of studying MBBS Medicine in the UCL Medical School.

Tell us a bit about your community project.

The Target Medicine Mentoring Programme is a widening participation project run by UCL medical students, with the support of UCL staff.

As part of the programme, sixth form students attend sessions at UCL throughout the year which aim to teach them the key skills needed when applying to, and starting, medical school. The students are also allocated a mentor and receive one-to-one mentoring throughout the year.

As part of my role, I work with UCL staff to design and evaluate the sessions we provide, train medical students to be able to deliver the sessions and to be mentors, and provide ongoing advice and support to the medical students who are involved in the programme. I also deliver some of the lecture-style sessions we run and have mentored many sixth-form students over the years.

What have been some of the great milestones and/or achievements for you during your time at UCL?

I have been involved with Target Medicine for 5 years now. During this time, we have been able to expand the programme and enhance the sessions and mentoring the programme delivers. I have worked with over 900 sixth form students and over 300 medical students. Some of the medical students I work with have previously been sixth form students I have mentored, which always reminds me of the impact the programme can have.

As I near the end of my time as a student at UCL, I am proud to leave Target Medicine as a self-sufficient programme, with all the structures in place to continue supporting sixth form students and providing opportunities for medical students for years to come.

What role do you think public engagement of science plays in wider society?

It plays an important role. Public engagement allows science to be accessible in every sense of the word. It allows individuals to access scientific ideas and knowledge, and value the impact these ideas have on our society. It allows individuals to shape and influence science so that it focuses on issues important to society. Public engagement also has a key role in inspiring excitement and enthusiasm for science, this is essential in ensuring science has a diverse, well-qualified workforce.

Top 3 places/things to do in London?

· Hampstead Heath – London has some great parks, and this has been one of my favourites whilst at UCL – whether it’s joining the Parkrun on a Saturday or going for a swim on a rare sunny day.

· Wellcome Trust – this is very close to UCL, always has an interesting exhibition on, and has a great library and café.

· Westfield Shopping Centre – as an East Londoner, I have to put this one in here.

What would surprise people about you?

People are often surprised by the pronunciation of my name. My name is pronounced like ‘Angela’, but I use the Albanian spelling.