A native of Edinburgh, Richard was lucky enough at school to be taught by a teacher who fired his imagination and showed him what it was to love learning. This experience propelled him to degrees at the Universities of St Andrews and Cambridge, where he studied theology, completing a Ph.D. on the poet R.S. Thomas. Whilst at Cambridge, not only did Richard enjoy teaching undergraduates, but also working with the Sutton Trust, helping non-privileged young people discover the joy of studying poetry. Having finished his studies, he spent a year bagpiping on the streets of Cologne, and then returned to Scotland to establish Light Up Learning with Will.
Currently learning… the language of the ancient Greeks.
Tom is originally from Bo’ness, but now lives in Dalkeith. Having served an apprenticeship before studying Engineering at Strathclyde, he has benefitted first-hand from good guidance and mentoring throughout his life. Tom firmly believes that with the correct support and opportunities, everyone has the potential to achieve great things, and knows that he would not have accomplished his own goals - representing GB at Triathlon, delivering the new grandstand for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, and managing the medal ceremonies for Glasgow 2014 - without some early interventions giving him the confidence to try new things and follow his passions.
Currently learning... photography, with a focus on lighting and portraiture.
Culture & Community Manager
Erin has made a career out of combining her lifelong love of culture with a natural talent for organisation. Moving from pure management (of small arts companies) into roles with an increasing focus on communication, she is fascinated by all things digital – and particularly the possibilities it presents for education. Light Up Learning has given Erin the perfect remit, combining all her varied skills, from event management to partnership building. Still benefitting from mentoring to this day (particularly from her female peers in the industry), Erin would not have taken the various leaps that lead her here without a few pivotal interventions from those that cared.
Currently learning… about the origins of language, and how accents develop over time.
Daniela DiGiacomo is originally from Southern California, though her heart also belongs to the many European and Latin American cities in which she has lived. Whilst doing a Masters at Cambridge University, Daniela became excited by the unbounded potential of learning, when involving a diverse mix of people being encouraged to pursue their own interests. Deciding to dedicate her working life to addressing educational inequality, she now supports teachers in fostering a love of learning in young people from diverse backgrounds. Currently completing a Ph.D. at the University of Colorado, she continues to help LUL evaluate and improve their work.
Currently learning… how to make young people feel valued in educational settings.
Steph is originally from Bath, but moved up to Edinburgh after falling in love with the city while visiting her sister. She now studies Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. At the age of 13, Steph missed a year of school due to illness, and worked with a tutor, Paul, to help her catch up. Steph's dyslexia had made lessons sometimes very daunting for her but Paul approached teaching in a way that was completely new, instilling Steph with a new confidence that helped her discover a love for maths. This experience, along with a summer spent volunteering in a disabled boys' orphanage in Moldova, has reinforced Steph’s passion for inspiring others in the same way.
Currently learning… about autoimmune diseases and whether specific diets/nutrition can help rather than medication.