Emily’s work is focused around giving people the power to change their lives and the lives of those around them. Passionate about tackling inequality and building institutions that do that, she has ten years of experience across voluntary and public organisations, including time living and working in Sudan and Pakistan. Leadership roles have been a constant in her life: from being a sixer at brownies aged 10, to the chair of the British Youth Council, and an interim senior manager in the charity sector. Particularly interested in social justice, gender and youth - with a focus on participation - Emily gets excited about bringing people together to create a supportive and inclusive organisational culture across diverse teams.
Currently learning… how to mountain bike without screaming on the steep bits and how to facilitate groups to have difficult conversations.
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. Daniela received a Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Human Development from the University of Colorado, and is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Riverside
Currently learning… how to make young people feel valued in educational settings.
Originally from Belfast, Lisa moved to Scotland to pursue a career as a full-time Judo athlete. At the same time, she began studying Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, becoming increasingly fascinated with the subject. Her sporting prowess took her all the way to the Olympics, and Lisa feels privileged with the experiences and people that have come into her life along the way. Since retiring she has moved into working with young people, motivated by a passion to help them raise their ambitions and achieve their best. Lisa's main aim is to be a positive influence in the lives of others.
Currently learning about... mental health.
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.
Head of Mentoring (Castlebrae Community High School), and Co-Founder
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.
Mark was born and raised in and around Edinburgh, where he lives today. After his high school English teacher encouraged him to harness his love for a good argument (sorry, debate), Mark enrolled to study Scots Law at the University of Edinburgh. It was here that he discovered a passion for learning about the legal rights and welfare of children and young people. Whilst studying, Mark started volunteering with his local Citizens Advice Bureau, going on to work for a number of years seeking to improve social justice in Scotland.
Currently learning… about the language and linguistics used by modern day UK political party leaders.
Head of Mentoring (Lasswade High School)
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.