A young black woman who grew up in Hackney, Shekeila Scarlett was led to believe that the odds would never be in her favour but has bravely demonstrated that barriers are truly made to be broken and the sky's not the limit.

After primary school, as a result of not being placed at a local secondary school, Shekeila attended an Islington school. At age 12, she faced permanent exclusion, which was overturned on appeal. The exclusion process and having to come up against a governing panel at such a young age has been a key motivating factor for her wanting to become a school governor and bring a younger perspective to a board.

Upon being reinstated to school, Shekeila became a participant with Hackney based arts organisation Immediate Theatre, which increased her self-confidence, self-esteem and ultimately changed her life trajectory.

She has been a Trustee of Immediate Theatre since 2014, an achievement she says she is most proud of. Having grown and matured with the company from participant to Trustee, Shekeila hopes to bring her journey full circle and eventually become Chair of Trustees in the near future.

Additionally, Shekeila was appointed co-chair of Hackney Young Futures Commission in 2019; an independent commission, set up to learn from the lived experiences of young people and listen to the changes they would like to see. This was a huge success, not only because it's the largest consultation undertaken with young people in Hackney and neighbouring boroughs to date but also because of the impact it had on the lives of young people and the policy changes and projects that have happened as a result.

She has worked within various industries such as Retail, Banking/Finance, Maritime Logistics, Youth Work and more recently, Public Transport. The experiences gained and people met within these industries has enabled her to build a dynamic network and hopes to use these connections to aid her goal of starting her own mentoring scheme. The programme will aim to support young people, from all walks of life, to reach their full potential, experience things they could only dream of and improve the opportunities available to them.

As demonstrated by the work already done, Shekeila is particularly committed to giving back to her local community and passionate about empowering the voices of young people, something that she is consciously trying to do with everything she does.

Some of Shekeila's personal interests include trains, finance and sea operations. She could often be found exploring London via the tube, taking a solo trip to the cinema or spending quality time with family and friends.