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Former Christ’s Hospital pupil (Old Blue) Onyinye Udokporo made an inspirational speech at the election ceremony for the new Lord Mayor of the City of London, on Wednesday 2 October, to an audience of 1,200. It was the first time in over 800 years that there was a guest speaker at the Lord Mayor’s Election ceremony.
Onyinye’s speech was about her education at Christ’s Hospital and how much of a positive impact it had on her life. Onyinye boarded at Christ’s Hospital for her full seven-year secondary education, from 2009–2016.
“Moving from North London to West Sussex took a lot of getting used to; when I first arrived, aged 11, I asked my parents where the nearest tube station was,” said Onyinye in her speech. “But I soon grew immune to the smell of cow dung and got used to being dressed like someone out of Harry Potter. All jokes, aside, Christ’s Hospital gave me the best education any child could ask for. It really did change my life for the better! Education is one of the most powerful tools in the world… I received an education that helped me break barriers and create positive change.” Speaking about her address at the Lord Mayor’s Election, Onyinye said, “I am hugely honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity.”
Onyinye was presented to Christ’s Hospital, when she was just 11 years old, by The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers, which is one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London. Christ’s Hospital has close links to the City of London and a number of City livery companies provide bursarial support for CH pupils. Both the Tylers and Bricklayers and the School itself helped support Onyinye with a bursary. She was then chosen to be the first female apprentice in history of The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers in 2016. The apprenticeship takes seven years, after which she will be given the Freedom of the City of London and will be a Liveryman of the Tylers and Bricklayers.
Onyinye has finished an undergraduate degree in Religion, Politics and Society and is now completing a Masters Degree is Education, Policy and Society at King’s College London. She is also running an education business, Enrich Learning and is on the King’s College London Alumni Advisory Board.
A copy of Onyinye’s speech is available to read here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/lord-mayors-election-ceremony-speech-onyinye-udokporo