The entrepreneur in residence at leading independent boys’ school Bedford School has this week been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.
Zubair Junjunia has received The Diana Award which was established in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, from the charity of the same name and has the support of her sons, The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex.
Tessy Ojo, Chief Executive of The Diana Award, said: “We congratulate all our new Diana Award recipients from the UK and all over the globe who are changemakers for their generation.
“We know by receiving this honour they will inspire more young people to get involved in their communities and begin their own journey as active citizens.
“For more than 20 years The Diana Award has valued and invested in young people encouraging them to continue to make positive change in their communities and lives of others.”
Zubair’s role at Bedford is part of the school’s strategic focus on ensuring that all boys are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in the working world. Entrepreneurial thinking is a key area, alongside digital technology and community partnerships, where emphasis is placed on developing boys to meet the demands of a technological world, but also, importantly, a world where it has never been more important to accentuate the wonders of being human.
His work to date has included an Entrepreneurial Day, which involveda series of tasks and presentations where boys worked towards a UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target and a Prep School workshop on the art of storytelling. Importantly, his role at Bedford School extends beyond the traditional definition of entrepreneurship – it’s not simply about making money or starting a business. Boys learn how to generate and develop ideas, often working towards a social goal, aiming to make a positive change in society as a whole.
Zubair was honoured with The Diana Award for going ‘above and beyond to tackle inequalities in education’, with his revolutionary revision platform, ZNotes. Founded in 2014, he created ZNotes as a way to share revision notes after recognising that there was a disparity in the access students from around the world had to resources, advice and support when studying for their exams.
ZNotes’ mission is to end educational inequality by providing free access to the highest quality education and empowering young people in becoming global changemakers.
Talking to the UCL, Mr Junjunia said: “At the age of 16, going into my first set of IGCSE exams, it dawned on me: hundreds of thousands of students across the world will take these exact same exams as me and yet, the access and quality of resources available to each vary so drastically. Some have access to the very best teaching and private tutoring, while others are unable to afford even the basic textbooks.
“So, I did what I could: set up a blog to share the resources I’d created for my own revision. Through word of mouth these high-quality and concise revision notes were being discovered by students globally and ZNotes was born.
He said: “I am now hugely proud to be able to share my knowledge and usage of entrepreneurial thinking with the boys at Bedford School. I am delighted to be able to draw on my own experience to inspire other young people and prepare them for their future.”
Zubair is a UCL graduate in Maths, an ambassador for One Young World and STEM UK and the host of The Tomato Timer podcast.
James Hodgson, Head Master at Bedford School, said he was delighted to have welcomed Zubair to the school.
“Zubair is an incredibly talented individual and is a great addition to the Bedford School team.
“He has already made a huge impact on the boys and we look forward to seeing him continue to share his entrepreneurial expertise and inspire them in their future careers.”
He added that the school was both delighted and extremely proud to learn of Zubair’s award and looked forward to benefitting further from his outstanding skills and impact in the months to come.
Find out more about Bedford School on their website: https://www.bedfordschool.org.uk/
You can also visit the Znotes platform here: https://www.znotes.org/