Jesuit education at work

Shaninga Marasha
Shaninga Marasha

“The measure of the success isn’t in the grades I get but in the impact I make and the loyalty I leave,” says Shaninga Marasha, a former Head Boy of Wimbledon College and the CEO of the Big Kid Foundation, a London-based charity fighting on the frontlines of London’s knife crime epidemic.

The Sinnott Society is a group consisting of former pupils of Wimbledon College and on the 11th October over 15 members attended their biannual meeting at the College, along with several current Sixth Formers and teaching staff. The meeting consisted of a mass, a dinner and then a speech about the work done at the Big Kid Foundation.

After a wholesome mass from Fr Corrigan, the Old Boys were treated to dinner by the catering staff of Wimbledon College. Over spoonfuls of cheesecake, and perhaps a few glasses of wine, stories were exchanged about what life in the school used to be like. “During the war, my father would have to pick shrapnel off the grass before Rugby practice,” says the son of a former College boy.”You just had to get on with it.”

The dinner was followed by an hour-long, impassioned speech by Shaninga, where he delved into how his experiences at the college became the inspiration for the Foundation.

After successfully mentoring eight younger students on the verge of exclusion while in Sixth Form, Shaninga decided to put these values into practice through the Big Kid Foundation. From supporting young women to pursue sporting careers in Crystal Palace, to keeping young men out of gangs, Big Kid strives to forge young people from impoverished backgrounds into the responsible citizens of tomorrow.

Shaninga is just another example of how Ignatian education can help to bring us closer to God, and to each other, through charitable deeds.