Criminology Alumna is founder of an organisation to aid young people

Roehampton alumna Amel Mckenna is founder of Ambitionz, an organisation that helps young people leaving care or the youth justice system to live independently.  

Posted: 21 December 2017

Amel graduated with a BSc in Criminology and Business Management from the University of Roehampton in 2012. Afterwards, she completed a postgraduate degree in Youth Justice. She gained career experience in a non-profit organisation working as a team manager for Solace Women’s Aid. In this role, she managed two refugee services and a team that supported women and children fleeing from domestic and sexual violence.

Amel said, “This was a very challenging role, however being part of a service that helped women feel empowered and children be free of harm, was really rewarding.  It was amazing to witness women and children grow in strength.”

Amel came up with the idea for her organisation, Ambitionz, during her studies at Roehampton. She said, “Studying at Roehampton opened my eyes and gave me a solid grounding for my next steps after graduation. The quality of the teaching enabled me to complete my postgraduate degree and to open up my own organisation. Roehampton contributed to instilling my confidence and determination and gave me a deep desire for knowledge.”

Ambitionz specialises in supported housing for young people working closely with social care, police, youth offending services, probation services, the NHS, and colleges and schools. The organisation’s ethos is to ‘support the positive transition’ from social care to independent living. The Ambitionz staff work with young people to guide and encourage them through vital stages of change so they may live independently.

Amel said, “Ambitionz empowers young people leaving care or the Youth Justice system. We support vulnerable youth and their positive development to become confident and able to sustain a healthy and positive lifestyle.”

On advice to students, Amel said “To get into this type of work, I volunteered in my third year at Roehampton for a probation service. Stay up to date with any new information that relates to your field as this is valuable. The best part of my career is facing challenges to help people turn their lives around for the better.”

The Department of Social Sciences at the University of Roehampton is rated one of the best in the UK for the impact of its Social Sciences research and has a range of outstanding undergraduate and postgraduate courses in subjects including sociology, human rights, and law and criminology.


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