VERGE MEETS: LEA GIBSON WITH THE OU & MTV

Earlier this year The Open University launched its latest series of Ones to Watch produced in partnership with MTV Generation Change hosted by one of our fav presenters – Henrie Kwushue.

The series marks the second partnership between the OU and MTV, where viewers see host Henrie in candid chats with the students about their hopes and ambitions around societal change. The series explores some of the most pressing topics facing Generation Z today including disability rights, environment, and wellbeing and how they are impacting change within local communities.

The conversations reveal the inspirations that led them to higher education at the OU and how their study path is supporting them and empowering them to strive for change in their communities. You can catch the most recent one here:

 

We spoke with Lea Gibson about her start-up – Anthro Vision. You can see her video here and her interview below.

 

Anthro Vision is based on helping local communities grow and live positively, what experiences helped you create your business?

My childhood was very turbulent and I grew up knowing that I wanted to help people but wasn’t sure in what capacity. I just knew I wanted to be the person I needed when I was younger. As I grew older I noticed the disparities in local communities and how poverty can really affect families and individuals (I’ve also had personal experience of this). My personal lived experience and the experiences of others drove me to want to support people, create a business that is about unity, giving back and empowerment.

 

As a young adult I took part in the team programme (personal development programme) which led me to apply to become a young ambassador. The whole journey enabled me to develop confidence and give me skills to become a leader.

 

As a child, you worked with The Prince’s Trust to not only become an ambassador but also to obtain your bachelor’s degree. Could you explain how that happened?

As a young adult I took part in the team programme (personal development programme) which led me to apply to become a young ambassador. The whole journey enabled me to develop confidence and give me skills to become a leader. Whilst on the team programme I was studying for my undergraduate degree with the OU which helped me to come out of my shell and learn more about social constructs and society. After my ambassadorship I started working for the Princes Trust as a youth worker supporting other young people find positive pathways for their future. It was easy to relate to many of them as I had done programmes before and had personal experiences of hardship, both combined helped me to find what I love to do as a career.

 

With the flexibility the OU offers, what do you like to do outside of study and work?

When I was studying, I made sure I created space for me to switch off and cater to my wellbeing. I would do this through meditation, expressive arts, reading, the gym and going for long walks. As well as all the other things like socialising, movies and gaming.

 

So, everything that I learnt from my BA Combined Social Sciences, and my Psychology Masters enabled me to learn skills, techniques and theory, to be able to put into practice in the real world.

 

Can you give us your top three tips for good wellbeing?  

Tip 1- Create a wellbeing box: find a nice sized box and fill it with pictures, self-care items, treats and memories that can lift your mood when you are feeling low, need a pick me up or just because you want to.

Tip 2 – Sleep: Sleep hygiene can determine how your day is going to be. A nighttime routine can help your body unwind and be ready for a restful nights sleep. I find pillow sprays are very helpful and checking the temperature of your room (too hot or too cold could impact your sleep).

Tip 3 – Connecting: This one sounds fairly simple but it can be so easy to get lost in your day-to-day life or work commitments. Make sure you create space for you to connect with people you care about. A space for you to enjoy your leisurely activity. And connecting with nature! Being outside can really boost your wellbeing!

 

What made you choose to study with the OU?

I liked the flexibility it gave me, you’re able to select which modules that you would like to study. So, everything that I learnt from my BA Combined Social Sciences, and my Psychology Masters enabled me to learn skills, techniques and theory, to be able to put into practice in the real world. So, going out there supporting people, finding out how society works. All of it is about how people behave, how they think, how they act and the reasons why they act in these ways. And I’m able to then meet the needs of those people in the community. The Open University built up my confidence a lot and essentially gave me the skills that I need now.

 

What was the particular lightbulb moment that made you want to study with the OU?

I needed to be able to educate myself to start up my business. Open University degrees are world recognised. So, any employment that I’ve been in, they think it’s amazing. I think it actually kind of gives me a little bit of a bonus because I did home study, whilst working, and they find that really inspiring.

 

How did you find the balance studying whilst working on your business?

I was able to find a timetable that worked for me. Commuting to work I would read my material online, or use the app, with making sure that I would never study on a Sunday.

 

Check out our other interview Carly McCluskey with here.

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