6. Courtney Daniella Boateng Smith , 20
School: University Of Cambridge
Course: Human, Social and Political Sciences (BA)
Grade Avg: 2:1
Despite the pressures of studying at one of the world’s top universities, Courtney has worked hard to build up a reputation as one of the most promising and respected online influencers in the UK. Her YouTube channel, which is just 18 months old, has already amassed over 28,000 subscribers and just under 1,170,000 views (at press time). “I decided that the easiest way to get my message out there would be to create a social media platform where I could post my opinions, views and journey as a black woman, a student and as a Christian, all whilst spreading my creative love of make-up, content creating and laughter,” she says. Two videos speaking about her Cambridge university experience have a combined 250,000 views online and have helped to motivate many to apply and successfully gain an offer to either Oxford and Cambridge, as Courtney has discovered from the numerous messages and emails she receives from viewers. And a glance at the comments section of her YouTube page is enough to get a good sense of the many young people the former ACS president continues to inspire. ‘‘Despite getting good grades at GCSE and A-level I always felt there was a barrier for people like me, especially if wanting to go to Oxbridge. “However, when I got into the University of Cambridge I truly believed that having such an opportunity was not simply an achievement for me but also something I had to share and use to inspire students younger than me.” In January 2017, Courtney started an initiative called ‘My Goal Is’, where she visited schools in low socio-economic areas in London and spoke to 500 students, encouraging and inspiring them.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? With my own beauty company in Ghana, and I would have written a book and made a film.