A guest blog post by our good friends General Assembly.

Over the past week, General Assembly London has received dozens of applications and scholarship essays for our front-end web development course. We are inspired. We are grateful. And we are truly excited to announce that we’ve awarded the scholarship to Toby Sims, who moved us with his personal story and aspirations:

I have no city to escape. I am a Groundsman looking after a myriad of different sports pitches. Sounds ideal to the city dweller, but I too am eroded by the daily grind and plans from on high that extend no further than the end of the day. Just as in the City, there is no hope without a vision.

Where will I be in 3 years time if I escape my aspirational mediocrity? Hopefully having helped my better looking half launch a bridal wear and corset making business to make her escape! Or selling barefoot running shoes and accessories to New Zealanders? They would love them! Perhaps re-energising passions for music and theatre… I would like to make my life work and work my life, but be excited to get up before the alarm in the morning.

Wherever the tools you give take me, I would explore every nook and cranny. I have to improve and make a difference now, life is too short to let slip by. I love Escape the City because it’s almost given me the confidence to try something new!

If I could have afforded it, I would have done your course already!

We’re also thrilled to announce that because of the high caliber of essays and applications we received, we will be awarding 3 smaller scholarships to students in the coming weeks.

It was a tremendously encouraging and inspirational week for us as we watched our first front-end web development class graduate and present their final projects. Among these are Trend Curation, a soon-to-launch hair salon, The Dino Lab, a local dinosaur museum and The Reddit Edit, a feed of the top news stories on Reddit which was covered by The AtlanticThe Next Web and Mashable.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’re very much looking forward to our next two classes of front-end web development graduates later this summer and autumn. Get involved here.

A word from Toby:

Learning web dev is about as far removed from my current job as it’s possible to get and I think it’s probably Escape’s influence that I took a chance, having always wanted to give myself a foundation in ‘another language’.

I loved the look of the General Assembly courses when they cropped up in a pick of the week a while back (intense and right at the forefront of learning) but obviously I didn’t just have the money available (story of my life!).

I couldn’t believe it when a couple of months later, a scholarship was offered up . I think I just tried to convey the hope of escaping that we all have into my little ditty. I intend to grab the opportunity Escape and General Assembly have given me with both hands and possibly both feet if I can balance.

I’m excited because no matter how small, new skills open new doors and I can try to find an environment to flourish in rather than just exist (sorry, bit of a paraphrase from your blog post!). I’m also well out of my comfort zone, so I’ve got to man up!

Vive la resistance, vive l’Escape!

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