Spotlight on My Academic Family

Posted: 17 April 2023, in Member Spotlight

We’re delighted to be joined for our latest spotlight by My Academic Family, who supports first-generation students in completing their university degrees by providing mentorship and creating supportive environments. We caught up with Carly McNamara, Founder and Managing Director, to find out more about the work they do, plans for the year and tips for other social enterprises.

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?

My Academic Family exists to provide support to first-generation, care experienced, estranged, and displaced university students, helping them be more engaged in their university experience, take advantage of as many opportunities available to them as possible, and be more successful in completing their university degrees.

How do you do it?

My Academic Family widely shares useful information on ‘How to University’ on our website and social media channels, provides one-on-one support for application planning, personal statement crafting, and matches students with a mentor for one-on-one tailored support. We support our work through sales of products and services on our website, corporate partnerships, and donations from supporters.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?

I was a first-generation university student and know that I would have had a much easier time in my academic studies if I had had someone to turn to with my questions and issues. I want to build that support framework for the students coming after me. Being a social entrepreneur allows me to pursue my vision the way I envision it.

What are your current projects?

My Academic Family’s main project is our Mentorship Programme. It matches volunteer mentors with university degrees with first-generation, care experienced, estranged, or displaced students. We are also regularly engaged in creating new informational content for all students.

What exciting things do you have coming up?

My Academic Family is coming into an exciting time of year. As students accept offers to university we are able to start matching them with mentors and start supporting them even before they set foot on their university campus.

Who do you want to work with more?

We always want to engage more with students, especially those we have identified for our free support services. We also want to work more with local corporations that are interested in their social responsibility and building their local community and future workforce.

What’s your biggest challenge?

Our biggest challenge right now is that we don’t yet have a big presence. My Academic Family is only a year old, so we aren’t well known yet. One of our goals for 2023 is to share even more information to benefit students and secure a reputation for providing high quality and useful information.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?

I’ve only been a social entrepreneur for about a year now, so my tips are for others who are new to it. The biggest thing is to keep moving forward, even if it’s just one step at a time. It takes time to grow yourself and your company as well as to begin making the kind of social impacts you want to make.

For more information about My Academic Family, please visit their website and make sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn to keep updated with their work.

Want to read more Member Spotlights? Visit our blog. If you’d like to be featured, please email our Membership Manager Jayne at