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Back 2 School: Our Education to Work Journeys

What to do after school can be a daunting concept.

As part of our 'Back 2 School' campaign, the team members here at RARE Revolution magazine and RARE Youth Revolution are sharing their journeys from education to where we are now, to give you an insight into what you could possibly expect.

Charlotte Cooper

Our editorial assistant Charlotte left home after achieving A*, A, and B in her A-Levels. She moved to the city and aspired to be a writer, but ended up working in hospitality and as a taekwondo instructor.

She then spent the next two years working part-time as a freelance writer and in adult residential services, until in 2017 she started her BA degree in Publishing at the University of Plymouth, and graduated with first class honours in 2020.

Charlotte currently balances finishing her master's degree in Publishing with working with us here at RARE Revolution!

Daisy Marriott

Daisy left school with 3 A-Levels grade BBC and worked in hospitality for two years before attending Canterbury Christ Church University.

Daisy left university with an upper second class honours BA degree in Philosophy, Religion, and Ethics. After university, Daisy worked in the office of a construction company doing admin and accounting, before joining us at RARE Revolution in 2020!

David Rose

David is our business development associate, and started his working life while still at school, working at Sainsbury's. David left school with BBB grades in his A-Levels, and in 2012 graduated with a degree in Business Economics, having worked at Marks and Spencer's alongside studying.

After university, David got a job as a currency broker in London, and began speaking about living with a rare disease. A year later, David became a volunteer ambassador for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Over the next couple of years, David was formally diagnosed with Occipital Horn Syndrome and Dysautonomia, and in 2018, started working at RARE Revolution. Most recently, this year, David has become a trustee for Mitrofanoff Support.

Emma Bishop

Next up is Emma, our design and editorial associate. Emma left school with two A Levels and two AS levels. Emma used those A-Levels to study the History of Art and Design at Staffordshire.

After university, Emma worked for three years in retail on the shop floor. Emma then completed a foundation study in Art and Design before spending eight years working in retail merchandising. This ended around the time Emma had her first son in 2011.

Emma returned to the world of work two years later working part-time as a church administrator for five years, in which time she had her second child.

In 2018 Emma fulfilled her dream of having a job that utilizes her creativity when she joined RARE Revolution as our design and editorial associate.

James Brooks

James left school somewhat disappointingly after failing his AS Levels with UUD grades. As an alternative, James attended West Herts college and achieved a Level 3 BTEC qualification in Journalism while working part-time in hospitality.

After college, James attended Roehampton University where he studied Journalism and Creative Writing, at the same time was enrolled in a clinical trial to start to treat his Niemann-Pick disease Type B, and was working part-time in a pub as a bartender.

James left university and worked briefly in hospitality before being hired to work in a call centre as a customer care adviser for a major holiday brand.

After doing that for over a year, James was successful in being chosen for the RARE Revolution youth internship and is now our youth coordinator.

Nicola Miller

Nicola is our editor-in-chief. Being from Scotland, Nicola achieved BCC grades in higher levels, which are the equivalent to A Levels in England and Wales. Nicola then studied Architectural Technology at The Robert Gordon university in Aberdeen and graduated with first class honours.

Nicola left university in 1999 and for the next 8 years held numerous architectural positions, becoming a Chartered Architectural Technologist and moving into senior management positions. This culminated in Nicola starting her own architectural consulting practice in 2007.

Everything changed for Nicola when in 2012 her son Eddison was diagnosed with the rare condition Xeroderma Pigmentosum. (Eddison himself has contributed to our Back 2 School campaign with his blog post that can be found here)

Following her son's diagnosis, Nicola co-founded the charity Teddington Trust to aid and offer support to those living with Xeroderma Pigmentosum.

In 2016, Nicola closed her architectural practice in order to co-found RARE Revolution magazine, thus becoming the creative director and editor-in-chief.

Rebecca Pender

The newest member of our team, Rebecca is our team and community administrator.

Rebecca's journey began when she left school 2004 without taking her final exams. For the next four years, she worked in pubs, restaurants and hotels before landing a job in a bank's call centre as a mortgage inquiry consultant and trained to become a regulated mortgage advisor. It was during this time that Rebecca had her first child, who was diagnosed with a rare disease.

After being made redundant in 2015, Rebecca began working in a call centre for BT. In her spare time she began advocating for rare disease, doing public speaking, raising awareness, writing and networking.

After seeing a life coach to examine her strengths and goals, Rebecca was swooped up by RARE Revolution in August this year, putting her experience in advocating, raising awareness and networking to good use, and working in an area she is deeply passionate about.

Rebecca Stewart

Last by no means least is Rebecca, our CEO and co-founder.

Rebecca left school with 8 standard grades, the Scottish equivalent to GCSE's. After school, Rebecca gained qualifications in hairdressing and after working for six years as a junior, moved to Bermuda for a senior stylist position, followed by a salon manager position.

Returning to the UK in 2001, Rebecca held senior stylist positions in top Scottish salons until 2003 when she started her own hairdressing business.

Rebecca had her son in 2004, followed by her first son in 2006, and in 2008 became company secretary and bookkeeper for her husband's landscaping firm.

In 2012, after her nephew's Xeroderma Pigmentosum diagnosis, Rebecca and her sister co-founded Teddington Trust, and in 2016 RARE Revolution magazine.


Written by James Brooks as part of our "Back 2 School" campaign.

To get involved with the RARE Youth Revolution, you can email our youth coordinator James Brooks at

You can also find us on Instagram @rare_youth_revolution and on Facebook @RareYouthRevolution


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