Hertford was an exotic world compared to my very traditional Sikh upbringing in Handsworth. I’d never seen so many white people before! It was a privilege to study with such exceptional leaders and rewarding to leave with the Henry Beckitt Memorial Prize. I was far too young to appreciate it at the time but since then, have worked hard to share the social capital I gained with some of the people and communities I left behind in inner city Birmingham. I’m not sure whether its too early to start thinking about what legacy I’ll leave. I have contributed to tackling urban poverty and social exclusion. I’ve been directly involved in drafting EU legislation on equality and UN policy on cohesion. Best of all, my daughter is poised to achieve far more than I could have imagined for myself. Whoever said that ‘youth was wasted on the young’ was wrong. I never wasted my time studying too hard at College but certainly devoted every hour possible to learning about the real world and learning to have fun. In my fifties now, my intellectual curiosity keeps me young in head and heart – but maybe not quite so much in body.