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Andrea Reyes: Achieving my goals as a future Chartered Town Planner

Andrea Reyes graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) this month, achieving a 2:1 Bachelor of Science with Honours degree in Urban Planning. Andrea is a recipient of the RTPI Trust bursary.

I am a proud Filipina, deeply connected to the Filipino culture alongside my embraced, established life in the UK. As I move on to the next chapter of my life, I look forward to the many opportunities the planning profession has in store for me. One of my biggest aspirations is to establish myself in the industry and gain a chartership from the RTPI, earning the title of a Chartered Town Planner. Not only to make myself, my friends, family, and university proud, but to proudly represent my heritage.

Aside from planning, I am an avid fan of anything fashion related, from collecting sneakers to keeping up updates with clothes releases. I also enjoy listening to all genres of music, including R&B, Hip-Hop, and participating in sports activities such as volleyball and boxing. I love traveling to different places, as I am fond of experiencing different cultures and environments.

What I find amazing about planning is having the power to positively change the world, benefitting communities and their citizens, the natural environment, and wildlife. Our planners, alongside other multidisciplinary teams, help create sustainable and equitable environments so that our present and future generations will benefit, regardless of how little or big the action is. Altogether, planning aims to combat the daily, complex challenges of our built and natural environments, including climate change, urban poverty, and dereliction.

As I expressed, my big aspiration is to become a Chartered Town Planner. I would like to achieve this role because I want to create a positive contribution to our world and its citizens. Being a Chartered Town Planner would allow me to take on many exciting and challenging responsibilities that would continually progress my career development. One day, I would like to take on leadership and potentially lead my projects in teams and use my position to become a mentor by educating and supporting aspiring planning students and graduates about the planning profession.

Receiving the RTPI Trust bursary was entirely life changing. It contributed toward the costs of my trip to the Philippines this December, where I plan to volunteer with the NGO Gawad Kalinga and donate to their charity. Their main goal is to alleviate urban poverty in the Philippines, a topic that I am extremely passionate about. It also contributed to my current financial difficulties and towards saving up the tuition for a master’s degree in either Urban Design or International Development, which are subjects I would like to specialise in. Overall, I would like to highly express my gratitude to the RTPI for giving me this bursary to achieve my goals and supporting me in being my true self.

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