Our very own Arielle Neely (@rellie.intoyou) from the island of Providenciales by way of South Caicos, went viral in the last few months with the #DontRushChallenge, unintentionally putting the Turks and Caicos Islands on the map.

Stricken with boredom Arielle and her friends joined forces in lockdown (while practising social distancing of course), creating the internet shaking challenge.

The challenge allowed us to incorporate our love for beauty and fashion and aimed to highlight the togetherness in isolation. Additionally, it allowed us to break the stigma that women are only beautiful with makeup on. Instead, we empowered them, even more, to embrace what would be considered, ‘flaws’.

Arielle Neely

This move has garnered the full attention of the public, their university and it has gained them features in huge publications like Teen Vogue, BBC, Buzzfeed and more.

Sound-tracked with the song ‘Don’t Rush’ by Nottingham artists Young T & Bugsey, the creative initiative of these young women helped catapult the year old song to the top of numerous music charts, within days of the viral challenge. The attention even got them an opportunity to recreate the video with the artists.

Currently in the second year of a three year BA Education Studies degree at the University of Hull, Arielle is doing her best to balance academics with pleasure.

We had a quick chat with Arielle about her studies and this is what she had to say!

Here is a breakdown of the BA Education Studies degree.

Education Studies is a multidisciplinary field where the aim is to discover the best and effective way to educate children. Charlotte Mason, an English educator, stated that “Education is the science of relations”. Education Studies follows the social constructivist approach of childhood. The approach suggests that childhood is a product of an era, places and cultural context. 

Arielle Neely

The BA Education Studies degree is a three-year full-time Undergraduate programme which enables students to understand the theories, values, policies, and practices underpinning education, educational institutions, and educational policy-making. 

When asked about her overall experience at her university and with her course, Arielle described it as “remarkable”.

Academically

Arielle has been able to build a strong repertoire through working as a supply teacher at various schools at different levels in multiple subjects such as Biology, English Language and French. She has consequently developed an effective teaching style.

Recently, I was able to work at a high school in their nurture department. This department consists of low levels and high levels of Special Educational Needs (SEN) students. During my tenure there, I was able to develop more skills, such as Instructive skill which has given me the ability to create a personal style of teaching and the ability to explain and demonstrate clearly. Additionally, the skill of approachableness, I have noticed that, for students to learn, they need to feel comfortable in the classroom.

Arielle Neely
Extracurricular

Being multi-faceted, Arielle has been a member of the Afro-Caribbean Society (ACS) women’s basketball team, Afro Street Dance Society (ASDS) and a Social Member of Hull Hustlers Women’s Basketball team. Being a member of the Hull Hustlers, an opportunity arose to go on Tour to Croatia, which is a recreational event popular among UK university sports teams.

Being a member of the Afro Street Dance Society (ASDS), Arielle performed in her first live showcase, Nansica’s Liberty as one of the main characters, Corina.

Nansica’s Liberty is a showcase which explores the plight of an all-female army who take on matters of sexual assault, harassment, and the celebration of womanhood into their hands.  

During this year, I was fortunate to make an appearance on BBC No Filter during Black History Month to speak about ‘Forgotten Black History’. I was able to share my views on how living and being from the Turks and Caicos Islands has made me unapologetically myself and not afraid to embrace my ‘blackness’. Also, on Saturday, May 2, 2020, I have been asked again to make a paper review on BBC Humberside, this is where I choose news headlines and voice my opinions on said headline. 

Arielle Neely

As of date, Arielle holds the title of Events Manager of the Women Empowered Society where she organises social events and designs flyers and posters.

In this role I aided in planning a Charity Event (my first ever) and Take Me Out, a dating event where we raised money for Hull’s Women Aid. 

Arielle Neely

In her course, Arielle identifies the challenge of critical thinking as her favourite aspect.

… the modules challenge you to think critically and strengthens you to find successful alternative ways to improve the education system. These ways should be child-centred which mean it has to have a clear understanding of the needs and views of children. During these past two years, I have learned that everyone who encounters a child has a responsibility for keeping them safe. A child’s social environment can impact on their learning development and educational chances throughout their life. Hence, a community rises, and falls based on their school system.

Arielle Neely

If this wasn’t already proven in her degree choice, Education is really important for Arielle as she is already considering postgraduate study.

I am most definitely thinking of entering a post-graduate degree programme, it’s either Speech and Language Pathology (first choice) or Educational Psychology (second choice).

One of the roles of a speech and language therapist is that they prevent communication disorders from an early stage in students via assessments and evaluating communication skills then develop individualised education programmes for those students who need it. 

Whereas, one of the roles of an educational psychologist is to nourish the learning methods of an individual and assist teachers to understand the mental power and their strength in teaching.  

Arielle Neely

Alternative to her postgraduate plans, current career prospects she is considering after this degree completion are: Teacher, Supply Teacher, Education Administrator, Support/Social Worker and Educational Researcher.

When asked about the virality of the challenge and where it could take her, Arielle remained humble.

No, I had no idea that the challenge would have become viral. But I am still amazed by the creativity and diversity of the recreations. I have seen the little girls and boys partake, Doctors, Military, Real Housewives of Atlanta cast members (one of my favourite shows that I watch with my mom), Teachers, Mothers, Families, Influencers, Police officers & Turks and Caicos Islanders.

I think I have probably seen every re-creation possible and I absolutely love them!

Honestly, I really don’t know where it would take me; I have gotten a lot of exposure from it. Nevertheless, I’m open to any opportunity that will be presented to me. This challenge has made quite fearless, in the sense that I no longer second guess myself because I know that I can do anything, once I give it my 150%. Truly, God is the reason why I am here, and I’m following His plan for my life.

Arielle Neely

Here are the tips our viral girl is leaving for current and prospective university students of the TCI:

 1. Don’t be afraid to go after your educational advancement.

 2. Find a field that you are passionate about and develop it.

 3. It’s daunting to leave the comfort of your home, family and country to enter uncharted waters. However, embrace the opportunities that presents itself to you while learning more about other cultures and yourself as your degree/s is a path to your self-actualisation and nation building.

Arielle Neely

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Posted by:Nandina Hislop

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