1. about rare

    Rare is passionate about creating a more equal society. We believe that if more black people get in to Oxbridge, more black people will reach the top of our society. Target Oxbridge is our contribution to making that happen.

    Rare is a for-profit social enterprise. Since 2005 we have developed effective ways to identify talented black students and provide them with one-to-one support that improves their chances of success. Our contextual recruitment software allows us to identify potential and track performance. Our connections with industry and investment in long-term candidate development programmes enable us to provide well-informed advice. We believe that this is why we are able to improve Oxbridge access for black students in a measurable, cost-effective way.

    For more information about Rare, please click here.

    Privacy Policy

    In collaboration with:     University of Cambridge  logo     University of Oxford  logo


Raphael Mokades

Raphael Mokades is the founder and Managing Director of Rare Recruitment. Raphael has a first class degree from Oxford University. While at Oxford, Raphael represented the University at basketball, served as his College’s JCR President, and organized the biggest ball Oxford has ever seen.

Raphael joined the Financial Times in 2001. From 2003 to 2005 he was in charge of diversity at Pearson, the international media company which owns the FT. Pearson won two Race for Opportunity awards during this time.

Raphael set up Rare in 2005. The business now works with some of the UK’s most prestigious companies, has over 4,500 candidates on its books, and employs twenty-seven people.

Raphael is a graduate of the Common Purpose Matrix programme and a Fellow of the British American Project. He is a non-executive Director of Hubbub, the local online food delivery service.

Raphael has written on business, sport and social issues for both the Guardian and Financial Times. He has co-authored four Rare research reports: ‘Recruiting Arabic-Speaking Graduates (2009)’; ‘High Achieving Black Students: A Portrait’ (2009); ‘What Top Ethnic Minority Students Want’ (2010); and ‘Class, Race and Recruitment: Best Practices’ (2011). He also is the author of the career guide for young people, Three Steps to Success, published by Profile Books.

Elham Saudi

Elham Saudi is Associate Director at Rare in charge of Articles, Rare’s development programme for a limited number of selected candidates interested in Rare’s legal clients. Designed as a challenging programme, Articles features a combination of one-on-one discussion and group sessions and aims to build candidates’ confidence to talk in a relaxed, authoritative way about complex commercial issues.

After finishing her degree in Arabic and Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Oxford University, Elham studied law at Nottingham Law School.  Elham practised commercial law at Slaughter and May, a leading corporate law firm in the City of London, from 2003 to 2010.  In that period, she had a finance practice and her clients included Arsenal Football Club, Cadbury plc, Whitbread plc, COLT, the World Bank and Diageo plc.

She recently completed an LLM in International Law at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Concurrent with her work for Rare, Elham is co-founder and director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya (LFJL), an NGO registered in the UK with the aim, among other things, of defending justice and the principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Libya.

André Flemmings

André Flemmings, formerly a Rare candidate, joined Rare in August 2011 as acting Financial Services Manager, looking after Rare’s banking and financial services clients.

Prior to joining Rare, André took a career break to work for a charity. He spent 8 months in deprived areas of Buenos Aires, Argentina where he worked with children. He taught and helped implement a new curriculum, heavily based on the use of popular music, art and games in order to teach English. He also helped set up a choir for young children at one of the charity's centres.

André started his professional career in 2007 at a City & corporate communications firm, which specialised in alternative asset management. There, he advised board level members on corporate messaging for results as well as crisis management, devised and implemented global research strategies and launched numerous companies and funds into the European markets.

The first black Head Boy and Head Chorister of Trinity School, he founded the school’s mentoring system for prefects which placed prefects with classes in their lower years to act as “Buddies”.

André graduated with a 2.1 from the University of Oxford in Philosophy & German. Whilst at Oxford, aside from playing rugby, hockey and being a member of Oxford University Athletics Club, André was heavily involved in the choral music scene, singing regularly with the choirs of Brasenose, St Peter’s and Merton Colleges. André was also a singer in, and the Business Manager of, Oxford's all-male a cappella group, Out of the Blue (OOTB). He organised a self-funded tour across the U.S. West Coast, and set up and promoted OOTB’s summer concert which attracted an audience of 1,500.

Melissa Andrewes

Melissa Andrewes is a Director of Rare, with responsibility for coaching students, particularly in the legal sector. She co-runs Rare’s Articles programme for aspiring lawyers with Elham, with particular focus on personal coaching sessions with each candidate in tailor their experience to their needs.

She graduated from St Hilda’s, Oxford, with a modern languages degree. After her degree, she did the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the College of Law (now the University of Law) in Guildford.

She joined Slaughter and May as a trainee, using her French when sent to Marseille on a transaction, and also during the three months she spent in the competition group based in Brussels. She qualified into a general corporate group where she remained for a further four years, working on a variety of different transactions in a number of sectors. Whilst there, she did a six month secondment to the legal department of JP Morgan. Melissa then moved to Clifford Chance as a senior associate in the Commercial Business Group. She was involved in interviewing associates to join the group and had a trainee of her own.

Since then, Melissa has taught for seven years on the GDL and LPC at the University of Law, setting up the GDL at Moorgate and leading a cohort of 300 students. She continues to lecture in Corporate Transactions on the accelerated LPC at BPP, used by many of Rare’s clients. She brings practical and legal experience, to develop the legal knowledge and skills required both during degree studies and the application process with a view to giving candidates the best possible chance at securing a vacation scheme and then a training contract at a top firm.

Steve Mould

JSteve Mould is a science communicator with a degree in Physics from Oxford University.

A stand up comic who has taken four shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that fuse comedy, science and technology, Steve appears on long-running BBC show Blue Peter as the resident science expert. Steve regularly delivers talks and shows at science festivals and schools. He also writes a blog about science, maths, technology and comedy.

Steve has worked for Rare since 2005 and been involved in designing all of Rare's in-house systems, including the unique ‘What Makes You Tick?’ questionnaire.

Joshua Oware FRSA

Josh is Rare’s Research and Community Affairs Co-ordinator. He’s responsible for: Target Oxbridge, Rare’s research and innovation output, advising universities and the Ubuntu Education Fund, and writing / commentating for clients, conferences and the media on race, education, politics and equality.

A geography student, he gained the highest First in his year at Oxford University, graduating as the 'Gibbs Scholar', and is currently reading for a Masters in Sociology at the University of Cambridge.

A Rare candidate since his second year, he was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Civic Award in 2013 for positive contributions to University, local and national civic life and has since been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

In October 2013 he won the London Schools and the Black Child (LSBC) academic achievement award, run by the office of Diane Abbott, MP.

While at Oxford, Josh Chaired the Council for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE), wrote articles, independent research and a book, and served as the vice-President of the African-Caribbean Society. In addition, he coordinated the University's Black History Month programme in 2012, launched the first Race Equality Question Time Event with Trevor Phillips OBE, and organised a university Variety Show, headlined by MOBO award-winner, Akala.

With his work on empowerment and opportunity, the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading Equality Think Tank, commissioned Josh to write features in their quarterly magazine. In 2011, Josh looked to take his interests abroad and he worked for an international educational NGO, UWC Adriatic, in Italy. Working with Ambassador Gianfranco Bonetti, he designed a new, now active, five-year fundraising campaign that builds on their existing work of taking bright but disadvantaged children from around the world (refugee camps, war-torn nations) and educating them in peace, sustainability and togetherness. He also sits on the Amos Bursary Learning and Development Committee.

Naomi Kellman

Naomi Kellman, founder of Target Oxbridge, graduated from Lincoln College, Oxford with a first class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE) in 2011.

While at Oxford, Naomi was the Vice-President of Oxford’s African and Caribbean Society and a regular at the Oxford trampolining club.

Naomi first worked for Rare in 2011 - 12 as a Research Executive, where she wrote Class, Race and Graduate Recruitment: Best Practice and Five Years On. During this time, Naomi founded the Target Oxbridge programme, overseeing the successful applications of three Oxbridge hopefuls.

Naomi then left Rare to join the Civil Service Fast Stream. Whilst at the Department for Education, she was part of the award winning policy teams working on Adoption and Universal Infant Free Schools Meals. She then moved to the Treasury, where she worked on Education spending policy, including policies announced during the Autumn Statement and the Budget.

Naomi re-joined Rare in April 2015 as a Manager, with responsibility for Rare’s campus activity and schools programmes, including Target Oxbridge.


Daniel Stone

Daniel Stone joined Rare in 2012 as the Target Oxbridge co-ordinator. After joining, Daniel helped three of the first cohort of six students gain offers from Oxbridge, and has recruited, trained and managed sixteen ‘ChangeMakers’, current black heritage Oxbridge undergraduates who act as mentors, deliver school presentations and conduct groundbreaking research projects.

Daniel is currently working with Rare part time, and is in charge of the launch of Rare Schools.

As well as working at Rare, Daniel works as a National Coordinator at Ascension Trust, and will soon be reading a masters at the IOE in Economics, Educational Planning and International Relations.

Daniel graduated from St Peter’s College, Oxford, where he received a BA in Economics and Management. Whilst at Oxford University Daniel was elected to be St Peter’s JCR President and also served on the Target Schools committee and the Committee for Racial Awareness and Equality.

Daniel continued his work in student politics as a full-time Sabbatical Officer for the Oxford University Student Union. As the Vice President (Charities and Community), Daniel successfully established a city-wide partnership group, founded a community wardens’ scheme and oversaw the work of the student fundraising society, which raised over £100k.