Raheem Sterling visited London’s National Portrait Gallery to meet with young people, who since December 2022 have been involved in Sterling’s Making of Me project.

Footballer Raheem Sterling visits the National Portrait Gallery where he has been working with young people as part of Making of Me, a partnership project with the Raheem Sterling Foundation. Photo: © David Parry/ National Portrait Gallery

A collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery and the Raheem Sterling Foundation, Making of Me is a creative youth programme that combines portraiture and photography, which has given 30 young people from London the chance to develop the skills needed to progress into future creative careers.

Responding to the Gallery’s wider Collection of historic and contemporary portraits, participants have worked with photographers, filmmakers and digital producers over a ten-month period to create a collaborative piece of art responding to themes of self-identity, representation, place and community, which Raheem Sterling saw displayed at the Gallery for the first this week

An edit of these creative responses will be displayed at the National Portrait Gallery’s Learning Centre until September 2024.




Top- bottom: Photographs taken by students during the Making of Me project at the National Portrait Gallery, supported by the Raheem Sterling Foundation ©️ David Parry; Raheem Sterling signs a Chelsea FC banner for a student ©️ David Parry; Footballer Raheem Sterling greets students who have participated in the Making of Me project at the National Portrait Gallery ©️ David Parry.

“It has been amazing to see the final portraits and meet the students today. It is great to see their passion for the project and how much they have got out of it. Young People need inspiration for their future, and this collaboration is really great for the kids to express their talents. This is what my Foundation is all about – education, social mobility and creating opportunities for young people to grow.”

Raheem Sterling, Footballer and Founder, Raheem Sterling Foundation

“I’m overwhelmed by the amazing work created during the first Making of Me project. I’m so proud of the 30 young students from Brent and the brilliant work they have produced. They are a fantastic group of young people and we feel privileged to have created this amazing project with the National portrait Gallery.  A huge thank you to Liz, Scarlett and all the artists involved in making this project a reality. It highlights the core of what the Foundation is all about – giving young people opportunities to shine and develop skills for their future prospects and social mobility.”

Clive Ellington, Chair of Trustees, Raheem Sterling Foundation

“The brilliant Making of Me project, in partnership with the Raheem Sterling Foundation, has given this incredibly creative and hardworking cohort of students from Raheem’s home borough of Brent the opportunity to work collaboratively with artists, as well as display their work at the National Portrait Gallery. This is just the beginning, and we look forward to continuing our work with Raheem and his Foundation, as together we strive to develop the skills and talent of young people and open up access to exciting opportunities within the arts and culture sectors.”

Liz Smith, Director of Learning and Engagement, National Portrait Gallery

“This experience has been enlightening. I have discovered sides of myself I didn’t know were there. Over the past few years, I became more introverted, but through this process I’ve started to see glimpses of my extroverted self again. I’m very thankful to have had this opportunity.”

Participating student at Ark Academy