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Curtis’ story

31/07/18

“I have always lived in Liverpool and grew up in the Kensington/Fairfield area, which was where I attended St. Francis of Assisi secondary school. My sister was the first member of our family to attend university and it was my aspiration to follow her lead. I always took an interest in school and wished to move on to university which would have required me to move schools for 6th form, as St. Francis didn’t offer this during my time there. Knowing absolutely nothing about boarding schools, I had never anticipated that there would be a possibility that I would be spending my 6th form years at one.

Boarding school has helped me in a number of different ways. Not only has it provided me with an excellent school education, it has also educated me in other areas of life. Attending and hosting formal events through boarding school has enabled me to experience and appreciate the etiquette behind these scenarios, a concept somewhat alien to me beforehand. The most significant lesson that I took from the experience was that there are no aspirations too high for anyone and this has made me want to push myself to be as successful as possible in the future, something that I previously wouldn’t have had the self-belief and confidence to do. These aspirations were supported through the network of successful people that I have met through either attending boarding school together or through school events. Meeting people who were themselves at the same point in their life as me, with the same opportunities that I was presented with, was the inspiration behind me striving to be successful. Despite all of this, one of the hardest things I learnt whilst at boarding school was that success does not come easy or without hard work. Throughout my experience I had various setbacks and difficulties that I had to overcome, these were things as simple as being homesick to disappointing exam results. These were difficult challenges, but challenges that I overcame through the support and network I had at boarding school and despite the setbacks, still managed to reach the short-term goal that I had set out for myself.

This opportunity equally allowed me and my family to meet and make friends with a number of different people from a variety of backgrounds and was very much a new experience for them whilst being a huge part of mine. They had the chance to experience what the boarding school environment was like when attending family events at the school, which was memorable for them and helped to ease any worries that they may have had seeing how at home I was there.

I feel that this experience for me, is an example that anyone from any background can have these opportunities and that your background does not limit what you can achieve. I feel that this may have inspired younger generations in my previous secondary school to take on the opportunity for themselves and will have hopefully led to a life-changing decision for them as it did for me.  

The best thing about boarding school was the friends that I met whilst at boarding school. I am still in very close contact with them now 3 years down the line and they are some of my closest friends. This in itself made the 2-year journey through boarding school worthwhile. These are friends who come from all walks of life, from different parts of the country to completely different countries, some from more privileged backgrounds than others, but in an environment where none of that mattered and everyone was accepted for who they are. It is through these friendships that since leaving boarding school, I have had the opportunity to travel to places all over the world with this group of friends and have had experiences that I will never forget.

If I had not attended boarding school I believe my life today would be very different. I think despite my hard-working personality that I may not have pursued the career I am now due to a lack of self-confidence. I wouldn’t have been as well networked as I am now due to the people that I have met through boarding school. I also think that boarding school prepared me for university and working life extremely well, spending two years living with people from different backgrounds and cultures allows you to have an appreciation and understanding of those backgrounds and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet such a diverse range of people, had I not gone to boarding school. Boarding school made me a more confident person and put me into situations that I previously wouldn’t have found myself in, such as public speaking, something which, since leaving boarding school, I have done a lot of and now have no confidence issues with. Boarding school has made me more willing to put myself into situations like this and not be afraid to try new things and this is something I am extremely grateful for.

I am currently entering into my 3rd year of study at Liverpool John Moores University studying Biomedical science. Once I have graduated university I plan to undergo further study through the NHS Scientist Training Programme, a 3-year programme inclusive of a master’s degree in my chosen area in order to become a fully qualified clinical scientist in the field of reproductive science. Completion of this programme would open up opportunities for yet further progress and development within this scientific field and would be something that I would consider undertaking as I wouldn’t want to limit myself and what I can achieve.

Boarding school was an unforgettable life-changing experience that despite its difficulties was an experience I would urge anyone who gets the opportunity to try to do so. It was not an easy experience by any means, but if it was it wouldn’t be worth it. It was an experience that would never have even be considered a possibility, had it not been for Royal SpringBoard. I owe an awful lot to Royal SpringBoard for giving me this opportunity and will forever be grateful for their selflessness and willingness to help others. Royal SpringBoard did not only help with the funding of this experience for me, but was always available to provide their support and help whenever required.”

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