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Nana’s story


“My name is Nana. I moved back to Hackney, London in 2014 from Accra, Ghana after living there for 6 years. Moving to a new school was a hard and challenging experience, but I managed to finish secondary school with great GCSE results and an idea of my future plans. In year 10 I started working with a charity called IntoUniversity where I got help with my homework and amazing opportunities like visiting universities and medicine focus weeks where I decided that I wanted to study medicine. I got the opportunity to work with Royal Springboard through IntoUniversity who have supported me all the way through and now I am at The Wellington Academy studying Biology, Chemistry and Sociology and I aim to become a doctor in the future.

My experience at boarding school has helped me to be more independent in terms of learning how to take care of myself and my education. Boarding has enabled me to try new activities, go to different places in the UK and make new friends from all around the world. My family was concerned that I might not fit in at boarding school, but being there I did not feel like I didn’t fit in; I made new friends and the house parents supported me anytime I was feeling homesick or sad. In addition to this, boarding school has taught me to appreciate my family and it has also made me cherish each moment I spend with them. Through boarding, I volunteer to help out with activities and I got so many amazing leadership opportunities that have definitely prepared me for work and university.

Even though there are many things that are amazing about boarding school, I think that the best thing for me would be when I joined the Combined Cadet Force in my school in September. I have done so many things that I thought that I would never do, such as my Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, winning the RSM’s award for Top Cadet out of 300 other cadets from different schools at summer camp, working with soldiers and learning about what they do, marching at the remembrance parade in my school and many more. This experience has been the best because I have formed amazing friendships and contacts with many different people and I have developed so many transferable skills that will definitely help me in the future.

While my old secondary school had a great sixth form, coming to The Wellington Academy has opened many doors for me and allowed me to experience what living away from home was like and I think that if I did not have this experience I would not be as prepared for life at university and beyond. The Academy has enabled me to gain many transferable skills like; leadership, communication, teamwork and many more. I have done so many things, from gorge walking, marching with real soldiers from the 26 Royal Engineers to reading with the younger students in school and supporting them when they feel homesick. I think that without this experience I would have been fine, but I am a better person and I now have more clarity on my future and who I am as a person.

I am now about to go into year 13 and I am studying Biology, Chemistry and Sociology. I am Deputy Head Girl in the main school, Head Girl in Boarding and I am planning to run for Head Girl in the main school in September when I come back to school. In October I am applying for medicine and I hope to become a doctor in the Military or NHS. To support other students in school, I started a medical society to raise the aspirations of the younger students wanting to go into healthcare and I am leading the planning of a medical conference where different professionals in healthcare will come to the school to give the students an insight into healthcare jobs. In the future, I would eventually like to use my skills as a doctor to help other aspiring healthcare workers around the UK by working for a non-profit organisation like IntoUniversity or Royal Springboard, or by starting my own charity to help young people access the amazing opportunities that I have managed to get so far and more. This opportunity to go to boarding school has enabled me to think about my future and how I can use my knowledge and experience to help others.

My experience has been a challenging one where in the beginning I struggled with the transition from GCSEs to A Levels and communicating with my teachers. But after my second term things started to get easier and I have managed to improve my grades by moving from B, C-, D to A, A, B in a couple of months. I have made my family very proud by taking on the leadership positions in school and by leaving my legacy of creating a medical society where the experience for others like me will be beneficial to their future. All of these things have set me up for a great and wonderful future. Royal Springboard, IntoUniversity and my school have supported me through it all and I couldn’t be more grateful for the experience.

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