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  • Hillel Bright Futures Trust

Securing 100% Bursary (Epsom College)


Resilience, faith and pursuing 'the dream'. Read Christiana's story of how GCSE academic brilliance came after 11+ failure at a young age.

My name is Christiana and I’m currently a Year 11 student at a South London Catholic girls school. Recently, I secured a 100% funded place at Epsom College - a leading Independent school in Surrey. I was in complete disbelief on hearing the news, but, I feel this is a testament to my hard work and drive. I am grateful to the team at Bright Futures 4 All (BF4ALL), which is where this learning journey began in Year 5.

It is important to reveal that, after making it through the first stage of the 11+ tests, I was disheartened to have narrowly missed the grade to secure a place at my grammar school of choice. Howev­er, I was determined to still pursue my education to a high stand­ard. (BF4ALL) guided me along a path of academic brilliance and resilience on a GCSE programme.

I am predicted a Grade 9 in all 10 of my GCSE subjects. This fact, alongside an admissions test, a personal statement, an online interview and my previous PPE grades, led to the offer of a 100% funded place. The pep talk and pre-application discussion with Mrs Bryson gave me the confidence to follow my dreams and apply.

After completing my A-levels, I want to study a law course at Oxford University, with a year abroad in a prestigious French University, to strengthen by bilingual skills. I will also continue to pursue my love of sports - currently 18th in the UK.

In terms of preparing me and setting a strong foundation for a prosperous future ahead, Mrs Bryson and (BF4ALL) have played an integral role in nurturing my passion for English and current affairs. It prepared me not only academically, but spiritually.

My most important piece of advice to other students is never give up on your dreams in the face of setbacks. One thing my journey so far has taught me is that God has a reason for everything and there’s a bigger picture, which we are not always ready to see or accept.

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