The act of taking on certain challenges – and overcoming them – can often lead to great rewards. That’s why Challenge is one of Southborough’s key values. Current Year 13 student Ahmed K embodies this particular value whole-heartedly.
Born into a hard-working immigrant family, his world was turned upside down when his father died suddenly in a tragic car accident when he was only six years of age. Ahmed and his brother soon had to embrace the role of being the ‘men’ in the household, caring and supporting their mum over the coming years. It wasn’t always easy for any of them.
A bright and inquisitive young man who greatly enjoyed learning across a wide range of subjects, it wasn’t really until he was in Year 11 that he began to realise that his true passion was the spoken and written word. He loved both English Language and Literature and with the encouragement of his Southborough teachers, chose to study English Literature at A Level, alongside Psychology and Creative Media. Ahmed blossomed in Sixth Form.
When Headteacher Mr Smith encouraged and supported him in his application to study a Foundation ‘Art, Humanities & Social Science’ course at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University, he didn’t dare hope that they would consider someone as ‘ordinary’ as him. Rigorous online tests, followed by an intensive interview process, proved that there was nothing ‘ordinary’ about him at all. Cambridge University loved his creativity, his integrity, the way his thought processes worked and, consequently, they saw that his passion for learning came from the heart and that, given the right opportunities, this young man had so much to learn, share and achieve.
The fully funded year at Cambridge will give Ahmed the chance to immerse himself whole-heartedly into academia: to sample the cornucopia of taster subjects from which he will be able to choose from, including Classics, Philosophy, Theology, English and History of Art. Once successfully completed, he will have the requisite knowledge and experience to select which subject he wishes to study at degree level at Cambridge. He is bubbling over with excitement about the future. He knows that there will be many more challenges on the road ahead - but he WILL overcome them.
We wish him every success!