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News > School News > Tekle, year 13

Tekle, year 13

"My story so far..."

I have been attending Ipswich School for just over a year now, I joined in year 12 and I haven't looked back!

Alone, I travelled to the UK through Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya and Europe when I was just 14, arriving in the UK some 18 months later. I was born in Eritrea but was determined not to stay. The country is run by a totalitarian dictatorship and has one of the worst human rights records in the world.

The reason I left Eritrea was to find peace to be free but I soon found the other countries I passed through on my journey to safety were far from ideal so I was determined to eventually arrive in the UK.

Judging that I was a genuine refugee, Border Force placed me into foster care in Essex. At 15, I eventually came to Ipswich to live independently with support from social services, and it is then my life began to really change.

I studied English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) course at Suffolk New College and did some of my GCSEs at Northgate High School in Ipswich, I gradually built up my English to become fluent and scored highly in my exams - gaining 7s and 8s in Maths and Science subjects and a 6 in my English GCSE this year. 

While studying for my GCSEs, I attended Suffolk Refugee Support Homework Club, which provides support to refugees who need more one-to-one help because English is not their first language. The sessions were first run at Volunteering Matters but were moved to Ipswich School in order to provide access to better equipment, facilities and tutors.

There I met Ms Caston, Head of Lower School, who has really supported me and then approached the Headmaster to consider me for a scholarship to study A-levels in Chemistry, Maths and Physics.

The Headmaster and the Development Committee decided that I was a perfect candidate for a 100% transformational bursary and due to joining the school as an 18 year old, it would be an opportunity closed to me in the state school sector.

I am still planning my next steps and considering lots of different options in the field of engineering, possibly a degree apprenticeship. 

I am so grateful to Ipswich School for giving me this wonderful opportunity of an excellent education, they have changed my life.

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