Canning Town teenager wins independent school scholarship
- Credit: Tom Barnes
A teenager from Canning Town has won a £30, 000-a-year scholarship to a top independent school.
Teniola Akinola, 16, will study A-levels in history, physics and chemistry at City of London Freemen’s School, Surrey, in September.
She was awarded the scholarship having been recommended for a place by youth charity Eastside Young Leader Academy.
She follows in the footsteps of Iyanuoluwa Agbedejobi, 16, who left the Pretoria Road, Canning Town school last year to study on a £76,000 scholarship at Wellington College.
City of London Freemen’s School counts Clash singer Joe Strummer, BAFTA award-winning actor Andrew Garfield and artist Gavin Turk among its alumni.
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Teniola said: “It is going to be a big adjustment. East London is a very different place to Surrey. Yes, I want to fit in but I have to be true to myself, and that is what I will be.
“It is an amazing opportunity for me because I will get to meet and mix with different sorts of people.
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“I can’t thank Eastlea School and Eastside enough for the help they have given me.”
Teniola has set her sights on a place at a top university and after hopes to work as a human rights lawyer.
She added: “I have not accepted a place at the school just to be bottom of the heap. I am very competitive.
“When I get there, I want to be the best and prove I am there on merit.
“This opportunity is the kind of springboard I hope will be the first step towards the career I want.
“There is so much injustice in the world where people are not treated fairly. I think the place where you can make a difference is in human rights and the law.”
Eastlea’s headteacher Stephen Gillatt said: “We are very fortunate that we have such a strong relationship with the Eastside Young Leader Academy.
“Following on from last’s years success, we now have yet another pupil leaving us for a top independent school.
“The message this sends to our pupils is that if you have the right attitude at this school there is no limit to what you can achieve.”