Former St Bon’s pupil recognised as top black student in UK

Ryan Makuku at St Bon's

Ryan Makuku at St Bon's - Credit: Archant

A former pupil from one of the borough’s top schools has been hailed as one of the UK’s best black students.

Ryan Makuku was head boy at St Bonaventure’s and is now in his second year studying accounting and finance at the University of Birmingham, where his hard work and talent were recognised by Future Leaders magazine, which profiles 100 of the UK’s most outstanding African and African Caribbean students each year.

Ryan said he was “shocked” to be included, “because I felt the interview didn’t go too well and I undersold myself.”

When the 19-year-old, who grew up in Romford, got the call to say he had made the cut, he felt “ecstatic but also very humble to be recognised a national level.”

“As well as an accolade to myself, it says volumes about what’s happening in Afro-Caribbean and African young people in Newham and other deprived disadvantaged areas in the UK. No matter your circumstances you can turn your life around and do great things.”

Di Halliwell, from St Bonaventure’s, said that Ryan’s success is no surprise to her, who is “really driven” and “took every opportunity open to him”.

She remembers him as “a positive role model for our students”.

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““He became so confident and positive. When he was selected to be our head boy it was absolutely the right decision. He was a lovely, kind student and if ever a student deserves to do well in life it is Ryan.”