Newham teenager wins £76k scholarship to study at prestigious boarding school
PUBLISHED: 18:32 09 October 2017 | UPDATED: 12:46 10 October 2017
A student from Custom House has set his sights on a place at Oxford University after winning a £76,000 scholarship to study at a prestigious boarding school.
Iyanuoluwa Agbedejobi, 16, is studying A Levels in maths, further maths, physics and chemistry at Wellington College and hopes to go on to read chemical engineering.
Iyanuoluwa was awarded the scholarship having been recommended for a place by youth charity Eastside Young Leader Academy.
The teen, a former student at Eastlea Community School in Exning Road, Canning Town, thanked the Newham-based charity and his former school for supporting him through a rigorous set of entrance exams and interviews.
He said: “This really is a life changing opportunity for me. If it wasn’t for my school who recommend me to East Side and helped me to stay motivated and inspired, I would never have won this scholarship.
“Equally, Eastside have done so much to make this possible. It is a huge debt I owe to both of them.”
Wellington College, which is located in Berkshire, boasts Pop Idol winner Will Young, Big Brother and Animal Farm author George Orwell, newsreader Jon Snow and satirist Rory Bremner as its famous alumni.
Iyanuoluwa added: “The people here are different to me, but they are still people. Yes, they come from a very different background to me but they have made me feel welcome.
“You have to be ambitious and if you are going to have a goal why not let it be to go the best university in the world.
“There are plenty of people from this school who went on to the top universities so it is not unrealistic that I will follow them.”
Saying when he finishes at university he plans to one day return to Newham to help young people, he added: “Eastside Young Leader Academy have done so much for me, I want to repay that debt.”
Stephen Gillatt, Eastlea Community School’s headteacher, said: “We have only the very highest ambitions for our students. Part of our job as a school is to help our young people understand that these types of opportunities are not out of reach. At this school, they can and will go to universities like Oxford, they can have careers in the very top professions.
“Aside from his own personal achievement, Iyanuoluwa will be a shining example to others that background is no barrier to success.”
Funding for Iyanuoluwa place at Wellington was provided by The Spring Board Bursary Foundation.
Eastlea Community School are holding an open evening on October 10 from 4.30pm until 6.30pm.