Five years after he started learning English Ark Globe Academy student Eduardo Estevez Espitia is off to Oxford University to study biological sciences, saying he wants to use his success to help his brother who has epilepsy.
Eduardo was over the moon to receive two A* grades in maths and biology, and an A in French.
He is the second ever student from the school to be offered a place at either Oxford or Cambridge, and will soon join St Catherine’s College as an undergraduate student.
Spanish-born Eduardo moved to the UK in 2011 with his mum and two brothers, and lives in Bermondsey, and started learning English.
He told the News: “I wanted to show people that English additional language students are not what people make them to be.
“Sometimes, because you don’t speak English, some people may undermine you.
“They may think that you’re not as smart as others. Then you get stuck in that place, stuck in that mindset.
“I wanted to make my community proud, because hopefully I am an example.
“Just because you don’t speak English that doesn’t mean that you stop there. Or that you stop trying.
“Yes, it’s going to be harder for you, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.”
“I’m ecstatic. I still can’t believe it. It seems like a movie, it doesn’t seem real.
“I called my mum, she started crying it had me crying. I hadn’t expected it, as I didn’t know how to feel after the exams.
“I was sort of numb and didn’t know how it all went. I am just glad that it turned out alright.”
“It never would have been possible without the support of my teachers and Ark Globe Sixth Form staff.
“They went the extra mile to make sure that I was where I was.
“They kept me in the right state of mind. They made sure that I wasn’t stressing and zoning out.”
“My brother who has epilepsy was my inspiration to study biological sciences. He is over the moon now.
“Seeing his reaction made me feel even better, because I just know this is a stepping stone for a change.
“Who knows in the future it might change him physically and it might help him mentally as well.”
Matt Jones, Principal of Ark Globe Academy said: “We received another set of excellent A level results. The academy improved its percentage of A* and A grades and sent a student to an Oxbridge university two consecutive years now.
“This is great for our students and community, because it means that our Sixth Form students go into high quality universities and apprenticeships.
“This is a fantastic was to kick off 10th anniversary of Ark Globe Academy.”