31 March 2014

Image of Wirral Sixth Form College student to take part in a prestigious US study programme

Kirsty McLaren, an A-level student at Birkenhead Sixth Form College, has won a place on the Sutton Trust scheme, which gives bright, state school students a taste of life at an American university.

As part of the programme, Kirsty will now attend a residential in London in Easter and will be given strong guidance on entrance exams for US universities and the scholarships available to UK students.

Students will then be selected to take part in a one-week summer school at one of the renowned Harvard, Yale or Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) universities and will receive ongoing support to apply for a place at a US university when she completes her A-levels.

Kirsty, from Hoylake, is a practising Christian and is hoping to study in the US to further her ambitions to work as a Christian Missionary.

She is one of just 200 selected students from across the UK to win a place with the Sutton Trust, which covers costs for all residentials, accommodation and travel.

Kirsty said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been selected to take part – this programme is a gateway to studying in America, and the idea of travelling and becoming familiar with other parts of the world really excites me.

“The US has an excellent provision of Christian universities and a wealth of experienced colleges in missionary training, which fits perfectly with what I believe to be my calling. I particularly want to focus on work as an international missionary and speaker. I am also interested in Church planting and preaching, so I believe biblical studies, missionary training and intercultural studies – which many US universities excel in – would be very helpful.”

The academic 17-year-old was home schooled and studied the International Certificate in Christian Education. She chose to join Wirral’s specialist sixth form college because of its reputation for academic excellence and also its strong community ethos and pastoral care.

Principal Kathryn Podmore said: “Kirsty is a wonderful ambassador for the college and a hard worker. She is on track to achieve As in five subjects but also manages to fit so much in outside of her studies. We are very proud that Kirsty has been selected by the Sutton Trust and to be playing a vital part in her further education, which we are sure will lead on to great things.”

Kirsty is already well-travelled, having spent two years in Tanzania when she was growing up, as her parents worked as missionary teachers in an orphanage.

“This relatively short part of my life has been used by God to shape who I am today – I learnt that I want to live my life serving others and helping to lift individuals out of poverty and conflict.

“My parents have been a great influence as have my four brothers and sisters. We have always been encouraged to get involved with community activities and I am proud to have been a leader at Girl Guides, children’s clubs and church groups – I find volunteering to be very rewarding.”

Kirsty is the latest in a number of Birkenhead Sixth Form College students to win places on prestigious academic and professional programmes, which are helping the college’s students to achieve their aspirations.

Kirsty McLaren - Sutton Trust Scholarship

Tags: Wirral Sixth Form A Level Educational Trip Trip Student Volunteer Enrichment University

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