Celebrating success of the Crawley Scholars Programme

From left: Sarah Chick, Emily Tucker, Mia Mcqueenie, Georgia Green, and Mike Baker's widow Chrissy Baker
From left: Sarah Chick, Emily Tucker, Mia Mcqueenie, Georgia Green, and Mike Baker's widow Chrissy Baker

More than 100 students celebrated their success as part of the Crawley Scholars Programme on Friday.

The celebration was hosted at Holy Trinity School, and saw high achieving students honoured.

The Crawley Scholars Programme is run by social mobility charity Villiers Park Educational Trust, in partnership with The University of Sussex. It supports highly able young people from less- advantaged backgrounds, helping them to raise their ambitions, overcome barriers, and develop essential skills.

The evening saw four Mike Baker Scholar of the Year awards presented for exceptional commitment to the programme.

Among these winners was Year 13 Scholar Georgia Green, who won for her exemplary preparation and attention to detail in applying to university. “It’s been an amazing opportunity and I am honoured I was a part of it. It’s been really helpful in guiding me in what I want to do next year as well as building my skills,” says Georgia, a pupil at St Wilfrid’s in Crawley. “It was great because one of the masterclasses we did was on techniques for communication and speechmaking to an audience, so I got to use some of the techniques I had learnt during my time as Scholar, which was really helpful.”

Another winner was Year 11 Scholar Emily Tucker, from Holy Trinity in Crawley, who won her award for seizing every opportunity presented to her. “It was a special thing to be nominated for the award, but then to win was exciting and I felt really good. I have tried to get as much out of my time with Villiers Park as I could, and that got recognised, which is really nice,” she said. Emily was one of five students selected for a week’s work experience at the House of Commons earlier this month.

“The work experience at the House of Commons was amazing – I’ll never forget that experience. I’ve had all sorts of amazing opportunities while on the Programme, it’s taught me to make the most of every single opportunity and I’ve learnt to take risks and try out new things.” The Year 10 award went to Mia Mcqueenie, from Thomas Bennett Community College, for displaying outstanding leadership skills during her first residential course on the programme, whilst Ioana Staicu from Oriel High School won the Year 12 award for being highly proactive and taking the initiative throughout her time as a Scholar.

Seventy-five gold standard awards were also presented for all the students who met their goals and displayed great educational progress.

With exam season recently finished, many of these students are now looking towards university and new career pathways as they complete their time on the programme.