Keren's story: a Royal SpringBoard bursary
St Mary's alumna Keren shares how much she enjoyed studying at St Mary's, along with her experience as a recipient of a Royal SpringBoard bursary, which enabled her to join the school and start her journey towards her dream career of journalism.
It is without a doubt that receiving a Royal Springboard bursary is one of the best opportunities that I have ever had. Boarding is an experience that I will never forget and would do again in a heartbeat - with the same school, the same people and much more. Although my time was cut short at St Mary’s, Cambridge because of COVID-19, I now appreciate even more the memories that I made and the amazing people that I met.
Before Royal Springboard, I never really thought anything of school, I saw it as something that I had to do rather than something that I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I heard the amazing things that my brother - who also was part of the Royal Springboard programme - was saying about boarding. This made me think about whether or not it was something that I wanted to do. Luckily, the opportunity to go to boarding was presented to me and I had no doubt in my mind to say yes.
When I was on my way to Cambridge, I thought I was going to be nervous, scared and homesick but as soon as I got to St Mary’s, I felt right at home. I loved everything about boarding and my experience continued to get better and better. I gained more confidence as an individual which helped me go for roles such as Boarding Prefect in Year 13. The boarding staff and teachers were very supportive and always willing to help, especially when it came to applying for university. I met some amazing people there who I’m still great friends with to this very day.
I can honestly say that being at St Mary’s made me enjoy school again and I loved all the extracurricular activities and programmes that were on offer, like the half term trip to Italy and the Sixth Form review.
Without the Royal SpringBoard bursary, I think I would have a different outlook on education altogether and would not be the same person that I am today. It is a charity that I am truly grateful for and am so glad to have encountered in my life.
After obtaining A*A*B in my A Levels, I am now studying journalism at the University of Sheffield. Alongside my studies, I am involved in the pom cheerleading team, I present for a University radio show and I am also a contributor to the University Magazine, Liberty Belle. I hope that next year, I will become Editor.
With the skills I gained through the Royal Springboard programme, I was able to strive for more and go for roles I never thought possible. I would recommend supporting Royal Springboard to anyone because it has definitely made an impact on my life, and I would love for it to have the same impact on another young person’s life.