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News article

16th August 2018

A determined St Brendan’s student, who overcame many challenges and barriers to her learning before joining College, is today celebrating her A-level results and looks forward to starting her degree with the University of East London after securing a well-deserved scholarship.

Cynthia celebrates with members of the College's support teams

Cynthia celebrates with members of the College's support teams

Cynthia Nchang, 19, joined St Brendan’s Sixth Form College back in 2015, after starting her education in Cameroon and then continuing it in Ireland. Since joining the College, the positive teen made a huge contribution to the St Brendan’s community and ensured set-backs and barriers never prevented her from learning.

For Cynthia, education wasn’t always a pleasant experience; she suffered from bullying and discrimination before joining St Brendan’s and found herself to be alone, often as the only black student in the class and experiencing prejudice. However, she never let that stop her from embracing a fresh start here in Bristol. With a clear goal in mind, Cynthia worked hard during her time at the Brislington-based College and spent her first year building her skills on the College’s Access to Level 3 Programme; designed for students who do not quite make the entry requirements for A-level study. After one year on the scheme, she progressed onto A-level and pursued her love for music; studying diplomas in both Music Technology and Music Performing.

The talented gospel singer continued to grow both inside and outside of the classroom throughout her A-level journey; becoming an anti-bullying campaigner, raising awareness of issues such as FGM, gender-based violence and exploitation and volunteering for local youth-led charity Integrate. She embraced the help and support given to her by her teachers, tutors and College support workers and transformed her modest GCSE starting point into a hugely successful A-level career.

This summer, Cynthia’s hard work and selflessness finally paid off and she successfully secured an Unconditional place and full scholarship with the University of East London to study Music Performance and Production! Cynthia commented, “The scholarship has had a huge impact and enabled me to complete something I have always dreamed of, but never thought would happen.” Today, she discovered she had achieved two Distinctions in her Level 3 Diplomas and left a College she’s called home for the past three years. Cynthia looks forward to taking her new opportunity with both hands and giving back to her university community just as she did at St Brendan’s.