Tafsia Shikdar who left Sarah Bonnell 2 years ago with 11 A*s has won a scholarship worth £200,000 to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alumni include Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon.
She said: “I guess you could say I am over the moon. Knowing that I am going to the same place as the second man on the moon is really amazing.
“I really admire the people who went there. They are responsible for the biggest technology advances we have seen in recent years. It will be a privilege to be among them.”
She currently studies at the Newham Collegiate Sixth Form Centre, which arranged her interview and application preparations with a Harvard graduate.
After her application, she was interviewed by an MIT admissions scout at a coffee shop in central London. She said: “They want the brightest people there so it doesn’t matter what background you come from. I don’t want people to think they can’t apply for places like MIT because their families aren’t rich. It is mental barriers that stop people having dreams.”
Founded in 1861, MIT counts some of the top innovators in the world of manufacturing, engineering, the internet, finance among their alumni.
'People around here don't think they can achieve these amazing things.
'I'm here to tell people, yes you can. Why shouldn't someone from the East End of London go to MIT, why shouldn't we dream big?"