This week in the newspapers you couldn’t escape pages of facts, figures and photographs from A level results day. We don’t particularly care about the annual over-hyped debate whether today’s teens are getting smarter or exams are now so simple a trained monkey could sweep the board with straight As. However, there are always a few interesting human interest gems to be found. We’ve picked out some of the most inspirational stories for you to enjoy too.
1. From war zone to top grades… four times!
In west London Abdul Wasi Siddique, 24, was celebrating with his three sisters, after all four siblings scooped top A level grades. The family arrived in England from war-torn Afghanistan in 2007, knowing little English. But determined to turn their fortunes around, they learnt the language and enrolled at college. Their inspirational story was reported by the Huffington Post.
2. Ice lollies score teen top marks
We remember getting through our A levels with a stash of chocolate and energy drinks, but for Gina Kirby, 18, the secret was ice-lollies. The Merseyside student took her exams despite battling the serious symptoms of Crohns Disease since her first day of sixth form. The condition saw her tube fed for six weeks, followed by eight weeks on the ice-lolly diet. She even had major surgery. But this week she earned two As and an A* in her final exams. Her story was first reported in the Liverpool Echo.
3. Heading for the top, aged 14
Every year the press finds a “child genius” for the nation to marvel at, and this year was Wajih Ahmed’s year. The 14-year-old will take up a place at Southampton University to study economics after earning A* results in maths and further maths in addition to an A in chemistry last year. As reported by the Mirror, the smart kid said he dedicates two hours every day to his studies but still finds time for computer games and football. Good grades clearly run in the family – his brother Zohaib got an A in A-level history at the age of nine.
4. Dad keeps mum over daughter’s grades
When Imogen Ridley picked up her grades on Thursday she didn’t have to worry about her parents’ reaction, because her dad already knew. As the deputy head of her school in County Durham, her father Stephen saw her results 24 hours before she did. But he told the Metro that managed to keep the good news secret. Now Imogen is headed to follow her dad’s footsteps to study theology at Oxford.
5. An Olympic medal just wasn’t enough…
Team GB diving medalist Tom Daley was feeling the pressure again this week as he waited for the results of his Spanish A level. Just days after picking up a bronze in the Olympics he scooped a straight A in his exams. But instead of heading to the pub to celebrate with his friends 18-year-old Tom was back to work, signing copies of his book for crowds of screaming female fans. He told the Daily Mail: “I’m very happy with the results so far. The plan now is for me to go back to school and do a couple more maths modules.”
Do you have an inspirational story about triumph over adversity? We’d love to hear it – you could earn a great fee from sharing your story in a magazine or newspaper. Contact us for a chat using the form on the right, and one of our media consultants will give you a call.