Three inspirational former pupils are the first to become ambassadors at a Sunderland school.
Amy Laws, 23, and 22-year-old twin sisters Sarah and Deborah Prudham, are the first student ambassadors at Academy 360, spearheading an ambitious new programme to raise aspirations among all its 800 pupils.
It’s alright to not know what you want to do, but just work hardSarah Prudham
The Wearside school helped launch the careers of the three women – who all still live nearby in Pennywell and the Ford Estate - and who are determined to help present day pupils realise their chosen career.
All three attended Academy 360 before leaving in 2010 to go into further and then higher education. They will act as student mentors, offering words of wisdom and encouragement to pupils based on their experiences of striving to achieve the goals they set themselves.
Sarah has just graduated with a first class degree in Sport and Science from the University of Sunderland after taking A-levels at Sunderland College and is completing a masters degree in the same subject with the ultimate aim of becoming a science teacher.
Her sister Deborah completed a BTEC Diploma in Applied Science before heading to The University of Sunderland to gain a first class degree in Biomedical Science and is now studying at Northumbria University for her masters degree in Microbiology.
After successfully passing her A-levels at Sunderland College, Amy graduated as top law student at The University of Sunderland, scooping the Ede and Ravenscroft Prize for best undergraduate law student.
Amy is currently an academic tutor at the city’s university, but wants to become a law lecturer.
She said: “I knew I always wanted to teach but never really knew what. When I started my law degree it absolutely confirmed I wanted to do that. Academy 360 gave me the foundation I needed to do what I want to do - the guidance and the support from staff helped me go for the career I wanted.”
Sarah said: “I love science and I want to be a science teacher. I think more women need to be in science. It would be a dream come true, that’s always been my plan and it seems to be working up to now.
“What I’d say to pupils is that it’s alright not to know what you want to do but just work hard to give yourself as much choice to go down different routes to find out what works for you.”
Deborah added: “After my masters, I want to do a PhD to become a research scientist.”
Academy 360 Principal, Rachel Donohue, said: “I have asked Deborah, Sarah and Amy to support our Student Ambassador Programme, taking leading roles to raise aspirations as part of our drive to transform educational outcomes at Academy 360.
“They are successful young women who still live locally and have achieved exceptionally well – we are so proud of them.
“Amy, Sarah and Deborah will mentor students and lead assemblies with the support of my leadership team to show our students what they can achieve through determination and resilience.”