A PETER Symonds student is celebrating being one of only three students nationally to win a scholarship to support her next steps at university.

Ruby Chesney-Spedding has been awarded with the grant from the Crowd Scholar scheme is a community-led scholarship programme seeking to help students from disadvantaged backgrounds attend university.

Along with financial support, all scholarship winners receive mentoring and other support from the charity's trustees, such as help with tutoring or applying to internships. The Crowd Scholar scheme is funded by donations and 100 per cent of the money received goes towards the scholarships.

Ruby, who plans to study biology at Imperial College London this October, said: “I am looking to study in London so had been doing some research into scholarships to help go towards living and university costs. I came across Crowd Scholar online and thought it was a really good programme with committed trustees and an innovative approach to a scholarship programme.

The rigorous application process first required basic information and predicted grades, and two short pieces of writing. This initial application was followed by interviews via Zoom and a brain teaser exercise before Ruby received the news that her application was successful.

Ruby added: “My tutor, Sue, has always been so supportive and helpful in any applications and references, and the college careers day and other resources were extremely useful in helping to decide what kind of future I wanted.

“The environment of Peter Symonds College and the work style has helped me become a lot more independent and ready to move out and onto university studies. I have become more confident having so many new people around and that has been valuable for communication, which has definitely helped in my success in getting a Crowd Scholar scholarship.”

She continued: “The biology department is so supportive and offers so many things for people who are passionate about biology, which really pushed me to want to study it further.”

Commenting on Ruby’s success, her tutor, Sue Bowes, said: “Ruby was an outstanding student in many ways and during her time at Peter Symonds showed great maturity and resilience. Ruby is not only very accomplished academically, with a fabulous work ethic, but she also engaged fully in all aspects of college life. She was a delightful and supportive member of her tutor group relating really well to her peers and teachers. I am thrilled by her success with this scholarship and wish her all the very best for the future.”

Looking to the future Ruby said: I am so excited to continue studying and have a career in the science field, and the Crowd Scholar will make university so much more accessible for me as I can focus fully on my degree. I am proud that I won the scholarship, it gives me a bit more confidence in myself that I can achieve.”