Teenager off to Harvard university
A teenager has earned the chance of a lifetime to study at one of America's most prestigious universities.
Mandy Clarke (pictured), 17, who lives in the Honest Toun's Lothian Villa children's home, will walk in the footsteps of American presidents thanks to the Spark of Genius Trust and charity Who Cares? Scotland.
Along with two other Scottish youths, Mandy headed to the USA on Saturday to spend seven weeks at the world-famous Ivy League institution in Massachusetts.
Michael Russell MSP, Scottish Government cabinet secretary for education and lifelong learning, applauded her achievement, saying: "Mandy is a shining example of what can be done when young people, no matter their background, are given the right opportunity and use their talent and hard work to seize it.
"I am sure their summer in Harvard will be a life-changing experience."
Mandy, whose application for Harvard is supported by East Lothian Council, has chosen to study neurobiology and African and African American studies and she can't wait to taste life Stateside.
"Nine of the last 11 presidents studied at Harvard," said Mandy, who had to raise £500 towards her living costs.
"For me to be afforded the opportunity to attend this university will be an unparalleled experience."
This article appeared in East Lothian Courier 30 Jun 11
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Aug 10, 16:18