Search

Dagenham teen denied student loan crowdfunding her degree

PUBLISHED: 09:10 11 October 2017 | UPDATED: 09:10 11 October 2017

Picture: Agnes Harding

Picture: Agnes Harding

Agnes Harding

A 19-year-old hoping to become the UK’s first black astronaut is crowdfunding her degree after being denied a student loan.

Agnes Harding, of Bosworth Road, Dagenham, gained three As in her A-levels last year and offers to study physics at four Russell Group universities.

But despite living in London since age four, she was told she could not receive student finance as she is classed as an international student.

“I spent a year looking at lots of different avenues through which I could gain funds,” she told the Post. “I was looking at scholarships, sponsorships, anything really.”

Agnes, born in Gambia, had dreamt of exploring space since she was a child. A self-described daredevil, she believes studying the final frontier may solve the problems facing our planet.

“It’s just a fascinating field,” she said. “Cross-disciplinary explorations that use their research to improve life on Earth.”

After Agnes deferred her place at university until she could access funding, her aunt, Sonia, set up an online fundraising page to help make her dream a reality.

The appeal has raised more than £14,000 towards her tuition fees and living costs since donations opened in February.

“The messages I received from people were really heart-warming,” said the former Robert Clack pupil. “I don’t think people know how much they’ve affected me.”

Such support came as no surprise to the school’s head of sixth form, John Course.

“Agnes or, as she was known to us, Betty, was a brilliant student in every way,” he said, recalling her role on the school council and mentoring younger pupils. “Not only was she academic, excelling at both GCSE and A-Level, she also had an infectiously positive outlook.

“I’m so pleased that Betty is now able to study at degree level and achieve her aspirations. She is an example to all for her perseverance and dedication.”

Now studying at Manchester University, Agnes not been daunted by student life. She started lectures a few weeks ago and has already joined the gospel choir, Christian Union and, yes, the astronomy society.

She has £6,000 still to raise to fund her degree, which she hopes will let her walk among the stars.

To donate, click here.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Barking and Dagenham Post visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Barking and Dagenham Post staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Barking and Dagenham Post account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is coming to Dagenham - and residents are being given the opportunity to quiz him.

16:29

Following a spate of rip-offs by cowboy builders, elderly residents are being warned by the council to be vigilant against rogue door-to-door traders.

11:27

There was gridlock on the roads in Barking this morning after a collision between a motorcycle, a bus and a lorry on Movers Lane.

Yesterday, 18:02

A Barking man has been charged with the murder of 34-year-old Daniel Adger, from South Ockendon in Essex.

Yesterday, 17:45

Work began today on the £2 million 50-metre swimming pool at Dagenham’s Becontree Leisure Centre.

Yesterday, 14:51

Dagenham and Rainham MP has criticised the Boundary Commission’s proposals to alter the current constituency boundaries.

Yesterday, 13:51

A creative week of dance and drama will be provided for the borough’s young people during half term in Barking by Studio 3 Arts.

Yesterday, 12:25

After more than £50 million worth of gold and jewellery was stolen in London last year, the Met is warning people to be vigilant against the theft of gold during Diwali.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now