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Teenage student from Barking scoops Harvard University book award

PUBLISHED: 08:29 18 October 2017

Edi Rama receiving his prize from headteacher Mouhssin Ismail. Pic credit: Arthurcomms.co.uk

Edi Rama receiving his prize from headteacher Mouhssin Ismail. Pic credit: Arthurcomms.co.uk

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A student from Barking has taken his first steps towards winning a place at America’s most prestigious university after winning an international prize.

Edi Rama, 17, a pupil at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form in East Ham, was among just a handful of recipients of the Harvard University book award this year.

The award is given to students applying for a place at the university who have excelled academically.

The student was handed the prize, the Stephen Pinker book The Better Angels of Our Nature, during a prize giving ceremony held at the sixth form this week.

Edi is the sixth form college’s second student to win the award in the last two years.

Former student Tafsia Shikda, 18, from West Ham won a scholarship at MIT after winning the prize last year.

Edi said: “It is a great honour to win this award. Knowing that Tafsia won it last year and then ended up at MIT is a big boost for my hopes of going to Harvard.

“When you see someone from your background and area going to places like MIT it is very inspiring.

“It also really great to be recognised for the hard work I have put into my studies.

Edi is currently attending weekly university tutorials at the sixth form to help with entrance exams and interviews to Harvard.

He added: “At Newham Sixth Form they do so much to help you get into the very best universities.

“Getting an A* is only half the battle when it comes to impressing top institutions. It is all the extras you get at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form that make the real difference.”

Headteacher Mouhssin Ismail said: “This is the second year a student from the sixth form that has picked up this prestigious award and there were a number of other very strong contenders.

“Our long-term aim is to have at least three or four students every year successfully applying to an Ivy League university in America and it’s great that this year we have three students.

“These are not unrealistic dreams for our pupils given the calibre of students we have at the NCS.”

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