Agnes Harding, 18 who lives in Barking and Dagenham, and achieved straight As in her physics, chemistry and maths A-levels this year, has had offers from four Russell Group universities to study physics. It is her ambition to follow in the footsteps of British astronauts Major Tim Peake and Dr Helen Sharman.
‘I want to study physics because it is my ambition to be an astronaut. I am a very curious person and a bit of an adrenalin junkie. I love knowledge and expanding my understanding of the universe. I would be fascinated to conduct research in space to discover what’s out there.’
Although Agnes has lived in the UK since she was four, she does not qualify for a student loan, and so has not been able to take up any of her university offers. She also faces paying international fees, which can be several times higher than the £9,000 a year maximum charged to home students.
Although I am unable to get a loan, I have been assessed as a home student by Manchester which means that I am only being asked to pay £9000 per year in tuition fees. Due to the fact that I can't access any government funding, I have to finance my entire course, including living costs and accommodation, myself.
I am currently working and saving up every penny that I can to go towards my living costs
Where will your money go?:
£9 000 - tuition fees
£5 680 - £142 per week accommodation for a 40 week contract
£3 000 - £75 per week for 40 weeks for food, travel etc.
Commission for GoFundMe
I have been working with the Let Us Learn campaign (together with Just For Kids Law), since summer 2016 when I found out about my situation. You can meet us all here (http://www.justforkidslaw.org/let-us-learn/meet-let-us-learn-team
). We campaign for equal access to higher education and you can see me spreading the word on BBC news and BBC 5live here (https://youtu.be/tF4laTOVRyA
) and here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04jx6q6
). There are a large number of talented and ambitious young people in my situation all over the UK who are being blocked from taking up their places at university and fulfilling their potential.
I want to be an astronaut, and being given the privilege of going to see the film Hidden Figures inspired me to really believe that I can in fact overcome all these obstacles being put in front of me in order to achieve my dream. I even wrote a blog about it that you can read here (http://www.justforkidslaw.org/news-events/blog/let-us-learn-campaigner-wannabe-astronaut-agnes-harding-left-fired-seeing-hidden-figures-2
). I love to help people, so at some point in my career I intend to go into research. Research into how we can draw knowledge from the universe around us in order to better our lives here on Earth. Such research is already being done in the International Space station, and I hope to be able to contribute to a field that so many amazing people before me have been able to, in order to progress our society.
A bit more about me:
Outside of learning, I also enjoy playing my guitar and singing, at home and at my church. I listen to music A LOT, especially to relax after a hard day's work and even while I'm doing revision or school work. I like to bake whenever I have an excuse to (and dare I say I'm a little good at it too). Another thing I like to do is watch movies and documentaries. Not just ones to do with science, but my favourites include Sherlock and The Flash!
Thank you in advance to all who make a donation towards my future and enabling me to reach my full potential.