One of the youngest employees at Highbury, 17 year-old Lucinda Denney, will be embarking on the experience of a lifetime later this year when she leaves Blackpool Sixth Form College and heads off to t
By David Mitchell
One of the youngest employees at Highbury, 17 year-old Lucinda Denney, will be embarking on the experience of a lifetime later this year when she leaves Blackpool Sixth Form College and heads off to the prestigious Yale University in the United States of America.
Instead of serving pies and burgers on match days, Lucinda will be spending the next four years in the country where the burger is king. Twelve months ago, the former Cardinal Allen student applied to the Sutton Trust who improve educational opportunities for young people from non-privileged backgrounds:
'I was one of about 600 applications, out of which emerged 60 who were invited to the next stage. We had to write essays, give our GCSE's and our predicted A level grades. We went across to America for a week and visited universities like Yale, Harvard and Princeton, had tea at the British Consulate and went to Broadway shows. We got the whole experience of an American university way of life before deciding back at home whether we wanted to start the application process.'
'About 40 of us continued and we had to do a number of tests in London and Edinburgh. We showed which universities we were interested in. They have an Early Action scheme where you can apply early to a university you really want to go to. They can then let you know earlier. I always wanted to go to Yale and filed my application on November 1st.'
'One of my assignments was about Fleetwood Town and I had my interview over Skype. It's not like British universities where they concentrate on grades. They look at everything that drives you, the things you enjoy and what extra-curricular activities you do. They care more about the person than what he or she can give academically. On December 16th I found out I had been accepted early for Yale!'
'As long as I keep up my level of work they will take me which is reassuring. I can now concentrate on preparing for my 'A' Levels on the Summer before heading off in September. It has been really hard to combine college work with my application to Yale but I managed somehow!
There have been many early starts and all weekend and after college each night I would be doing the American stuff. I've learnt a lot about myself and it's all paid off. Just to add icing to the top of the cake I also received an offer to go to Cambridge University! I've been very lucky!'
Lucinda is keeping her options open regarding a career but may follow other notable Yale alumni into politics, Bill and Hillary Clinton and George Bush Senior:
'You can study anything you want over the first two years so I will keep my options open. In the meantime I've got January exams at college and a trip out to Yale with my Mum and Dad in April to focus on so there's plenty to keep me occupied.'
Having met this impressive young Fleetwood lady, I would not bet against her carving out a very successful career and she could easily have her fingers in a lot of pies!