From 2000 to 2007 I was given a gift - an education at Newcastle Royal Grammar School. Coming from a single parent family, my mum wanted to give me the best possible education, but couldn't afford the full school fees. After successfully passing the entrance examination and interview, and with thanks to the generosity of Sir Peter Ogden (through The Ogden Trust) and The Hospital of St Mary the Virgin Trust, I received a bursary which allowed me to enter RGS.
This may be the first time that many of my peers will be aware that I was the beneficiary of a bursary, but I am so grateful and proud that I was able to be educated at the RGS. Not only was the quality of education exceptional, I was given responsibilities, and gained a level of confidence and self respect which I do not believe I would have gained elsewhere. This confidence and awareness of my abilities and the opportunities open to me in life, have been the foundation of my career to date.
Now, eight years after leaving the school and in possession of an Economics degree at Newcastle University, I work for True Potential, a Newcastle-based financial advice network with 420 advisers around the UK, as a Compliance Officer - one of a team of three staff tasked with assessing the suitability of high risk business to protect both clients and the company. My previous role at another Newcastle-based financial advice firm was as an Investment Analyst, with oversight of £100 million of client assets and managing a research service with over 10,000 users. Last summer, I was told that I had the most impressive CV the interviewer - a senior manager at a large accountancy firm - had seen from anyone under thirty.
RGS instilled in me a work ethic which has been reflected in my career achievements to date. None of this would have been possible without the quality of the education I received at RGS, and RGS would not have been a possibility for me without the offer of a bursary.
An RGS bursary can make a huge difference to someone's education and life, and I sincerely hope that you will join me in making a donation, however small, to allow another young person, just like me, to be given the opportunity of a life-time.
Christian Gardner (00-07)
If you would like to help other students like me by making a donation, please contact Jane Medcalf on 0191 212 8909 or by email at email@example.com.