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Against the Odds

Date Posted: 29/08/2017 | Posted In: Latest news

Today at QE a large number of students are celebrating gaining their A levels with many having to overcome significant barriers to do so. Alycia Leach, from Darlington, has just achieved outstanding A Level grades in English Language, English Literature and History and her experience is inspirational; a real credit to her commitment and determination to succeed.

Alycia has overcome a range of challenges to achieve excellent academic results gaining 3 A* grades in her subjects. As a result, she has secured a place to study History at Cambridge University in September. This is an incredible achievement for any young person and Alycia has shown exceptional courage and resilience to overcome significant spinal problems. She has malrotation and Valgus mal-alignment in both legs and mild trochlear dysplasia and her condition means that she experiences difficulties in standing and walking, her knees often giving way due to her back problems.

Alycia has struggled with these health issues from a young age, missing most of Year 10 due to extensive medical appointments at Great Ormond Street hospital in London. At one point, Alycia was wheelchair bound and had to push herself emotionally and physically to improve her health. However, these issues have not stopped Alycia from succeeding and coming to QE has really inspired her further. She decided to apply to Cambridge University following excellent results after her first year of A Levels.  After a rigorous selection process, including being interviewed, Alycia received an offer for a place to read History at Cambridge University.  Alycia’s ambitions are to become an academic historian and to inspire others. Now, having achieved such superb results, her aspiration to study at Cambridge University is about to become reality. Her experience has inspired many others, and she was awarded the Exceptional Student prize at this year’s Best of Darlington Awards.

Laurence Job, Vice Principal at QE, comments “Alycia is an amazing young woman whose courage and determination make her an excellent role model. Exceptionally intelligent and talented, she also has a generosity of spirit and a wonderful sense of humour which results in teachers and fellow students holding her in very high regard. She has a spectacular future ahead of her and we all wish her every success.”