A DREAM has come true for two state school students who have won scholarships worth £12,000 a year to attend the city’s leading independent school.
Charlotte Marchant and Taylor Richardson, of Mayfield School in North End, will be heading to Portsmouth Grammar School this September.
They are the first recipients of a generous bursary scheme set up by former Mayfield student Brian Wilkie who is determined to help young people succeed – in spite of their financial circumstances.
The 63-year-old philanthropist, who made his fortune in Dubai, returned to Portsmouth this week to launch the Wilkie Scholarships, which will support two new Mayfield students each year.
And he hopes this story will inspire other successful graduates to do the same.
Charlotte, 16, can see herself reading maths or fine art at Oxbridge.
She said: ‘This is an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded young people who take their work seriously and aspire to succeed.
‘I strongly believe if you work hard you will do well no matter what the obstacles are – but this scholarship is a dream come true.’
Taylor, 16, has ambitions to read English at Oxford.
He said: ‘Without the scholarship I would never have considered going to PGS.
‘This will be a life-changing experience. I’m determined to make the most of it.’
More than 80 per cent of PGS school-leavers go on to Oxbridge or the Russell Group of the country’s top 24 universities each year.
James Priory, PGS headmaster, said Charlotte and George were chosen out of four short-listed candidates for their strong work ethic, resilience and ‘drive’.
Proud Mayfield head David Jeapes said their example was inspiring other Mayfield students to raise their game.
Mr Wilkie said: ‘I love helping people to be successful. I hope Charlotte and Taylor fulfil their expectations and be the best they can be.’