A Tupton Hall teenager is embarking on an American academic adventure after securing a summer school place at the top ranked university in the world.
Adam Inskip, 16, who studies at Tupton Hall Sixth Form, has earned a prestigious place on the Sutton Trust’s US Programme 2016. He joins 149 other state school students who were selected from an applicant pool of more than 1,200 from across the UK.
Adam will spend a week living on campus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) while others will stay at Yale University in neighbouring Connecticut. They will all experience campus life and visit other US universities in the area, like Harvard.
The aim of the programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Successful applicants’ trips are fully funded and they benefit from an intensive programme of support over a number of months.
Adam is currently studying A Levels in maths, further maths, physics and product design. He will make his university choices later this year when his ambition is to take a degree in engineering.
“I’m really excited and grateful to have this opportunity to experience an American university before committing to an application,” said Adam.
“There are a lot of differences between UK and US university study, like the chance to gain a broader education in addition to your specialism. And with student finance you apply for a loan or scholarship directly to the university – you are asking them to invest in you as a person.”
This is a big leap for Adam, who has never been to America before. But he has emerged confidently after an intense few months going through the rigorous The Sutton Trust selection process. It saw him complete a US university-style application, create a video submission, sit ACT tests which assess students’ readiness for university, and attend residential weekends with the other applicants.
The Sutton Trust said it was particularly impressed by the academic and extra-curricular achievements of this year’s applicants, along with their knowledge of US higher education.
Adam, who has hearing loss and wears hearing aids, is a young leader with the 3rd Wingerworth Scouts, a member of the Chesterfield Explorers and nearly completed his gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In his spare time he supplements his sixth form study by completing online courses, not for the qualifications but simply because he enjoys learning.
He said: “The bar is set so high in the first place. To be shortlisted you need to have 8 A grades at GCSE. But being accepted into a programme like this that is so well respected and internationally accredited shows people you are capable of doing so much more.”
“A lot of people who have disabilities let it hold them back. I haven’t let it hold me back. I like to think everyone has got a chance to try to achieve anything they want to. Sometimes it’s difficult, but there’s always a way around any obstacle.”
“Everything I do, like this, builds my confidence and makes me realise my hearing is irrelevant. Making it through this process proves to me that it’s not a barrier.”
As Adam prepares to jets off to Massachusetts at the end of July, he considers the road he has travelled to get to this stage: “Most people would be fairly apprehensive about going away with hundreds of people they have never met, but that’s what I did throughout the selection process and now I’m off to America on my own. Everyone on the Sutton Trust US programme is amazing and they are there for a reason.”
Find out more about the Sutton Trust’s US Programme 2016: http://www.suttontrust.com/