A sixth-form student from Enfield will be jetting off to live in America after securing a place to study at one of the world’s most prestigious universities.
A-level pupil Chardonnae Deslandes from Kingsmead secondary school, in Southbury Road, will begin a four-year course in August at Harvard University in Massachusetts.
Harvard is world-renowned and is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and previous graduates include the late former American president John F. Kennedy.
Kingsmead secondary is a state-run school and Chardonnae secured her place at Harvard through sheer hard work.
She applied to study at seven American universities and when the 18-year-old received her acceptance letter she was overwhelmed with joy.
“I was on the phone to my friend when I found out I got in to Harvard and I just started crying,” she said. “I was really shocked.”
Chardonnae, who lives in Alberta Road, Bush Hill Park, had always set her sights on studying abroad and will begin her first year as a freshman student, majoring in government and minoring in social anthropology.
She said her decision to study at Harvard was swayed by its liberal arts programme which involves learning social and natural sciences, as well as humanities.
“I’m looking forward to exploring subjects outside my main field of study.”
She added that her friends had been a “beacon” of support throughout the application process and were thrilled with her achievement.
“My best friend is already planning her first visit to come and see me,” said Chardonnae.
Among the homely possessions packed in her suitcase will be a good supply of tea bags.
Chardonnae visited the university last week for three days to explore the campus and to meet the new students starting in August.
“Everyone was so friendly and Americans are really easy to talk to,” she said.
Whilst on campus she had the chance to attend a political debate between student republican and democratic supporters.
After graduating she plans on studying a Masters degree in England and hopes to pursue a career with the United Nations or a governmental organisation.
“If you believe in yourself and you strive for something that really matters then it really is achievable,” she added.