Sixth former Elise Hall is preparing to live her dream after being offered a place to study at one of the nation’s top universities.
Elise, 18, who dreams of working for NASA and winning a Nobel Prize for chemistry, said getting her acceptance letter from Oxford University was “the best day of my life”.
If she takes up the offer to read chemistry, she will be the first member of her family to go to university.
Elise said: “My stepdad came home to find the letter had arrived. He called my mum and we all met at school to open it.
“I only read the first line and then started screaming as I knew what the rest was going to say.
“My stepdad never cries or gets emotional, but he admitted to shedding a tear when I got the offer.”
The Carr Hill High School pupil moved into the school’s sixth form to study A-levels, but didn’t really like chemistry and had her sights set on a career in education ,
However, Elise credits her teachers for bringing out, and encouraging, her natural ability for chemistry and changing her opinion on the subject.
Elise wrote personal statements, attended a week- long course at Oxford, and went through three interviews before being offered a place, which is conditional upon her getting one A* and two As in her A-levels this summer.
She said: “At Oxford the tutors are really interested in your passion for the subject.
“I made that the focus in my interviews and ensured I always showed an enthusiasm and a desire to learn more about chemistry.”
Elise said she had not even considered applying for Oxford until the head of sixth form, Paul Wallace, suggested it.
Mr Wallace, who retires this year after 27 years at the Royal Avenue school, said he had always wanted to help a student get into Oxford University.
Paul said: “This is a fabulous achievement for Elise and is a reflection of the hard work she has put in during her time at Carr Hill.
“It also demonstrates the passion of Carr Hill’s staff to encourage students to fulfil their ambitions and work towards their goals, whatever they may be.”
Elise needs to succeed in achieving her required grades in maths, biology and chemistry, but is confident and looking forward to her future.
She said: “Of course I am nervous about moving away to a new city but I am excited too.
“When I visited Oxford University I felt like it was my second home.”