Cardiff Six Form Collage share some excellent reults aqnd the story behind then:-
Mariam Mehrez (19) and her brother Ahmed (18) who came to the UK four years ago, after living in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are hoping to make their dreams come true with places at Oxford and Cambridge. Mariam, who was inspired by seeing women back home being unable to pursue their STEM dreams, gained five A*s and has a place to study Physics at Oxford. Her brother Ahmed who is taking a gap year next year will apply for computer science and maths in 2024 at Cambridge has four A*s and volunteers for a medical education company using his technical skills to help automate their systems. Their story is remarkable and they have gained gold awards in physics Olympaids and youth maths challenges, worked together on producing a report to automate inspections for the Severn Tunnel and were the winners of the Egyptian Space Settlement Design Competition.
Kealan Jones, an extraordinary 18-year old from Neath who underwent life-saving brain surgery at the age of 12, is now on the path to realising his ambition of becoming a doctor at Imperial College London with four A*s today. He was admitted to hospital for a critical operation and, witnessing the dedication of the surgeons and medical staff, decided to pursue a career in medicine. He attended the local comprehensive school gaining excellent GCSE results before winning a full scholarship to Cardiff Sixth Form College and now travels over an hour each way to attend school from Neath to Cardiff. He undertakes charity work for Noah’s Arc Children’s Charity, is president of the medical ethics society, Deputy Head of School, organises TedX talks, fundraises and hosts induction visits for new students.
Nicki Naemi-Zaker, a British Iranian student, has embraced her unique cultural background as a catalyst for change fearlessly addressing the pressing issue of women’s rights in Iran and will study law at LSE where she has applied for a scholarship having gained three A*s and one A today. She has had to support her family – father has had cancer scare and brother has learning difficulties – but is an exceptional student having created a documentary reconstructing a law case for which she also composed the background music, served as President of the law society, initiated the Mooting Competition, mentors her peers and gave an inspirational speech on becoming the best version of oneself at a TedX event.
Read thier full story below
BROTHER AND SISTER AWARD WINNERS AIM FOR OXBRIDGE
Mariam Mehrez (19) and her brother Ahmed (18) who came to the UK four years ago, after living in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, are hoping to make their dreams come true with places at Oxford and Cambridge.
Mariam, who has a place to study Physics at Oxford University, was inspired by seeing women back home unable to pursue their STEM dreams. After gaining 5 A*s in her A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics and 13 A*s at GCSE, Mariam won a scholarship to top school Cardiff Sixth Form College. Ahmed, who has gained 4 A*s in Chemistry, Maths, Further Maths and Physics and has a similar record of 12A*s at GCSE, is planning to take a gap year working in the technology industry before applying for computer science or maths in 2024.
Mariam and Ahmed’s family moved to the UK as their father got a job working as a doctor. “Moving to the UK opened a multitude of opportunities especially as a woman interested in STEM” Mariam said. “I moved in year 11 so had to go down a year to follow the GCSE curriculum. It was a good decision as it allowed me to take my time adapting to the new curriculum and environment. It also meant that I was in the same year group as my brother. We help each other a lot, work well together and make a good team.”
As well as her studies, Mariam has taken part in many super-curricular activities and competitions. Highlights include winning Top 50 Gold in the British Physics Olympiad (BPhO) which places her in the top 2% in the UK. She was also a finalist (top 20) in the Egyptian Mathematics Olympiad, winning a diamond award (top 50) in the Isaac Senior Physics Challenge administered by the University of Cambridge. Miriam has also undertaken a work placement at Diamond Light Source, researching the process of corrosion in a variety of metals reacting under different conditions and joined Cambridge University’s STEM SMART where she attended weekly problem-solving sessions in physics and mathematics culminating in a summer school at the university.
Extending himself outside of the classroom is also important to Ahmed who’s aiming for a place at Cambridge University in 2024 studying either computer science or mathematics. Ahmed won a Gold Award in the BPhO (top 150) and a silver award in the final round of the International Youth Maths Challenge (top 10% of all participants), regularly takes part in Project Euler solving pure maths problems using a computer and enjoys LeetCode – a platform which he says “helps you enhance your coding and problem solving skills and knowledge as well as helping prepare for technical interviews for companies like Google or Facebook”. Ahmed is also very interested in cyber security and having accomplished a high level of proficiency in CyberDiscovery, was awarded free access to a cybersecurity foundation course by industry leaders SANS institute which helped him gain not only technical knowledge but also an understanding of the social and ethical considerations of cybersecurity.
The two also often join forces, helping and encouraging each other in their activities. Both have taken part in the prestigious Oxford University Quantum Club where they undertook a rigorous study of first year undergraduate quantum physics. As a pair, they took part in the Computational Physics Challenge – winning top 5 gold and were invited to the BPhO award ceremony at the Royal Society. Ahmed and Mariam also worked together as a team in the Engineering Education Scheme Wales as main coder and team leader respectively, where they researched issues in the Severn Tunnel culminating in a 40+ page report on a machine learning model they devised to automate tunnel inspections and their team being awarded best presentation. Together, they also won the Egyptian Space Settlement Space Design competition and represented Africa and the Middle East at the international finals.
Giving back to the community is important to the sibling duo. “I want to use my multi-cultural background to help others and to bridge the gaps between communities” Mariam said. “This has led me to teach Arabic to non-Arab Muslims in my local mosque which I switched to an online mode during the pandemic enabling me to reach over 100 students. I also volunteer at a Middle Eastern Ed-Tech Startup finding, condensing and translating information about educational opportunities to make it more accessible”. Ahmed regularly volunteers for the medical education company, Saving Lives Academy, using his technical skills to help automate their systems. “The ability of computer science to help people is tremendous and I am glad for the opportunity to sharpen my skills whilst giving back” Ahmed said.
Speaking of their experience at Cardiff Sixth Form College, the two were inspired by their teachers and other students. “Being part of such a diverse student body is a wonderful experience and there’s something to be learned from all the other students who are always so welcoming and supportive” commented Mariam.
Said Principal, Cardiff Sixth Form College, Tom Arrand: “Both Mariam and Ahmed are scholars here at Cardiff and we recognised their innate intelligence and work ethic at application stage. They have both made the most of all the scientific and volunteering opportunities here at the school and have really appreciated the quality of teaching asking questions far beyond the curriculum. They are students who will make a significant difference in the world and who will be at the cutting edge of technology and research and I very much look forward to following their careers.”
Brain Surgery Survivor Poised to Fulfil Dream of Becoming a Doctor
Kealan Jones, an extraordinary 18-year old from Neath who underwent life-saving brain surgery at the age of 12, is now on the path to realising his ambition of becoming a doctor at Imperial College London.
Kealan started experiencing debilitating headaches which escalated leading him to be admitted to hospital for a critical operation. Witnessing the dedication and expertise of the surgeons and medical staff, who worked tirelessly under intense pressure, profoundly influenced Kealan’s decision to pursue a career in medicine.
“It was an incredibly frightening time for both me and my family” said Kealan. “The sudden illness took us by surprise. As I observed the hospital staff caring for patients, many in dire situations, I realised the profound difference they were making. None of my family members were involved in medicine, but their impact on my life and the lives of others inspired me and set a clear path for my future.”
Despite coming from a non-medical background, Kealan, the son of a local theatre manager and financial inclusion officer, excelled academically. He attended the local comprehensive school, achieving exceptional results in his GCSE results and won a full scholarship to top school, Cardiff Sixth Form College, where he studied chemistry, biology, maths and economics A-levels gaining A*s in all four subjects.
Commendably, Kealan actively participates in college life despite traveling over an hour each way from Neath to Cardiff. He has been undertaking charity work for Noah’s Arc Children’s Hospital Charity which funds innovative medical equipment and facilities and is President of the Medical Ethics Society. He wrote his Extended Project Qualification on ‘Should those with self-inflicted illnesses be treated for free on the NHS’ and was appointed Deputy Head of School where he organises college events such as TedX talks, hosts induction visits for new students and organises fundraisers including a charity hike up Pen y Fan.
Tom Arrand, Principal of Cardiff Sixth Form College said: “Kealan has made a real impact at the college, consistently placing others before himself and striving to make a positive impact. He led the way in supporting our chosen charity this year, Noah’s Ark, inspiring fellow students to raise funds for this worthy local cause. With his exceptional empathy, Kealan is poised to become an outstanding doctor, and we are proud to be part of his journey.”
British Iranian Activist Shines Light on Women’s Rights and Gains Place to do Law
Nicki Naemi-Zaker (18) a remarkable British Iranian student, is not only capturing the spotlight for her inspiring activism but also for her extraordinary academic achievements. With an unwavering commitment to social justice, Nicki is on the path to study law at the prestigious London School of Economics, fuelling anticipation for her future endeavours in the legal field having achieved three A*s in Economics, History and Maths and an A in English Literature.
Hailing from an Iranian heritage, Nicki has embraced her unique cultural background as a catalyst for change. Her recent bold and comedic Iranian dance performance at the Eisteddfod garnered attention as she fearlessly addressed the pressing issue of women’s rights in Iran. By leveraging her artistic talent, Nicki skilfully shed light on the stark disparities between cultural norms in Iran and the freedoms enjoyed in the United Kingdom. Her captivating dance routine not only entertained but also served as a powerful catalyst for conversation and social progress.
Alongside her activist efforts, Nicki has demonstrated exceptional academic prowess. Driven by her passion for law, she has gained a place at the prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science where she also has applied for a scholarship, further underscoring her intellectual capabilities and dedication to her chosen path.
“I wanted to publicise as well as entertain the school community and highlight some of the issues with women’s rights and personal freedom in Iran” said Nicki. “It would have been impossible to do that dance in Iran for example, I would have been arrested. What is vital is that we talk about human rights and the laws in different countries to see how we can help make a difference.”
Despite personal challenges, including her father’s cancer health scare and her brother’s learning difficulties, Nicki has persevered and emerged as an exceptional student. She took on a significant project as part of her Extended Project Qualification meticulously crafting a thought- provoking documentary, reconstructing an online law case, whilst also composing the background music.
Beyond her academic pursuits, Nicki has been a beacon of leadership at Cardiff Sixth Form College where she won a full 100% academic scholarship. She has served as President of the Law Society, initiated the Mooting Competition, sought opportunities to mentor her peers and her inspirational talk on becoming the best version of oneself brought the closing remarks at the acclaimed TedX talk event.
“We are in awe of Nicki’s unwavering dedication to both her activism and academic pursuits” said Cardiff Sixth Form College Principal, Tom Arrand. “Her ability to fearlessly address sensitive issues and bridge cultures through art is remarkable. We have no doubt that her impressive achievements will pave the way for an extraordinary future in the legal field.”