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Real life stories: Eleanor Riches

When I first started at RGS, I was terrified. I didn’t know anyone coming here, I didn’t live in Reigate, I’d never touched a hockey stick (they didn’t play hockey where I came from).

I soon settled in and started to make some friends (unfortunately my skills with a hockey stick do still have a lot to be desired!). Most importantly, I learned that I deserve to be here as much as anyone else and that hard work and determination are all that matter at the end of the day.

As a 1675 Scholar this was my most crucial discovery. My main advice would be to make the most of every opportunity.

This isn’t the first time that you will have heard this and it’s not always that easy. I didn’t always want to go to orchestra for two hours every Friday after school. Half way up a mountain in Wales in the Brecon Beacons, on one of the hottest days ever recorded, I definitely wish that I hadn’t grasped this opportunity with quite so much enthusiasm!

But it is always worth it.

There are other opportunities that maybe we don’t realise until after we have left. One of these, is the network. There is a whole community behind you that are waiting to support you in any possible way. It is a valuable network and one that I do encourage you to make the most of it.

Being a Reigatian is a common thread that unites thousands of people all across the world and I feel incredibly privileged to be one of them.

These are brilliant people: doctors, lawyers, politicians, sports men and women, and there are your friends and your teachers. Those who have come before and those who will follow in your footsteps.

I am in my final year at university at York – I would like to do a masters in a year or two, then beyond that I would love to work in international development or for a not for profit organisation in research or policy advisement. The main reason why I want to do this is because I would love the opportunity to work towards or for a cause that is able to make a substantial, real difference to peoples lives, and because my experience as a Social Leader at uni here in York has made me realise the difference just one person can make in these kind of roles.

I know that none of this would have been possible without the 1675 Bursary Fund and everyone at the school, behind the scenes and my family as well.

Eleanor Riches (RGS 2009-2013)
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