A RHYL student is seeing stars and stripes after securing a place at one of America’s top universities.
Tom Billington will join the School of Engineering at Princeton University in New Jersey this September.
The Ivy League institution counts Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Former First Lady of the US Michelle Obama among its notable list of alumni.
Tom, a former pupil at Rhyl High School, secured the place after achieving the A Level grades he needed in Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Product Design and Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge at Coleg Cambria.
“As Princeton is a liberal arts college, I am yet to decide my major, but I am going into the School of Engineering and am interested in civil and environmental engineering, as well as materials science,” said the 18 year-old.
“I have always been fascinated by the man-made world around me and that is what really sparked my interest in engineering more broadly.
“I also like both academic and creative subjects, and this seemed like the perfect subject for me to combine them.”
Thanking staff at Cambria’s Deeside Sixth Form Centre for their support throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, he added: “I absolutely loved my time at the college, I made so many incredible friends, met so many amazing people and was taught by brilliant tutors.
“They kept things moving as if we were still there in person, especially throughout lockdown through both online and blended learning.
“I would definitely recommend Coleg Cambria to everyone as there is absolutely no way I would have the opportunity to go and study abroad for university without them.”
Tom also gave a special mention to Mims Riddell, Head of Deeside 6th and Assistant Principal for Academic Studies.
“She is probably one of the biggest reasons why I am attending Princeton,” he said.
“Despite the application process being significantly different to the UK she supported me every step of the way, as did the Sutton Trust US Programme, which helps UK students from low-income backgrounds explore the possibility of studying in the US and helps with the university search, application process and everything in between.
“I always wanted to attend an Oxbridge institution, but after seeing their programme advertised, I went for it. I never in a million years thought that almost two years after applying I would be going to the US for the next four years, but I am so excited to see what this could lead to.”
Congratulating Tom, Mims added: “He is one of the most hard-working and determined students you could meet. We are so proud of Tom and wish him every success at Princeton University.”
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for more on the wide range of courses and qualifications available at Coleg Cambria.