Executive Vice-President at FBR & Co and President of the AFRGS.
Ellis has gone on to study English Literature at Cambridge…
“I have only my sincere thanks to offer to Michael in return for the gift of education, and the promise that I will always strive to make the most of the opportunities that have arisen as a result.”
I am delighted to be able to continue my relationship with the School through the Foundation Office. I count myself blessed to have received an assisted place when I was at RGS.
I came from a modest background, and although both my parents worked extremely hard, I would not have received my extraordinary RGS education without the generosity of a former pupil. I experienced and enjoyed great times and made friends that have lasted half a lifetime. Feeling so grateful for the opportunities which came my way, a few years ago I made contact with the School and discussed how I might attempt to return the many benefits the school gave me.
I was surprised to find out that the Bursary I was granted was the only one that existed at that time, and that the School, despite centuries of history and excellence, had an extremely small Foundation to help students in a similar situation to me.
It seemed only appropriate to me to try to repay my debt to the school by helping a student of similar means to enjoy the many gifts an institution like RGS can bestow… and so I started to fund a bursary. It was awarded to Ellis Clarke, a young lady who joined the school in the first form and I’m happy to say that she has taken full advantage of the opportunity and has really blossomed; she achieved outstanding results at GCSE and A Level and has now gone on to study English Literature at Cambridge. It has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done to watch her progress through periodic reports from the School. I fully intend to continue my support with the Bursary now that Ellis has left RGS.
I’m also grateful to the Foundation team who have done a great job of bringing us all together through reunion events where we can relive old memories and catch up on the past. I know they will continue to bring former pupils together through the common school bonds we share. They are working hard to raise awareness around the position of the Foundation and the need to grow it in the face of very large endowments that fund similar programmes at other schools in the area.
I’m thrilled that through the generosity of other former pupils, the number of bursaries is growing. It sounds daunting to consider the cost of a bursary, but many people acting together can have a tremendous effect in allowing a deserving young person the benefit of the education we all received. I hope some of you will join me in supporting the Foundation through your charitable giving.
There is no gift for me that could have inspired as much gratitude as the bursary I received to study at RGS. My education at RGS has provided me with the skills to pursue my ambitions and an environment where questions and challenges were always welcome.
It was a privilege to engage with fellow pupils who shared an enthusiasm for learning, particularly through participating in extra-curricular activities such as the Debating Society and as editor of The Pilgrim magazine. Receiving a bursary has enabled me to reap the rewards of the superior quality of teaching available, for which I have immense admiration. At RGS teachers are always available and positive, encouraging the independent learning which has nurtured my strengths, generated confidence, and provided the expert guidance that has led to me fulfilling my ambition to study English Literature at Cambridge.
Isobel is now studying languages at one of the world’s best universities.
I come from a single-parent family with financial difficulties, unlike the majority of students at RGS, and my bursary opened so many doors to me that would otherwise have remained closed. It has given me the opportunity to go on incredible trips and to explore the subjects that I am passionate about, particularly languages. I received so much support, not only throughout my academic career at Reigate Grammar School, but also during the (very daunting!) application process to study French and Italian at Cambridge, a university which I have wanted to go to for years as I felt it would provide me with the opportunities I needed to be successful and to improve my family’s situation. And I did it!
The small class sizes and excellent teaching, as well as the fact that the teachers were always so willing to help and provide extra support and extra work, allowed me to stretch myself. It has also improved my confidence as I was always encouraged to contribute my ideas, to research and to ask questions.
I am so grateful that I have had this opportunity: it has helped me achieve my dream of studying languages at one of the world’s best universities, something not possible for most young people from my background, and I have also made some incredible friends along the way. I will always be extremely thankful for the wonderful gift that I have received.