US trip inspires Dominic

Ripley Academy student Dominic on his US exchange trip
Ripley Academy student Dominic on his US exchange trip

A student from The Ripley Academy has been inspired to broaden his horizons after studying in America as part of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Dominic Currins was one of 175 students from across the UK who was awarded a place on the Sutton Trust US Programme 2014 – which received more than 2,000 applications.

The 17-year-old applied to be part of the programme after hearing about it at The Ripley Academy.

He studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston for a week, where he lived on campus and took part in a range of activities.

Dominic, who is studying AS-Levels in Chemistry, Biology, English Literature, History and Maths at The Ripley Academy, said the trip was fantastic.

He said: “It was amazing and it really was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“When we arrived at MIT, we were given a tour of the campus. Then we had some master-classes, one of which was delivered by NASA astronaut, Professor Jeff Hoffman. He talked to us about his experience in general and what the space programme was like. That was really interesting.

“We were also given a tour of the Institute of Cancer Research which is based at MIT, we were allowed to have a look at the kinds of things they were doing there which was great.

“I’ve definitely been inspired by the whole experience. I’m applying to study Law at university in the UK but I am now looking to incorporate a year abroad, hopefully in America, as part of my studies. I think it would be a great experience and would impress potential employers.”

Dominic, of Swanwick, also visited Trinity College in Connecticut, Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, Harvard and Yale Universities as well as seeing the sights in Boston.

He said: “Yale was really welcoming and very friendly and Harvard was impressive too. The whole trip was an 
unforgettable experience.”

The Sutton Trust US programme requires applicants to satisfy strict criteria, which included achieving eight A or A* grades at GCSE.

Helen Fozard, Vice Principal at The Ripley Academy, said: “We are delighted that Dominic was chosen after such a demanding selection process. The experience has inspired him to aim high and we hope that he fulfils his ambitions to study Law with a placement abroad.”