Dream comes true for Francesca

Francesca Thornton, 18 .
Francesca Thornton, 18 .

AN award-winning Ponteland teenager has fulfilled her childhood dream to be offered a place at one of the country’s top universities.

Francesca Thornton, right, has longed to study at Cambridge since she was five years old and now she has finally reached her goal after she was offered a place at its esteemed Downing College.

The Newcastle Church High pupil plans to read religious studies and theology.

She said: “Winning my place at Cambridge is like a dream come true for me. I was inspired from a young age by my Dad, who didn’t go to university and always wanted me to have the best education possible.

“This is certainly what Church High has given me since I started there at the age of three.”

Last year the 18-year-old led her team to the national finals of the Young Enterprise awards as joint Managing Director of BrightLife Books. She also won top prize for Most Outstanding Leadership.

“Managing BrightLife Books has given me so much hands-on experience and made me realise how ambitious I am,” she said.

“I also work at Explore Learning in Kingston Park, helping children aged four to 15 with their school work.

“I can’t wait to apply the skills I’ve learnt when I go to read religious studies and theology at Cambridge.”

Church High Headteacher Joy Gatenby said: “During a time when competition for these prestigious universities is at its height, this is an outstanding achievement.”