Merton Civic Award - Top student is active volunteer
Teenager Amelia Gates has been nominated for the Young Person’s Outstanding Achievement Award 2014.
Amelia, 16, is preparing for her GCSE exams at Raynes Park High School this summer and has been predicted to achieve 11A*s.
Academic excellence is just one of the strings to her bow, and the Morden teen has also spent the past two years volunteering at her local church, helping younger parishioners by organising extracurricular activities.
A pianist who has been learning for almost 10 years, she also acts as a mentor at school offering help to younger students in maths and English and is a volunteer at charity shop Cats Protection and at Deen City Farm.
She said: “I think education is everything, having a good education makes life so much more interesting as you can have informed opinions and better understand the world you live in.
“Also you can’t get far without good qualifications. I had hoped to be accepted into a grammar school when I was 12, and the fact that I didn’t really made me understand that nothing is given to you and being hard working is the only way to make your way in life.”
In 2012, while she was in year 9, the diligent student and four of her friends won £3,000 for a charity called Born Too Soon, which helps premature babies and their families at Kingston Hospital.
The challenge was part of a youth philanthropy project, in which Amelia and her team beat five rival groups to the donation.
Her future ambition is becoming a vet in an animal rescue organisation and working with children.
Much of her extracurricular work came together to secure her a Duke of Edinburgh award.
Following her GCSEs she hopes to study the sciences for A-level before embarking on a career working with animals.