Manchester City Council

High school best friends both off to USA for uni after A level results

Best friends all the way through Parrs Wood High School in Manchester, students Adam and Ali, have both secured coveted places on full scholarships at universities in the USA following their A level results today.

Adam Khan and Ali Ahmed have been best friends ever since Adam first moved up to Manchester and joined the school in Year 8 from London where he used to live.

Fast forward through their school years and after completing their GCSEs the two friends decided that after taking their A levels at Parrs Wood they'd both like to spread their wings and try their luck at getting into an American university if they possibly could. 

They did some research and found The Sutton Trust - a UK based charitable foundation that supports young people to achieve their full educational potential - and their US Programme that helps guide and support young people interested in studying in America.

Supported by their school, Adam and Ali were both accepted onto the Trust's US programme and through this attended residential weeks both in the UK and the USA to give them a flavour of what studying in the USA would be like.  They also received support with selecting US universities and the application process itself -  including preparation for the American exams they had to sit in order to be considered for a university place there.

After a lot of hard work sitting both their USA exams earlier this year, followed by their A levels at Parrs Wood this summer, both boys were thrilled to be offered places at Stateside universities.

Ironically for two best friends, had they both decided to stay in the UK for university they would almost certainly have ended up being nearer to each other than it turns out they will be in America.  As it is they couldn't really be much further apart and for the next four years the best buddies, who at the moment live a just a short bus ride away from each other, will now be faced with a round trip of more than 6000 miles if they want to meet up for a night out.

Ali leaves for the West Coast and Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California in the next few days, whilst Adam leaves for the East Coast and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut a few days later.

University schedules and workloads permitting however, proving they are already starting to get into the American way of life, the two friends are already making plans to meet up for 'Thanksgiving'.

Both students are really looking forward to starting at their new universities and the opportunities it will give them.

Adam said: "I always liked the idea of going to university in the US, so am really excited to actually now be going there and for everything that is going to happen and for all the opportunities it will bring.  I got a lot of support from Parrs Wood to get to this position and I'm really grateful for that.  Now I just can't wait to start at uni."

Ali said: "One of the reasons I decided to apply to a US university is because they look at more than just grades - it's more holistic.  They look at your extra-curriculars and what you do outside school to see if you're a team player, and what you do in your local community, and I liked that.  I still can't quite believe that I got in, but I'm really excited for my college life and the next four years.

This isn't the first time that Parrs Wood High School has waved off its students after A levels to study in the USA.  Last year Brianna Douglas became the latest in a number of students in previous years who went on to study in America after successfully winning a place at the prestigious MIT in Boston.

Mark MeElwee, Headteacher Parrs Wood High School, said: "This is a fantastic achievement for Adam and Ali who have shown great determination and focus to get themselves off to the USA for university.  I know they're going to do brilliantly out there and look forward to welcoming them back into school at some point over the next few years to hear how they're doing. 

"Despite a very challenging year for our 6th form students and staff in terms of the new A level exams, thanks to a lot of hard work by them we've seen some great results amongst all our students this year and I wish all of them the very best for the future."


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