Wednesday 29 January 2020

#BlackExcellence: How these teenagers are using their A-level results to inspire

They got top grades and are proud to share their results.

Pierre Hamenya with his 2017 A-level results (Pierre Hamenya/Twitter)
Pierre Hamenya with his 2017 A-level results (Pierre Hamenya/Twitter)

By Nicola Irwin

A teenager whose tweet about his A-level results attracted more than 12,000 likes hopes his success will show the “positive things black people do every day”.

Pierre Hamenya secured a place at Warwick to read physics after he achieved two A*s and an A in his exams.

The picture of him holding his results on Twitter, with the hashtag #BlackExcellence, was a standout post of results day.

Hamenya, who studied at Enfield Grammar School, was born in Ghana but moved to the UK at the age of six. His family moved so Hamenya and his sisters could have the education their parents were unable to have when they were younger.

He said he wanted to inspire people to achieve their goals by sharing his success.

The 18-year-old said: “I often see things like the London riots and the murder of Rash (Rashan Charles) where faces like mine are often portrayed in a negative light.

“I wanted to broadcast the positive things black people do every day, that aren’t always portrayed by the media, to show young black people and others in communities like mine that they could do just as much as the other faces they see on TVs and books.”

His tweet also praised his family who “believed when I did not”.

Hamenya added: “I got rejected from Cambridge and lost confidence in myself. My family sat me down, told me I could still do whatever I wanted, pulled me through.”

His family has also been involved with Let Us Learn, a campaign group which helps children who have leave to remain and long residences in the UK access student finance.

Other posts on the #blackexcellence hashtag include congratulation messages, tales of students who are the first in their family to go to university and those who sacrificed nights out to achieve their dream grades by spending evenings studying.

Abibat Bashoroun achieved an A* in history, an A in Sociology and a B in English literature at Ark Globe Academy Sixth Form in South East London.

Abibat Bashorun celebrates her A-level results (Abibat Bashorun/Twitter)

The 18-year-old who goes by the name @Abibashorun on Twitter wrote: “Those evenings in the library paid off well,” as she celebrated her success.

She added the word “motivation” to her results slip.

She said: “I did spend Friday evenings in the library straight after leaving sixth form from around 6pm to 8pm and also weekends. It was definitely worth it as now I can say that my hard work and dedication has been rewarded.”

PA Media

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