A Staffordshire Moorlands student will be heading to Yale University this coming autumn.
Lizzie Casey from Moorlands Sixth Form College, in Cheadle, will be packing her bags and heading across the Atlantic this autumn to start university in New Haven, Connecticut thanks to a Sutton Trust summer school programme and the support of her college.
Lizzie is one of 61 state school students from around the UK who will be starting their degrees at US universities, including Harvard, Yale and Princeton. This is close to a three-fold increase on the success of last year's pilot Sutton Trust US Programme, which resulted in 21 students accepting places at US universities.
Details of all 61 students were released as they met US Ambassador Matthew Barzun at a reception at Winfield House, his London residence in June. The reception celebrated the students' achievements and the success of the US Programme run by the Sutton Trust and US-UK Fulbright Commission.
The students will be enrolling at 37 different US colleges. Over a quarter (28 percent) will be going to Ivy league universities and nearly a third (32 percent) will be attending one of the top ten US universities or liberal arts colleges. The US institutions range from Williams College in New England to Pomona College on the West Coast and Emory University in the South.
In 2013, 150 students participated in the second year of the US Programme. They spent a week living on campus at either the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or Yale University and visited other US institutions. The students also received extensive support from the US-UK Fulbright Commission before and after the summer school, including help with the application process.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust, said: "The success of the US programme has significantly exceeded our expectations and really struck a chord with UK students and schools, as well as American Universities. These new results are a sign that more young are making informed choices about their futures – considering top US universities alongside their UK counterparts.
"It is great to see that our US programme has enabled so many more state school students to access top American universities."
Lizzie has lived in Stoke-on-Trent all her life and can't wait to explore more of the world. She said: "I am excited by the chance to experience different cultures. I love to think critically and tackle puzzles head on, and feel most alive and enthusiastic when faced with a mind-boggling problem to solve."
This explains Lizzie's frequent involvement in leadership roles, such as student council, Deputy Head Girl at Painsley Catholic College and STEM Leadership, standing as one of four ambassadors for Science at high school, tutoring students in English and mentoring her peers in German.
Lizzie is also proud to help her community by volunteering in a day care centre and an elderly care home, and has received a Diana Princess of Wales Award for her charitable works.
She added: "I can't wait to expand my horizons and my mind further through the liberal arts curriculum in the US."
Director of the Moorlands College, Steve Richman, said: "Lizzie is an exceptional student and richly deserves the opportunity to study at one of the top universities in the world.
"She has made an excellent contribution to the life of the college community and is an inspiration to other students.
"We wish her every success and hope she will continue to enjoy and excel in her studies and take full advantage of this fantastic opportunity to experience American culture, meet new and exciting people and be challenged intellectually."