Lara McNeill is going to King’s College London to study medicine after achieving A*s in Biology, Chemistry and a B in History at Ark 6th Form East Sussex.
Lara, who was an IVF baby, has a passion for helping people which has driven her to secure a place to study medicine at King’s College London.
She says: “I wanted a career that would challenge me and push me beyond my comfort zone. Medicine is definitely that kind of career – there is so much responsibility, it’s literally a case of life or death.
“I really want to go into paediatrics. I was an IVF baby and that’s given me an appreciation of how paediatrics can help people fulfil their dreams of becoming a parent.”
Lara has already done work experience at Conquest Hospital, volunteered at the local St Michael’s Hospice in St Leonard’s and worked with the Nuffield Trust, a healthcare policy think-tank.
Having secured an offer from King’s College London, Lara started to consider how she was going to fund her course: “I was really worried about money because London is so expensive. I’ll get a student loan, but that won’t cover the cost of studying in London, especially since my course is five years and there are a lot of really expensive textbooks.”
Lara was awarded a Marshall Wace bursary, an annual programme that helps 40 Ark students heading to universities who might not otherwise be able to afford higher education.
“Getting the bursary is a huge weight off my shoulders,” Lara said. “It means that I don’t have to worry as much about money and I can get on with studying and doing the best I can at university.”