Brunella Wins 'Above & Beyond' Award

Brunella Adjanie-Rasolondrainy's educational journey has been far more tumultuous than your average student's.

The 16-year-old, of Tunstall, made the 5,753-mile journey from Madagascar to England to live with her mother in 2010.

Not speaking a word of English at the time, Brunella later moved with her mother Voahanginirina from Birmingham to Stoke-on-Trent.

Brunella now harbours dreams of becoming an actress after mastering English and thriving academically at the Co-operative Academy of Stoke-on-Trent.

Assistant Vice-Principal Jenny Crowther-Green has nominated her for a Sentinel Our Heroes award in the Bright Young Thing category, in recognition of her amazing journey.

Brunella also has become the seventh person to be nominated by the Academy for an Above & Beyond award – funded by the Rotary Club of Tunstall.

The teenager, who is set to achieve a number of GCSEs and BTECs, now feels at home in the Potteries.

She said: "Not knowing any English was quite scary at first. I tried to listen to what people were saying and attempted to figure it out myself – but it took about three years for me to learn the language. The school was very friendly and welcoming.

"After my GCSEs, I want to go to college and study psychology and performing arts.

"I'd love to eventually be in films, but hopefully I can make it to Hollyoaks first."

Mrs Crowther-Green said Brunella had already achieved a grade A in French having taken the subject a year early.

She said: "Brunella used to communicate by pointing, but through a tenacious attitude and hard work she now speaks fluent English.

"She's someone who never gives up and is a perfectionist. Her attendance is outstanding and she's a model student.

"She's become a vibrant and valued member of the academy who we see regularly on stage."

Claire Marchant, of the Rotary Club of Tunstall, was delighted that Brunella had been nominated for both awards in recognition of her dedication.

She said: "The club was very proud to give Brunella our award.

"She is a very deserving student who has driven herself to learn and progress in her work.

"This has enabled her to do well academically and will enable her to achieve her goals in whatever she applies herself to."

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