Will Baker OD 2011

Will Baker OD 2011

I’ve fond memories of the Dragon: I remember it as a place of fun, energy, and good humour, where it always seemed easier to be too busy than not busy enough. It was an environment in which I felt encouraged, by staff and pupils alike, to try my hand at new things – sports, theatre, debating – and which gave me the freedom and confidence to be intellectually inquisitive. I still try today to embrace the legacy of these, and many more, aspects of my experience at Dragon, one which would have been impossible had I not benefited from a bursary scheme.

With each day of school came new opportunities: music, drama, new sports, and new subjects. I was pushed and encouraged by teachers to question and ponder the work put before me. I discovered that I had a real appetite for learning. And this was only furthered by the environment I was in: different skills and different successes were all celebrated, and the talents of each and every pupil were cherished and nurtured.

After Dragon, I went on to Eton College, again as a bursary student, and then to Oxford University, where I studied English Literature. I graduated last year and have just returned to the UK after six months working in Paris. Come September, I will be starting an MA in Political Theory at the London School of Economics.

None of this would have been available to me without the bursary programme.

And this is the real worth of the bursary programme. It gives kids the best possible start in life, kids who previously have not necessarily been stretched and challenged by school. It says to them, there’s no reason why you can’t strive to achieve whatever you want.

The beneficiaries extend further than those on bursaries. A more diverse school is a stronger school, and students can only benefit from coming into contact with those not necessarily from a similar background. I definitely felt very welcome, and part of the school.

When I think back on all my happy memories at The Dragon- summer evenings on the fields, sunny (for the most part) sports’ days – I feel above all thankful. Thankful to whomever it was that made it possible for me.

Ultimately, by donating towards a bursary, you are investing in the life of a child. And what better cause is there than that?