Kaashif Kamaly, the son of a Bangladeshi immigrant, is heading to UK's prestigious Eton school, after winning a two-year £76,000 scholarship.
“I have this extraordinary opportunity that I will grab with both hands but it won't change who I am and where I have come from, nor would I want it to,” the 15-year-old said, reports The London Economic
He credited his family for his achievement. “My family has struggled their entire life to make a better future for me and my siblings. I am a product of that environment.”
He has an older brother, Ihtisham 21, and a younger sister Tasneem, nine. No one from his family has ever been to university.
Kaashif currently attends Forest Gate Community School in the East End of London which was ranked 14th best in the country for GCSE results and won the Evening Standard Best School in Challenging Circumstances award this year.
He is the second pupil from Forest Gate to have won a scholarship after Ishak Ayiris, the son of Ethiopian immigrants, earned a place in 2014.
Forest Gate Headteacher Simon Elliott said: “We have students now who, despite coming from one of the poorest areas in the country, have the same belief as pupils at top independent schools that nothing is out of their reach.”
Kaashif heaped praise on his immigration officer father Shah, describing him as his being his 'hero' for instilling the work ethic that has helped him succeed.
His mother was born in Bangladesh while his father was born in the UK. He returned to Bangladesh to be educated and moved back to London after to school.
Kaashif is predicted A* in all his GCSEs.
He will study A-level Maths, Chemistry, English Literature, Biology and History at Eton next September.
Eton, founded by Henry VI in 1440, has educated 19 prime ministers and produced a host of leading public figures. It is the exclusive British boarding school where boys have to wear tailcoats to lessons.
“Eton is a fantastic school, probably the best in the country, but what the teachers have helped me achieve at Forest Gate Community School is even bigger,” Kaashif said.