A student from Tong Leadership Academy’s Sixth Form is pursuing her dream of becoming a reconstructive surgeon in the Army, having secured the A-Level grades she needs to study Clinical Science with the support of a scholarship from Leeds business TPP.

Holly Durno-Gumbley achieved three A-Levels at grade B in Biology, Chemistry and Psychology from Tong Leadership Academy. She will now take up a place studying Clinical Science at the University of Bradford.

Holly is a proud recipient of the Frank Hester Scholarship, awarded by Horsforth-based healthcare software provider TPP.

The Frank Hester Scholarship, named after the founder of TPP, aims to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to study higher education courses, encouraging more such young people to stay in education longer. The financial support Holly will receive from TPP will help with living costs during her three year degree course.

Holly is a part-time carer for her mother, who suffers with complex disabilities and a chronic pain disorder. To support herself financially during her GCSE and A-Level studies, Holly also worked as a beauty therapist throughout her studies.

18 year old Holly Durno-Gumbley said:

“My goal of a career in military surgery and studying medicine originates from witnessing my mother’s continuous suffering with a chronic pain disorder and fibromyalgia. This personal experience, coupled with my admiration of the field of science, sparks my motivation to advance in a career where I can relieve the pain and suffering of the most vulnerable people.”

Holly has never allowed her personal circumstances to get in the way of her ambitions. She raised over £3,000 to fund a medical work experience programme in the summer of 2017 which took her to the Dominican Republic. Here Holly shadowed a surgeon and emergency room doctor and gained a valuable insight into the healthcare system of a Caribbean nation.

Holly has also gained medical work experience in GP surgeries and care homes closer to home, which has cemented her desire to work within healthcare.

Holly added:

“Being from a deprived area and being the only member of my immediate family to even consider higher education, I feel a great motivation to use my knowledge and education to better myself and achieve something I can be truly proud of. Having the support of a scholarship and knowing that someone other than my family and friends believes in me significantly boosts my confidence and self-belief to defy the odds and become the best me that I can be.”

Emily Smith at TPP commented:

“We are so happy to be able to support Holly through her studies. From the fantastic applications we received from Tong Leadership Academy, Holly stood out as an exceptional candidate. We are excited to continue our relationship with Holly and Tong Leadership Academy in the future.”

Dan Styles, Principal at Tong Leadership Academy, added:

“Holly truly is an inspiration, and has been a fantastic role model for her peers throughout her time at Tong Leadership Academy. Her results and achievements are testament to the hard working, determined attitude she possesses. We are very proud of Holly and wish her every success in her future medical career.”