The Argus Youth in Action Education Awards ceremony took place on Sunday 8th June 2014 at the Amex Stadium in Falmer, and the Ellie had reason to celebrate.
Earlier this year she was chosen to represent the UK at the International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL) 2014 in Beijing in July. Ellie qualified for Round 2 in early February 2014 by sitting a tough two-and-a-half hour paper with questions on Turkish, Kairak, Ilokano, Lontara and a musical code. With approximately 3000 students participating, only the top 16 were picked for the next round, which was held at Liverpool Hope University. This was a residential course with training, talks and activities. Students also sat another paper in Swahili, Hungarian, Navajo, Yidiny and cognates in Tangholic languages.
Having now found out she is part of the foursome making up the UK team, Ellie and her teammates are practising diligently to maximise their chances of winning medals in either the individual or team contest. Last year, the UK finished eighth in the world but the new team are aiming to do even better.
Ellie achieved an Honourable Mention last year (one below a medal and awarded to only the top 40% of participants); this time her target is at least a bronze medal.
Ellie has been offered a place at Clare College, Cambridge, to read Chinese Studies. In the future, she would like to work in international relations, ideally the Foreign Service.
Ellie said: “It was really exciting to be nominated and then a massive surprise to actually win. The event was very enjoyable, and there were really worthy winners all round. I am proud to have had the chance to represent Burgess Hill School for Girls, because I’ve been given so many opportunities here over the years.
“Hopefully in the summer I can do the school and the UK proud and bring back a medal; I’m most looking forward to meeting all the other teams from different countries, as this was the best part last year. The fact it’s being held in Beijing means I can practise speaking Mandarin a bit too!”