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News > Community > Giving back > Luke Jennings (JH 11-16) on neuroscience, joining The Royal Welsh and giving back

Luke Jennings (JH 11-16) on neuroscience, joining The Royal Welsh and giving back

Former Foundation Award student encourages support for bursary fundraising to widen opportunities at Tonbridge

11 Jan 2021
Giving back
Luke Jennings representing The Royal Welsh at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, Wales vs France 2020
Luke Jennings representing The Royal Welsh at Cardiff's Principality Stadium, Wales vs France 2020

 

Tonbridge instilled in me a sense of responsibility to give back to the communities I am involved with.

This stems from the generosity of those who made a Tonbridge education possible for me, and the numerous charity days which are so intrinsic to life at the school.

Whilst at Tonbridge I coordinated several fundraising events which collectively raised over £18,000 to send a pupil from a township in Queenstown (Eastern Cape, South Africa) to Queen’s College Boys High School. As a Tonbridge student, I was fortunate enough to go on an exchange to that school, and I returned there in the summer after my first year at Cardiff University, as a teacher of mathematics and science and as a rugby coach.

After my second year at university, I applied to join the Army Reserves, inspired by my formative years in the CCF at Tonbridge under the mentorship of Major Brennan. I joined the 3rd Battalion The Royal Welsh as a fusilier and have taken part in overseas exercises in the USA and France as well as training courses with my regular counterparts.

Luke (centre, front) bayonet fighting during initial basic training with The Royal Welsh

When Covid-19 hit, I was mobilised with my battalion to unload PPE shipments in Cardiff. It is with these experiences in mind that I move forward with my military career and look forward to future attendance at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, having passed the pre requisite boards.

I graduated from Cardiff University in June 2020 with a First Class Honours Masters degree in Neuroscience. I was particularly proud to win a final-year prize for my master’s research project into the potential role of the Gamma Synuclein protein in progressive neurodegenerative diseases.

Tonbridge’s style of teaching prepared me well for university, with its healthy environment for discussion and debate. I am especially grateful to Dr Ackroyd, my tutor and Biology teacher, who encouraged me to think critically and challenge ideas, and who organised so many inspiring MedSoc events.

Since school days, I always had a passion for human biology and I am now excited to take that passion to another level, with my application for Graduate Entry Medicine. This is with a view to later joining HM Armed Forces as a Doctor.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunities I had at Tonbridge and I would encourage everyone who is able to support the Foundation Awards programme to do so. During these challenging times the Foundation Awards programme helps ensure that Tonbridge is a school for everyone – regardless of background or circumstance.

Luke Jennings
JH 11-16

 

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