Students Inspired by Mayoral Insight

Having the chance to meet and hear from local leaders can greatly inspire students, and at the end of busy week our A Level students have been treated to a fascinating insight into local government, with Mayor Sophia Choudhary and Mayoress Attika Choudhary visiting to talk about their roles.

Principal Virginia Barrett introduced the Mayor and Mayoress to students in our Westminster Lecture Theatre, who were eager to find out more about the work they carry out.

The Mayor began by describing her fascinating path into politics and her Mayorship, which started with her upbringing in Aldershot and studying A Levels locally. She then gave an insight into her time at the local University of Surrey, where she studied Law.

During the presentation, students were surprised to learn that she is the youngest ever Mayor of Rushmoor and the first ever female Mayor of Asian descent in the borough.

The Mayor (left) with Principal Virginia Barrett (right)

Our A Level students were also keen to find out what the Mayor’s advice was on going to university. She said: “Finding some work experience during the Summer will really help you find out what the working world is like and which areas you find interesting before going to university.”

For those students looking into studying Law at university, she said “Speaking to people who are already working in Law will help, as you can find out whether the work they do will help you decide between becoming a barrister or solicitor, for example.”

As Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Choudhary described her motivation as stemming from a desire to promote change locally for the better, and that she is available to all local people for their thoughts on local issues.

Mayoress Attika Choudhary gave our students an equally fascinating insight into the working world, as she currently works as a journalist for the BBC and supports the Mayor in a number of ways – especially by showcasing local news and issues through social media. The Mayoress said that as a local girl she “never expected to become a journalist and the sister of a Mayor”, before explaining the fantastic opportunities students of today have ahead of them thanks in part to technology and social media.

Students from all our A Level subjects attended

Our students then had the opportunity to ask both the Mayor and Mayoress questions around how young people can get involved in politics and social change, as well as tackling the issue of political apathy among voters.

After the talk, A Level Law, Film and History student Ellie said:
“I thought it was really nice to see influential figures in person, by hearing their views and interacting with them. As I study Law, hearing from the Mayor and her career puts things into perspective and I think her story will influence me in a good way. I found the Mayoress especially interesting, as I plan on studying Film at university and found her story really motivational, as she grew up locally and now works for the BBC. I’ve just applied to study Film and I’m really looking forward to it.”

History Lecturer Claire Hayward, Student Abbie and the Mayor talk about going to university

The visit from the Mayor and Mayoress was one of many opportunities our students have to interact with leaders and employers, and we are very thankful to the Mayor and Mayoress for finding the time to visit our students.