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Student Stories

Challenging lessons, remarkable rewards

Determination. Discipline. Sheer willpower. Ryan Clover has all this in spades and is living proof that if you truly set your mind to something, anything is possible.

Eighteen months ago, the ACG Strathallan student suffered a concussion, and the consequences were lifechanging.

“To this day, I still have migraines on a daily basis, and last year was a real struggle. For the first two to three months I could only do half days at school because the migraines were so bad,” says the Year 12 student.

While it would have been easy to lose his academic focus, Ryan dug deep, determined to make himself, and his parents, proud.

His efforts paid off when he received outstanding 2019 Cambridge IGCSE scores, including five A* grades (90% and above) for biology, English literature, chemistry, history, and mathematics, along with a B grade in English language.

“It meant the world to me to have achieved such great results. It’s the best outcome I could have dreamed of and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Ryan wasn’t the only one.

“My results didn’t just have a positive impact on me, they also made my parents extremely proud. They work hard to be able to send me to ACG Strathallan, and this was my way of paying them back. My teachers were also thrilled with the way I managed to turn the year around and transform a negative incident into a positive one.”

Ryan says the support he received from his teachers played a significant role in his success.

“They were absolutely amazing in helping me keep up to date with my classwork and they always kept me informed about what we did in class each day. At ACG Strathallan teachers take such pride in supporting their students to achieve results they can be proud of. They assist in every way they can – whether that be at lunchtime, in tutorials after school, or via email. Students are given every chance to ask questions, get one-on-one support, and understand anything they are struggling with.”

But outstanding academic outcomes are not Ryan’s only focus. His extra-curricular efforts are also to be applauded. This year, he is the Deputy House Leader of Wilkins, an ACG Strathallan representative in the Papakura Youth Council, and a keen footballer.

Plus, he is working towards his Duke of Edinburgh bronze award, participating in Relay for Life, and – had it not been for Covid-19 – would currently be in Nepal with a team of 14 students as part of World Challenge. It’s safe to say Ryan has no intention of letting his migraines slow him down.

“This whole experience has taught me that hard work really does pay off. But even more importantly I’ve learnt that you need to find your passion – because true passion is all the motivation you will ever need to succeed.”

And where does he see that passion taking him?

“My long-term goal is to become an oncologist and help those suffering with cancer. We’ve had a tough year with my dad who has a rare and aggressive benign fibromatosis in his shoulder. This has inspired me to want to help other families who are going through similar experiences as I know first-hand that it is far from easy.”