Many congratulations to Year 13 student Helena Liddington-Brown who has been awarded an Army Officer Scholarship.
Helena secured the scholarship after months of preparation culminating in two days of exercises and tests before a selection board.
The scholarship means The Army will provide comprehensive support for Helena. This will encompass her final year at Worth, then through university – where she will also attend monthly meetings with the Officer Training Corps – and through a Masters programme while undergoing her training at Sandhurst.
The selection board was a tough process for all candidates. Helena said: “It was pretty intensive. There are three aspects to it: your physical aptitude, your intellectual capabilities and your leadership abilities. Then we had interviews in the evening, one with an education specialist and one with two Colonels. That was high intensity and they really challenge your motivation. You are constantly being assessed and monitored. It is all about your attitude and how you act under pressure. It was a brilliant experience and it didn’t put me off at all, but I didn’t feel confident that I had completely secured the scholarship, so the news came as a big surprise.”
The ongoing scholarship is dependent on Helena achieving the necessary grades in the IB Diploma she is taking at Worth. She can then take up a university placement and course of her choice, with her current thinking leaning towards a Liberal Arts degree.
The award of the scholarship is a tremendous achievement and Helena is grateful for the support she received in the process from Worth teacher and IB Coordinator Mr Hugo Sutton, who is a serving Officer in the British Army Reserve. She said: “This scholarship gives me security and motivation to get through the IB as I know that I have this waiting for me at the end. It was always something I wanted to do. My grandfather was in the RAF and when I was younger I always wanted to be a pilot. Then during the first lockdown, when everything was so uncertain, I wanted to have a plan for my future, so I started this application process.
“It normally takes a year but I managed to get it through in about four months, then I got invited to the selection board. I had to prepare for that. I had to do fitness training but because of my hockey and other sport at Worth I wasn’t going to be too behind on that. Then I started doing planning exercises and interview practice with Mr Sutton because that is definitely the toughest aspect of the selection board.
“This feels like the right path for me. I might not stay in the Army indefinitely but when I come out of the Army I am going to be in a really good position. I will have a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters and I will be a trained officer, with leadership experience and a range of practical skills.”