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Arnold Foundation Publications

Arnold Foundation 18th Birthday Review

Francesca Oroma Odongkara joined Rugby in the LXX in 2005, via IntoUniversity. She was a member of the Arnold Foundation Board from 2013 to 2018.

“I was one of the first students supported by IntoUniversity to go to Rugby. It must have taken a lot of trust on both sides.

“I was born in Uganda and came to the UK when I was seven. My family were asylum seekers but had the benefits of family already here. When I went to Rugby I felt the other girls in my House wondering whether we would get on but we did – we were all 16-year-old girls. Rugby was hard work and I was busy, too busy to miss home. Choir right after breakfast, then lessons, then all the co-curricular activities. I joined the CCF. The Passing Out Parade, with my grandfather in the audience, was one of the proudest days of my life. The service element of Rugby was very important to me and I believe it should be incorporated into the national curriculum.

“I went to Loughborough University as one of the first students on their Design with Materials Engineering course; this was perfect for me. I took Chemistry, Maths and DT at A level.

“My career has taken me in an interesting direction, and I hope it continues to do so. I started work in London in transport construction – complete with Portacabins, big boots and HGVs – and then moved to an investment bank, where I am now a graphics specialist involved in both the production of and research of other marketing materials.

“Rugby taught me to be fearless, go against the grain, work hard, push yourself, and expand your outlook. There is nothing to lose. You’ll always learn along the way.”

See other brilliant case studies by watching our 18th birthday film here.