Bristol Youth Mayor - 09 June 2014

Bristol Youth Mayor - 09 June 2014

RondeneAn inspirational teenager from a troubled school is making her mark in the political world after winning a place at one of the country’s top public schools.

Rondene Vassell, aged 17, managed to beat the odds at her school in Birmingham before being offered a Sixth Form Scholarship at Clifton College in Bristol.

She has recently been elected as one of two Youth Mayors for Bristol and is determined to make her adopted city a better place to live.

Rondene already has experience of politics and was elected youth MP for Birmingham’s Youth Parliament in 2010 where she worked to raise the issue of educational and social disadvantage.  

Rondene describes her school in Birmingham as struggling. She said: "Seventy per cent of the children there came from low socio-economic backgrounds. When I was growing up I didn't notice that I was from a low socio-economic background as well. You're just grateful for what you have, and there is always someone worse off than you.

"I enjoyed school and I was doing well so it never crossed my mind."

Rondene is now studying for her A Levels at Clifton College where her enthusiasm and dedication have impressed staff and fellow pupils.

She is keen to help disadvantaged youngsters have better access to further education opportunities, including university and apprenticeship schemes. She also wants to engage other young people, particularly those who feel politics does not concern them or that no-one takes their views seriously.

Rondene is determined her political commitments will not affect her school work. She will meet with Bristol Mayor George Ferguson each month, as well as working with businesses and other organisations to promote the interests of young people.

Rondene added: "The job market is competitive all over the country, but we want to raise aspirations, and make Bristol a place that is well-known for producing talent."