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Charles Hampton-Evans

Imperial | Computer Science

The 2017-18 Crowd Scholar

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From the Trustees

Charles has created multiplayer games, built his own remote admin tools, and has an infectious love for all things computers - all this despite not having internet or a computer at home until he was 10. He shined in his interviews as a grounded, bright, and kind young man. As a result of his extraordinary achievements, Charles has been named The 2017-18 Crowd Scholar.

Please read on to learn more about Charles - you can find his application essay, short answer response, grades, and teacher recommendation below.

  Subject Area

Computer Science

 Area of Interest

Cyber Security

 Prospective Uni

Imperial

Career Aspirations

Software Engineer

Application Essay

I wouldn’t say that I have had the most difficult life in the whole world, but I wasn’t dealt the best hand. I was born with issues from the start. As a child I did not talk to anyone; I did not say my first word until I was 4 years old. By that time, my Dad had left the family. Without Dad, and given the fact Mum’s disability kept her from being able to work, we had (and still have) little income. Soon after Dad left, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Doctors said I would never be able to talk nor take care of myself, that I needed to go to a school for special needs students, that I would need a carer all my life. I wasn’t exactly looking at pocket aces. 

However, against our doctors’ advice, Mum decided that I would attend public school. At school, though I always found it hard to relate to my peers, I began to flourish as I developed a love for learning and, in particular, for mathematics, science, and, eventually, computers. Since Mum saved up for our first home computer - a heavy, all-black, Acer laptop - that we got when I was 10, computers have been a big part of my life and my biggest interest. I have always wanted to study every single part about how they work. I started programming when I was 13 and always try to explore new topics and make things I am proud of. Programming stimulates my problem-solving skills, motivates me to learn and create, and has made it clear to me that being a software engineer is my dream.

 

School and programming have turned me into who I am today. My family does not have the best track record of education. My older brother achieved only 1 GCSE and Mum went to a polytechnic university.Somehow, I achieved nearly all A*s in GCSE at a comprehensive school and moved to a grammar school for Sixth Form. When I was accepted, I was as happy as I’ve ever been in my life. Upon arrival, however, I faced some of the biggest difficulties in my life, as I struggled with the pressure of such a high-achieving environment and felt like I was out of place in terms of not only my background, but also my intellect. It was the lowest point in my life and a large struggle I had to overcome. I have learned to cope with these mental challenges and am now more motivated than ever to do well academically and also to help whoever I can, whether academically or emotionally. In fact, it has become routine for me to study at Sixth Form after school to study and help others as an escape from the environment and difficulties at home.

 

Despite these struggles, I will never give up on my love for problem solving, computers, maths, and helping others. I know there is no other way to achieve my dreams than continuing to study and work hard.

Why Crowd Scholar?

Winning a Crowd Scholar scholarship would mean a great amount to me. Studying has been my motivation to get through life’s challenges, including my mental disorders, home-life and the constant pressure I face from peers. Therefore, studying at university has been one of my biggest dreams ever since I was a child - to be able to prove everyone who doubted me wrong and show how independent and strong I can really be whilst fulfilling my dreams. Studying at university seems like so much fun and I am incredibly eager to be able to start. However, my family and I lack the financial resources in order to fully afford studying at university. My Mum is alone, disabled and unemployed and I do not earn a lot of money through my freelance coding (nor do I sadly have the time to carry out this duty due to my responsibilities at school). Therefore, I hope I can win a scholarship in order to take the anxiety of covering my university costs off my shoulders and to be able to with, with my degree, fulfil my dreams of becoming a software engineer in Silicon Valley or the Silicon Roundabout, or to work for government intelligence in computer security.

Computer Science - A

A-Level (Predicted)

Further Mathematics - A

A-Level (Predicted)

Mathematics - A*

A-Level (Predicted)

Physics - A

A-Level (Predicted)

Additional Science B - A*

GCSE

Computer Science - A*

GCSE

English Language - A*

GCSE

English Literature - A*

GCSE

Further Mathematics - A*

GCSE

Geography - A*

GCSE

History B - A*

GCSE

Mathematics - A*

GCSE

Religious Studies - A*

GCSE

Science B - A*

GCSE

Spanish - A*

GCSE

Teacher Recommendation

I have known Charles as since the start of the 2016-17 academic school year as his Physics Teacher and a member of the Sixth Form Team. The first words that come to mind to describe Charles are ambitious, mature, logical, inquisitive, diligent, and intelligent.

Charles joined Wilson's School in 2016, coming to us from Woodcote High School with outstanding GCSE results. Wilson's is an exceptionally high achieving boys' grammar school, each year admitting the top 150 students of over 1500 applicants and selecting on the basis of ability alone. It is an incredibly brave decision to change schools at 16, and it is especially brave to enter a school that has such high academic standards. Ultimately, this proved to be a good choice for Charles, as he found himself in an environment where intellectual discussions are the norm, where hard work and grit are viewed with respect by all, and where students can be themselves; accordingly, his social confidence has developed immensely over the last 14 months.

Speaking as his Physics teacher, Charles has always impressed me with his strong desire to do the best that he can, his willingness to push himself onto challenging material without prompting from me, and his wisdom to seek help and clarification when he needs it. Charles found the jump from GCSE to A Level to be challenging, but he showed remarkable resilience and made rapid progress throughout the year as a result. I was especially impressed at how thoroughly he engaged with the Isaac Physics project, where he regularly attempted challenging Physics problems that required full use of his mathematical and logical skills. Problem solving ability, logic, and strong analytical skills are phrases that Charles’s Mathematics and Computing teachers would also use if asked about his academic abilities, and they are similarly impressed by all aspects of his work and his dedication to his studies. Charles’s passion lies in all things to do with computers, and I am absolutely gobsmacked at how much he knows about coding and programming (and how naturally it comes to him). This interest and love of computers is deeply inspiring, and he goes above and beyond with his studies into computing. Charles completed an 80 hour internal project during Lower Sixth, focused entirely on his love of computing. For this, Charles designed, tested, and evaluated a website that he wrote from scratch, requiring considerable effort and resilience on his part; he also had to teach himself new coding skills, highlighting his independent work ethic. If you ever talk to Charles about computers, his passion shines through like a beacon. I have no doubt that he will absolutely thrive when he gets to study his passion at university.

Winning a Crowd Scholar scholarship would be absolutely amazing for Charles, and would mean a great deal to him and to his family. He has overcome significant challenges throughout his life, and winning a scholarship would be an incredible achievement for him. It would provide a significant boost to his confidence, and the financial assistance of a scholarship would remove the burden of money worries (allowing him to focus on being the best computer scientist he can be). Charles is an outstanding applicant for a Crowd Scholar scholarship, and he comes with my highest possible recommendation.

Physics Teacher, Wilson's School

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