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"After attaining four GCSEs with the Nisai Virtual Academy, I’ve gone on to graduate from York Law School at the University of York with a first-class law degree, an achievement that was inconceivable when I was thirteen and housebound with ME/CFS. At that age I couldn’t make it past the front door, never mind attend mainstream school. But in very bleak and isolating circumstances Nisai was recommended as a route forward, opening a door when it felt like the others had closed.
I think that’s the most extraordinary thing about what Nisai offers: they’re dedicated to providing opportunities when all other options and avenues have ended, levelling the playing field and keeping your potential alive in circumstances that seem determined to sap it from you. That alone is remarkable, but it’s specifically how they go about it which is outstanding: I had access to dedicated set-up support, an advanced web-based platform for delivering high-quality education, passionate teachers that provided first-rate support both inside and outside the classroom and a sense of community when that mattered so very much.
“Only” having four GCSEs hasn’t posed an obstacle because it gives you that crucial chance to sit in front of a decision maker – whether that’s an employer, recruiter, college or university – to state your case and sell yourself. By seventeen I was well enough to approach sixth form colleges and I found one that, rather than focussing on the quantity of GCSEs that I’d attained, could see how far I’d come and considered that as the indicator of success. It’s because of Nisai and those four GCSEs that I was able to go on to achieve A*AAB at A-Level and discover a real passion and ability for law at a leading law school.
Regardless of whether you encounter those who are ambivalent, sceptical or simply just don’t “get” the context of your achievements; you will find a handful of key individuals who, believing in your potential will support you in achieving what you want to achieve. It is exceptional people like this that you will find at Nisai and they will prove fundamental to your success by enabling you to overcome barriers and reach the next level. What you need to bring to the process is some passion, persistence, dogged determination and grit. Those qualities may well be brutally tested along the way, but I hope that in sharing this story it offers a valuable insight into just how far that perseverance can take you."
Nisai is proud to have helped John achieve his full potential. Nisai changes lives.
John Lamb graduating with his First Class Honours degree in Law.