Camden student: ‘I went from speaking no English to borough’s top young role model’

PUBLISHED: 16:45 20 February 2015 | UPDATED: 16:49 20 February 2015

Joao Cordeiro, 15. Picture: Polly Hancock

Joao Cordeiro, 15. Picture: Polly Hancock


Joao Cordeiro, 15, arrived in the country from Portugal in 2011 virtually unable to speak any English.

Four years later, he is predicted to achieve nine A* to C grades in his GCSEs this year, and was chosen to receive the positive role model prize at the Camden Youth Awards on Wednesday.

Haverstock School pupil Joao said: “If you work hard, you can achieve anything in life.”

Joao, of Cricklewood, has already scored an A* grade at GCSE in his native language, Portuguese.

Since he started in Year 8 at Haverstock, he has been one of the school’s most active volunteers, helping out at every parents’ evening and event and working as a library assistant.

He is also a keen thespian, taking part in whole-school productions and directing a play for his GCSEs.

Last year, he represented Haverstock at City Hall by receiving a Team London secondary schools volunteering award from the Mayor of London on behalf of the school.

A spokesman for the Camden Youth Awards said in a statement: “He is, as always, organised and proactive, showing excellent ‘people skills’ and total reliability.”

He added: “Joao is respected by his peers and adults alike – he is an excellent role model and an example to all students of what can be achieved if you are totally focused and committed.”

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