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

Joao Cordeiro, 15. Picture: Polly Hancock

Joao Cordeiro, 15. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

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.

Most Read

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.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter