Not your average fresher: Homeless student wins place at Cambridge

Jacob Lewis has defied the odds to win A*s across the board

Jacob Lewis tab cambridge

A homeless student has defied the odds to earn a place at Hughes Hall, Cambridge after getting four A*s.

A 22-year-old from Cardiff, Jacob Lewis was struggling to even eat after he was left homeless following a fall out with his family.

Despite leaving school at 17, he saw education as a way out of his desperate situation.

Setting his heart on good grades didn’t mix well with attempts to find work, however, and he lost his zero-hours contract job at a nightclub when he asked for time-off to take his exams.

He told one newspaper: “It’s been a hard fight.”

A pretty cool Cantab

A pretty cool Cantab

“At the start of this year I was working 24 hours a week to support my studies and make ends meet, I was barely eating.

“At one point I became homeless and had to start sofa surfing. Having a permanent home with my family wasn’t an option.

“My daily commute to college was around three-quarters of an hour and I spent twelve hours a day in the college library as it was the only place I could study.”

But his college supported him with travel and living expenses, to the extent of putting him up in a hotel when things were at their worst.

The college, in Nantgarw, near Pontypridd, South Wales, accessed the “student hardship fund”.

It paid off quite spectacularly. Not only did Jacob net four A*s, he also achieved a cool 100% in both History and Law.

Celebration

Celebration! (More work to come…)

Reflecting on what he dubbed a “dream come true”, he mused: “I haven’t got any firm career plans for after Cambridge, but I have a sincere commitment to try and make the world a better place with the advantages that elite education will give me.”

With principal Judith Evans in tears as he received his results, the college said it was immensely proud of him.

And, I think we can say, us Cantabs are too.