We had a really exciting end to the term today with a visit from the BBC Share a Story tour plus a couple of special celebrity guests. Former Bacon's College student and now BBC reporter and presenter, Ashley John-Baptiste was interviewed live about his fascinating life journey in front of the whole school by Radio 1 DJ and Broadcaster Sarah Story as part of a tour celebrating 100 years of the BBC. Ashley's story started in foster care where he experienced not just one foster home but 4, and was split up from his siblings. For Ashley, school represented consistency, and a safe environment where he felt supported, and he spoke very fondly about his time at Bacon's College when he was in Mr Hall's tutor group, and the support he received from the community at the College. He also emphasised the fact that Bacon's Sixth Form enabled him to develop his voice, and taught him to think, rather than just pass exams. From Bacon's, Ashley went on to Cambridge University to study history, and then, diversely enjoyed a brief stint as part of a band on the X Factor, and forging a career in broadcast journalism at the BBC. Ashley was a key reporter in Russia for the Fifa 2018 World Cup, and he was nominated for the Young Talent of the Year award at the 2018 RTS Television Journalism Awards. You can read more about Ashley and his career to date here.
Ashley's overriding message to students was one of the importance of self-belief, and belief in the importance and validity of your own story. He was also keen to emphasise to students the importance of making the most of the opportunities presented to them in school, and the importance of having a goals to keep you focussed, even in times of challenge. "You have an incredible support network here and incredible teachers, make the most of this fantastic environment, it could change your life."