Abbey Gate College sixth form student Kate Merrick will be swapping the Cheshire countryside for the state of Iowa to complete a first division tennis scholarship at the University of Northern Iowa next year.
Kate, 17, from Chester, has always excelled in tennis but in 2015 she knew she could make it more than just a hobby and contacted scholarship agency Stars and Stripes who agreed to be Kate’s agent.
While studying for her AS Levels at the Chester-based independent school, Kate had to also submit various applications including videos of her play, personality tests and CVs to more than 50 colleges across America.
Kate received replies from several of the colleges and even had offers to start her scholarship before she finished her A levels but sensibly decided to finish her exams at Abbey Gate.
Since then Kate selected the three most appealing universities and spent a week flying to each to meet the coaches, explore the campuses and ensure the academic courses available suited her, eventually choosing the University of Northern Iowa where she will start in August 2017 on a 100% scholarship.
Kate said: “I am so excited all my hard work has paid off and my dream is becoming a reality. It shows you should always believe in yourself!
“I am grateful for the support of my parents and of my school for their support during what was a very stressful time for me juggling exams and my applications. I will be keeping in touch with everyone at home to let them know how I’m getting on!”