Trinity College Cambridge has appointed their first female black Students' Union President, OR Serena Cole (F'19). Serena's raw talent and academic ability was highly prized throughout her education at Repton Prep and Repton. Indeed Serena's tutor and teacher, Repton's Head of Science Stuart Ingleston-Orme, described her as "simply outstanding" musing that she could have chosen any path. 

Serena, who is in her second year studying Medicine at Trinity College, commented: "The key to my previous role as BME Officer and now TCSU President is my drive and motivation. I am passionate about the changes I want to make and without this passion I think that the pandemic would have halted any progress. Instead, I have been able to do more than I could have imagined since the pandemic, including organising Trinity’s first Black History Month, and piloting the TrackToTrin access scheme for Year 12 Black students." This initiative offers mentoring opportunities for black pupils, who are the most underrepresented group at Trinity College as well as many other prestigious seats of learning, to improve their academic attainment, offer guidance with university applications and prepare for interviews. 

Dr Ingleston-Orme said of her most recent success: "This is further recognition of what a phenomenal young woman Serena is. During her time at Repton she not only demonstrated an outstanding understanding of STEM subjects, but was also grounded, considered and personable. Serena was a naturally inquisitive and very capable scientist who considered the interdependent relationships between her academic subjects in much the way that science is undertaken in the real world. To see this breadth and depth of wider understanding at this age is very rare indeed and consequently Serena was awarded a Foundation Scholarship (Repton’s highest academic accolade). She was driven to be at the forefront of scientific research and endeavour, and I have no doubt that her story will continue to be an exceptional one in the field of medicine." 

Headmaster Mark Semmence leads the Repton community in celebrating Serena's success: "We are enormously proud of Serena's achievements, from being appointed BME Officer in her first year and now to break new ground as the President of Trinity College SU in her second year on top of the demands of her medical studies. She embodies the principle that a person’s race, gender or age should never be a barrier to achievement. I would encourage Serena to enjoy every moment of this extraordinary achievement, but it is most unlike her to glory in the moment. I have no doubt that Serena will leave an astonishing legacy at Trinity College, much as she has done here at Repton."

Serena truly embodies the Repton spirit that participation in whatever arena fosters wellbeing. During her time here, apart from her academic achievements, Serena was awarded the Arkwright Scholarship for Engineering, achieved her Grade 7 in piano and baritone horn, her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, was a Flight Sergeant in RAF cadets and played in goal for our senior hockey team. Her advice to others? "Always make time to do what you are passionate about. The more extra curriculars I take on, the more time I find that I have in the day. This is counter-intuitive but I find that it works for things that I enjoy or care about. It also applies to relaxation and spending time with friends and family, which is incredibly important for maintaining my mental health and self-care."