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Homeless Pupil Wins A Place At Cambridge with Straight A*s After Spending 12 Hours A Day In The Library

13/08/2015 12:16 BST | Updated 17/08/2017 12:06 BST

A homeless pupil has achieved four A*s and won a place to study law at Cambridge University after spending 12 hours a day in his sixth-form library.

Jacob Lewis, a 22-year-old from Cardiff, could barely afford to eat after he was left homeless following a fall out with his family. The student then lost his zero-hours contract job at a nightclub when he asked for time-off to take his exams.

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Jumping for joy with his A-level results

But his college helped support him with travel and living expenses - and even put him up in a hotel when he had nowhere else to go.

"It’s been a hard fight," Jacob said. "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."

He continued: "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.

“I’m so incredibly grateful to the college for all they did for me. I’m the first in my family to go to university, It’s been a trying time but it has been worth it."

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Jacob left school at 17 and spent three years working in debt management before returning to education as a mature student.

But his relationship with his family "broke down " and he had to start sleeping on friend's sofas - but spent every waking hour at the college.

He was supported through his studies at Coleg y Cymoedd - Welsh for Valleys College - in Nantgarw, near Pontypridd, South Wales, after they accessed the "student hardship fund".

Jacob hit the four A*s in History, Law, Sociology and the Welsh Baccalaureate.

He gained a 100% in his history A-level and 100% overall in Law, both in coursework and his exams - and became the college's first student to secure a place at Cambridge University to study law.

Jacob added: “I’m absolutely delighted with my results and I hope this shows Welsh students that with hard work and dedication this can be done and dreams can come true.

“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.”

Coleg y Cymoedd is the largest A Level provider in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf with over 500 learners receiving results today.

College principal Judith Evans said she was "very proud" of Jacob's achievements along with their other pupils.

She said: “Our exceptional performance at A Level is the deserved reward of two years’ hard work by the learners and staff."

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