Teenage student Ambassador welcomes new kids to Oak Park High School

PUBLISHED: 11:04 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 11:04 30 November 2017

Young Citizen nominees from Oaks Park High School. Rhia Gondhia

Young Citizen nominees from Oaks Park High School. Rhia Gondhia


Oaks Park High School Year 8 student Rhia Gondhia likes to make people feel welcome.

The 12-year-old student ambassador, of Amhurst Drive, Ilford, supports newly-arrived Year 7s by helping them form friendships, introducing them to teachers, and explaining the consequences of not doing homework among other areas.

She was recruited as one of 28 ambassadors after submitting a lengthy application outlining everything she knows about the school and why she felt she was a good fit.

Explaining her decision to apply, she said: “I just thought it would be good experience and I like helping out and looking out for other people.”

Former Head of Year James Todd said: “She is an outstanding ambassador, who quietly and reassuringly supports our new Year 7 students and ensures that they are settling in a feel safe and comfortable at school.”

“Rhia is a young person with a caring outlook in life. She always puts others first.”

As a councillor for her Omega school house, Rhia also organises events in subjects such as maths and history where she competes against rival houses.

A recent history competition in medieval castle construction saw a Year 7 pupil cruise to victory with her support.

The castle was judged rigorously against a number of success criteria including its strength and the quantity of food supplies it could contain.

Talking about what she’d like to do in future, Rhia says that she would like to study law as she feels this is a career where she could help people the most.

Alongside her school commitments, Rhia enjoys badminton and plays the drums.

The Young Citizen Award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The aim of the scheme is to highlight all the good things that young people do in Redbridge. Each week we focus on a nominee and each month one is chosen as a finalist. The overall winner will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing


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