Head girl, who moved to Yorkshire from Eritrea nine years ago, dedicates incredible A-level success to her late father after he died of Covid-19

A teenager who arrived in Yorkshire nine years ago unable to speak English has dedicated her A-level success to her late father, following his death from Covid-19 last year.

Miriam Solomon, a student at The Grammar School at Leeds (GSAL), achieved an A* in Spanish and As in biology and chemistry, bringing her a step closer to her dream of becoming a paediatrician and returning to her native Eritrea to open a clinic in her father’s memory.

Miriam, whose father died in Italy in October, will now study medicine at Hull York Medical School with the help of an Academic Excellence Scholarship from her school, a scheme which was introduced this year to help students with the transition from school to university.

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She said: “I have always wanted to work with children. There is something so energetic and optimistic about working with them and, ultimately, I want to go back to Eritrea and do this in my father’s name.”

Miriam Solomon

Miriam, who was head girl at GSAL, arrived in Burmantofts, Leeds, with her mother, brother and sister, speaking her native Tigrinya language and Italian.

She admits that her lack of English made it difficult at first to settle down and make friends, however her aptitude for languages meant that within a few months she was able to get by. She is now also fluent in French and Spanish.

She said: “I am thrilled. To have achieved such great results, especially during these unprecedented times has really showed me how far resilience and hard work can go.”