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From refugee to budding doctor, Bristol student celebrated with Bristol Post Gold Star Award

7 December 2017

The triumph of a University of Bristol student who began life as a refugee, and who is now studying medicine, has been recognised this week with a Bristol Post Gold Star Award.

Celebrated amongst other inspiring and courageous Bristolians, 18-year-old Beranger Igiraneza arrived in Bristol aged four with his mother and three brothers, as refugees from war-torn Burundi in East Africa.

Despite the plight of his early years, the young man studied hard and made his family proud by achieving top A-level grades which won him a place to study medicine at Bristol through the Bristol Scholars scheme.

Now on the way to becoming a doctor, Beranger’s academic prowess and strong desire to give back and help others, is paving the way for a very bright future.

Beranger said: “The people here offered us their time and patience. It’s made me a firm believer that we all need to raise one another up. Anyone could find themselves in that situation – the support I received early on has made me feel obligated to help others.”

Beranger’s mother, Spes Rununga accepted the Gold Star Achiever Award on behalf of her son at the ceremony which was held at the Bristol Harbour Hotel earlier this week.

Bristol Scholars is a new University of Bristol initiative to make lower offers to high potential local pupils - moving away from the traditional focus on grades and instead looking at the student's potential as assessed by their teachers, taking into account any form of educational disadvantage.

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