Louise Takata

“The fact that I could attend Northampton High gave me the very best start in life and that was entirely because of the financial assistance I was offered.”

“On my first day at Northampton, I remember forgetting my lunchbox and having to go home again to get it – at that time it seemed like the worst thing in the world, but in reality I only lived 5 minutes’ walk away!

At the time, my parents were divorced and I lived with my mum and stepdad. As a new student aged 11, I was too young to understand what financial assistance meant, but when I reached Sixth Form and was running the risk of having to leave all my friends behind for financial reasons, receiving a bursary and half fees scholarship meant the world to me and enabled me to really put my all into my A Levels.

It’s very difficult to summarise my time at school into just a few words, but I’d say the teachers were so supportive throughout my time there. Their enthusiasm for their subjects shined through and was infectious. Particularly for me as a keen student of languages, the whole Modern Languages department ignited my enthusiasm for foreign cultures and languages. Northampton High offered me the chance to learn French, Spanish, German, Russian, Latin, and take part in Japanese club.

I went on to study French, Spanish and Japanese at university, and after graduating I moved to Japan to be an assistant English teacher at elementary and junior high school. After two years I then started work for the Kobe City government in International Relations, translating official documents and interpreting for the Mayor when he received guests from abroad. I was then promoted to Public Relations Specialist within the same local government, and was responsible for promoting the city to an international audience. After three years in that post, and seven years in Japan, I returned to the UK to study a Masters in Japanese at Cambridge University, and after graduating I have taken another career path and am now training to be a chartered accountant as I work as an auditor.

Had I not had financial assistance, I certainly wouldn’t have had such a strong passion for languages, and would probably not have studied French, Spanish and Japanese at university. I therefore wouldn’t have lived in Japan for seven years and would not have met my Japanese husband! When you put it like that, my whole life now is thanks to going to Northampton High, which was only made possible through the generous financial assistance the school offered.

I left Northampton High School just before it joined the GDST, in 2007. I can see just how much the school has gone from strength to strength under the GDST umbrella and I hope that it will continue to do so. The fact that I could attend Northampton High gave me the very best start in life and that was entirely because of the financial assistance I was offered. I had the same fantastic experience as everyone else and in no way felt at any disadvantage at all. Northampton taught me to be confident and fearless, to take opportunities life gives you with both hands, and to be responsible for my own destiny. I would say it was life changing.

Now, as always, there are so many people who have great potential, but who cannot access opportunities to reach that potential, such as joining a GDST school, for financial reasons. Bursaries offer a fantastic way for them to do this. To others who could offer support to fund these bursaries, I’d say your help can make a huge difference to the lives of girls such as me who could not otherwise access the exceptional education that GDST schools offer. To girls starting in September who are in receipt of a bursary, I’d say enjoy and appreciate your time, and take all the fantastic opportunities open to you”.

Louise Takata
Audit Associate, PwC UK
Northampton High School
Class of 2007

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