The Star Says: Hard work can make dreams come true

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It’s no secret that hard work can take you places and allow dreams to become reality.

So today it is heartening to see a local lad made good who will setting off for the experience of a lifetime in New York.

Artist, designer and musician Del Hoyle has been selected out of 12,000 entries to go to The New School – a legendary progressive university that dates from 1919 – for free.

Graduates of the institution include Marlon Brando, Woody Allen, fashion designer Marc Jacobs and former US first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

Del, a miner’s son who grew up in Swinton, Rotherham, but now lives in Hunter’s Bar, Sheffield, probably thinks he’s nothing out of the ordinary but clearly he has a special talent.

That talent, put together with an appetite for work, is now taking him somewhere almost unique to people from this country.

Another who will soon be on the other side of The Pond is Elle Winfield, a sixth form student from Doncaster’s Hayfield School, who has beaten around 62,000 applicants to win a prestigious scholarship for ‘future leaders’.

Elle will become a Robertson Scholar at Duke University, North Carolina, with all fees paid for her over four years with international travel each summer.

The 18-year old will study English Literature within the programme that invests in young leaders who ‘strive to make transformational contributions to society’.

Again this opportunity hasn’t just been handed on a plate. To win her place Elle attended an American summer school at Yale University last summer and completed 20 essays over 12 months.

Final interviews took place last December at Oxford University.

Scholars are selected for academic achievement, intellectual curiosity, moral character, leadership and collaborative spirit.

One can only imagine the dedication Elle, who is already a voluntary Ambassador for the National Citizenship Service, has to her studies.

Strong support at home and at school will also have contributed to an environment for excellence.

Whether Del and Elle ever imagined they’d win these scholarships is beside the point.

What they did was give themselves an opportunity to do so.

Hard work can open all sorts of doors and we wish them both well.