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I left WGHS after GCSEs to pursue a career in acting and theatre, joining the Birmingham Ormiston Academy where I achieved a National Diploma in Musical Theatre and an A Level in English Literature. A hard choice at the time but the best decision I've ever made.

After graduating, I landed my first job on a Cruise Ship as a Presenter and Vocalist travelling around the western and eastern Mediterranean, and North Africa. I progressed within the company becoming their youngest Senior Presenter and went on to do three contracts travelling around different parts of the world.

Following on from the successful contracts, my partner and I were asked to rebrand and redevelopment a new Entertainment Programme for three 5* Resorts and a Casino Theatre in St Maarten in the Caribbean.

So that was our next stop. We cast a team and moved over in the Summer of last year where I took on the role of Principal Vocalist in our Casino Shows and Programme Coordinator of Entertainment. Safe to say, it has been the best year of my life. We’ve written and produced 6 new shows for the Casino Theatre bringing in people from all over the world. We’ve implemented a brand-new programme for the resorts collaborating with Michelin Star chefs, famous music artists, the Ministry of Sound as well as introducing a Family and Fitness & Well Being Product to all of our Resorts.

Unfortunately, in early September, our island was hit head on by the force of Hurricane Irma. Myself, along with 250 guests and 100 staff took shelter in our makeshift bunker in a conference room in one of our hotels. We did everything in our power to protect our guests and keep the storm out but nothing could have prepared us for what was coming. The eye of the storm hit us early hours on Wednesday morning. We were originally split into two rooms, and as one started to deteriorate we evacuated everybody into one and braced the doors... Good job we did as there is now nothing left of that room!

We were two floors up but we started to flood very quickly, ceiling tiles fell down, the walls shook, the pressure in the room was like being on an aeroplane, and the sound was like nothing I can describe. Definitely the scariest point of my life so far.

Luckily everything we did to prevent our room our room getting destroyed, worked and we got through without any fatalities or injuries. The island however was a different story. When it was eventually safe enough to go outside it was a shock to us all I think. The only way to describe it was as if an atomic bomb had gone off. The buildings were completely compromised, the roofs were gone, concrete had been stripped from buildings, trees were felled there was debris, glass, parts of building everywhere you looked. A sign from one of our bars was found in the British Viirgin Isles over a hundred miles away! After the terror, then came survival mode. Everybody that was able stuck in to help clean up, sanitise areas, get food and water, secure our room and clean out the flood water. By a stroke of luck, within our group of guests we had a pastor with strong links to Samaritans Purse, construction workers (grooms party), a hurricane disaster specialist, a staff captain of a ship, doctors, nurses, chefs... just to name a few, but each and every person was instrumental. With the help of our owner, the pastor and the Dutch marines, We managed to evacuate all of our guests from the island three days after, whilst we prepared for the Hurricane Jose that was heading towards. This time we changed locations to somewhere smaller a little more sheltered but luckily Jose changed direction and only tickled us with a little rain on his way past.

The night after Jose, having had evacuated all the guests, the rest of us let our hair down and took one night to celebrate the fact that we'd made it. It was emotional on every level but we were all so grateful that everybody made it out alive. It stands out to me though maybe even more than everyone else, as whilst we were queuing up for much needed hot food, Shep (my partner) asked me to marry him and all I can remember doing is saying, 'Of course I will', and crying for the next hour! Three or four days after that we eventually evacuated the island spending a week in New York before a long flight home to our families.

The whole experience has changed my life in so many ways, our home, a year of hard work and our jobs have been completely destroyed but I've never been more grateful for life and everybody that surrounds me. We are now back in England for our first Christmas at home in three years and working remotely to help rebuild our hotel and island and do what we can to raise money for the people of St Maarten and the Caribbean. We are hoping to go back in the new year and help with an Academy Programme for the staff and young people on the island to get them into jobs and get a sense of life back.

So that is my story so far, its so different than I could have ever imagined leaving Girls' High but I have learnt so much and met so many wonderful people.

I'm a Girls' High girl through and through and everything I've done in my life has come back to the values I learnt whilst I was there.

I still have my case study of Hurricane Katrina that I wrote with Mrs. Conolly as part of my Geography GCSE. I suppose I have a real life account to write now.

I can't thank WGHS enough for what I learnt. I made my best friends there it set me up for everything I've done. I wish the best of luck to the current students and all I'll say is do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life!

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