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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 18 June 2018

Two of UAE's exceptional academic talents tell of future plans

Both pupils attend Brighton College in Abu Dhabi and one will represent the UAE at an International Physics Olympiad this summer

Brighton College Abu Dhabi pupils, Edward Garemo and Dami Adekeye, are top performing pupils with big plans ahead. Victor Besa / The National
Brighton College Abu Dhabi pupils, Edward Garemo and Dami Adekeye, are top performing pupils with big plans ahead. Victor Besa / The National

In a great push for science and maths, the UAE’s participation in the International Physics Olympiad in Lisbon this year has paved the way for extraordinary pupils to prove their excellence.

In July, five of the best physics pupils from each participating country will face off in a 10-hour challenge evenly split between a theoretical exam and experiment.

Among the young physicists representing the UAE is a Brighton College pupil who has always been ahead of his time.

Edward Garemo is no regular pupil; he earned the highest possible grades in a number of international exams — some of which he elected to sit two years early.

He achieved the highest grade worldwide in A-level computing, achieving ten A stars for his GCSEs. He has already sat four A-Levels and will take an additional four by the end of the year.

“Most pupils do three A-Levels. I have an innate curiosity and passion for learning, and instead of confining myself to three, I chose to pursue eight,” said the 17-year-old Swede. “I will also be graduating a year early, at the end of Year 12.”

When the entrepreneurial autodidact is not scoring top ranks in academics or practicing sports (he has the brown belt in Karate and goes to the gym everyday), he runs a number of businesses, some he started aged just 10-years-old.

“I founded a business with my younger brother at our summer house in Sweden where we bought ice cream in large packets and the drove in our small motorboat around the archipelago selling to boats and bathers.”

The business was featured in a number of national magazines and newspapers and ran for six summers before Edward handed the reigns over to his siblings.

When he was 12, he found the Swedish Cookie Company, selling organic cookies at the farmers’ market in Khalifa Park. His impressive salesman skills landed him a job at Ripe Market where he displayed his wares for the first half of grade eight.

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He also has a tutoring business and a charitable endeavours and leadership organisation named CareerFear.

“It is a charity that I run with a friend, Tanishq. Millions of students around the world don’t know what career they want to pursue in the future: we’re trying to change that,” he said.

When Edward saw an opportunity to represent the UAE at the IPO, he applied to join the UAE team, which he studied for independently.

“If you manage to qualify for this competition you have proven that you are one of the best physicists your age in the world. At the competition itself you can earn various medals based off the score you achieve," he said.

“I do enjoy challenging myself, and you don’t get to do that at this level almost anywhere else: this is one of the most prestigious high-school science competitions in the world."

He passed the first and second qualifications exams, scoring third place overall in the UAE.

Also proving exceptional academic skills from the Abu Dhabi-based school, is his colleague Dami Adekeye.

Not only has the 17-year-old received offers from 19 of the World’s top Universities in the US, UK and Canada, the Yale admissions officer even sent she a handwritten note reading: “Your school thinks the world of you and so do we!"

After scanning universities for months, and visiting some of them in the US, Adekeye had to narrow her 50 options down to 20.

Her thorough research and preparation proved successful when she received her first acceptance letter from York last December.

“York was one of my top choices and it was my first acceptance, so you develop a special connection to it, so I was really happy and went screaming to my parents,” she recalled.

Her 19th acceptance letter came from Stanford on April 1, which is one of her two top choices.

“I have not decided yet which one I will go to yet, debating between Yale and Stanford those were always my favourite.”’

She has yet to settle on a major but said she is leaning towards international relations and economics.

“When I first came to the UAE in 2011, I was ten, and I’ve been living my whole life in Houston Texas, so was a culture shock at first, but quickly turned into a way for me to understand different cultures,” said the year 13 pupil.

“And we have such a wide student body here at Brighton, so that opened my mind more to the world that I am living, and made me see things in a different perspective.”