Nicole Barr hit the headlines recently with a mark of 162 in a test set by high IQ society Mensa – two points higher than the famous geniuses.
The score puts her in the top one per cent of intelligent people in the world.
Nicole, who comes from the travelling community and is a Year 8 student at Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue, Harlow, has just returned from an all-expenses paid trip to the European Parliament.
The top student has attracted attention from Oxford University who welcomed her along for a tour.
She said: “It’s all a bit overwhelming; I’m trying to cope with everything that’s happening.
“I had bad attendance at primary school and my mum struggled to get me to come to Burnt Mill on my first day. But, this school has turned my life around. If I had gone to another school, I would not have got that score in the Mensa test. Ever since the first day, I have been excited every single day to come to school because of the way they teach. It’s amazing to come to Burnt Mill.”
During her three-day trip to Brussels last week with mum Dolly, Nicole took part in the Roma Youth Empowerment conference celebrating successful academic achievements of people from the Roma community.
Nicole was personally invited to take part in the conference, where she was able to share her story with others from the Roma community around the world.
She said: “There was a roller banner with a biography about me for everyone to read about what I have achieved and what I am interested in. The whole conference was about how much Roma can achieve. People say bad things about Roma that aren’t true and often judge a book by its cover. My mum says people claim to be from Roma and do bad things, but our community is civilised and good.
“It was an amazing experience and I learnt a lot. I am really proud I could be a part of it; it was such a big opportunity for me.”
After reading of her academic success, Oxford University got in touch to invite Nicole to spend a day on site.
Nicole, who wants to study medicine, said: “I was able to carry out some experiments, including one on a beating heart and extracting DNA from a pea.
“I’ve never been to a university before, so it was nice to have a look around.”
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