I am Seema Elkhider from Sudan. We moved to the UK when I was 14 as the education system in Sudan had changed drastically and my parents wanted to ensure we received a good education. I completed my GCSEs in one year and my results were average. I then joined The Tuition Centre – now known as Brampton College – when I was 15, hoping to get into medical school. I knew my chances were slim as my GCSE results were not great. The Tuition Centre at the time was very small and based in Golders Green. I still remember how much my parents liked Bernard, the Principal, and how they were sure that this was the right place for me.
Going to The Tuition Centre changed my life. I was really supported and encouraged to apply to medical school. The teachers were phenomenal. They dedicated their time to the students and offered so much support. I still remember Mr Donaldson, my Chemistry teacher, who made me love Chemistry and made it seem so easy. I dreaded Chemistry before him and getting an A grade became so simple after his teaching! The Tuition Centre was a great experience for me. It helped me mature and grow as a person. The staff made it feel like a family environment. I also made some great friends, whom I am still in touch with.
Thanks to the college, I did well enough to get in to medical school. I went to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. After I graduated I moved to the USA to pursue my training in Medicine at John’s Hopkins, which was the number one hospital in the USA. I was awarded resident of the year award during my training. I then pursued my fellowship training in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology at The University of Wisconsin.
I worked in the USA for a few years then I relocated to the UAE to be close to family. I am currently working as an Interventional Cardiologist at a leading hospital in the UAE. I am also the Cardiology Fellowship program director as well as the Associate Dean for Health Sciences. I have always loved teaching and wish one day I can make a difference.
Recently my niece, Nayla, wanted to move to the UK to finish her A levels and to apply to medical school. I travelled with Nayla to the Uk to look for good A level colleges. I pursued my family tradition in seeking the best possible education for my niece. We googled The Tuition Centre and went to find it in Golders Green but it was not there.
We found Brampton College in Hendon, which was clearly one of the top colleges so we arranged for an interview. I was with Nayla, waiting in the lobby for the interview, when I saw Bernard standing there smiling with the same gesture (arms on his waist!), looking exactly the same as 20 plus years ago! I approached him and asked him if he was at The Tuition Centre and what an incredible coincidence it was. It is the same Bernard, my Principal from The Tuition Centre. It was truly amazing!! I had a flashback of all the nice memories from The Tuition Centre. It turned out the The Tuition Centre had moved to Hendon and the name was changed to Brampton College. I also met Pam, head of Admissions, who is still sweet and, after 20 plus years, I just realised she is Bernard’s wife!
Tuition Centre was one of the best experiences of my life and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for going there. I feel very lucky to have had such great parents, teachers and mentors, and I remain grateful to them. I am sure Nayla, my niece, will do amazingly well at Brampton College. I just hope that one day I can make a similar difference and be remembered much the same way as Bernard and the Brampton family.