Year 13 Chiara Benn has been awarded the prestigious Oakley Award travel scholarship as well as £500 towards her Gap Year project.
The Oakley Award was founded by Mr Michael Oakley, the former chief executive of the GDST, to offer financial assistance to GDST students embarking on a project that relates to their ongoing career or study development.
In June 2017, Chiara will embark on a 22 day journey to Cambodia and Vietnam, filming and creating a video series mapping cultural heritage and charitable programmes. She will be travelling with the Charity ‘G Adventures’ which aims to minimise the negative environmental and social impacts of tourism, and to offer authentic adventures in a responsible and sustainable manner. Launched in 1990, this travel company seeks to maximise tourism’s benefits by funding ‘Planeterra’ training or cultural preservation schemes.
Chiara said: “My time at Putney High has granted me a positive future outlook; one where an individual can make a difference. This scholarship will fund a socially responsible film and art project. Refining skills and gaining inspiration from a culture so remote from my own will fuel my own artistic development and enhance my portfolio whilst drawing attention to Vietnam and Cambodia’s pursuit of the elimination of absolute poverty.”
Art and Academic scholar Chiara is passionate about film making, an interest which she hopes to further at university.
“This will be an unforgettable experience aiding my future career and study,” she said.