From escaping her war torn homeland to being granted a place at a Russell group university, that was the whirlwind ride of Hosanna Makanda, who came to the UK not speaking a word of English in 2011.

The former Congolese national had an unstable family life due to the devastating civil war. Her father was forced to seek asylum in the UK in 2002 and her mother in 2005.

Now living Palmers Green, the 20-year-old achieved an A*, two A’s and a B in her A levels in French, English language and literature, and sociology at City and Islington College.

As a result of her success, Hosanna will be taking up a place at the University of Birmingham to study law.

Ms Makanda said: “I am so happy to get these results. I have had an amazing journey at the college from knowing no English to getting these results today. My teachers have helped me so much and have helped me believe in myself and become passionate about my subjects.

“I have always wanted to be a lawyer. I have developed a need to defend other people through growing up in situations where I have so often had to defend myself. I often had no one to defend me, now I want to be there for others.”

Sixth Form College director Keren Abse said: “Hosanna’s story is remarkable and she is a unique, talented and inspiring student. She has worked very hard and her teachers have done a great job supporting her and I am pleased that she has got her first choice university place.”