A SPORTY Stourbridge student is set to pursue her American dream after landing a scholarship at a top US university.

Lizi Mills, who has just picked up five A-levels at grade A from King Edward VI College, will be jetting off to study at the $50,000 a year Bowdoin College in Maine after winning a place and financial grant to study at the prestigious institution.

The star football and ruby player was one of 150 students nationally selected for a summer school in the US last year as part of the Sutton Trust’s US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission, which is aimed at talented UK state school students.

She said: “It’s an amazing opportunity, I always knew sports would be a big factor in my university choice and being able to play sports at varsity level in America and pursue an academic degree is fantastic, it leaves both pathways open.

“The Sutton Trust, the staff at King Edward VI College and my coaches have supported me through the whole process and I am so grateful, it still seems slightly surreal.”

Principal Sharon Phillips praised Lizi’s success and added: “Lizi is a student who embodies the King Edward’s ethos, combining excellence in her studies with an outstanding contribution to college life outside the classroom. We’re delighted for her and wish every success with her exciting new life as a freshman student in the US.”

Lizi, who lives in Bewdley, also considered Harvard, Stanford and other top American universities but decided the best option was Bowdoin College, which will be offering her more than $200,000 in funding. She hopes to head to Harvard University afterwards though, to complete a master’s degree.

Meanwhile Haybridge Sixth Form student Dan Hughes, aged 18, is also heading for a top American college after studying at Ivy League University Yale’s summer school last year as part of the Sutton Trust US Programme.

Keen sportsman Dan, a football and athletics star, will spend four years studying at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, where he will major in mathematics and engineering.

The college is a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), which was established in 1823, and is known as one of the ‘Little Ivies’.

Dan said: ‘I don’t think words can describe quite how elated I feel.

‘I would like to thank the fantastic team at Sutton Trust for their support and the extraordinarily generous financial offer to make my dream come true. If hearing about my success can encourage someone else to apply for the programme I would be delighted."

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment Foundation, said he was delighted for the students, adding: "Our US summer school programme is going from strength to strength. As well as offering a fantastic opportunity for some of our brightest young people to get a taste of life at leading American universities, it also lights a beacon for thousands of state school students who are genuine candidates for these universities.”