Nailsea School presidents, Anna Richardson and Josh Hayler tell their inspiring stories of success!

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Anna and Josh were elected as School Presidents for 2016 – 2017 by the student body and staff at Nailsea School.  Anna and Josh were both Head Girl/Boy in Year 11 and have played an active role within the Student Council.  They are both incredibly talented musicians and have appeared in a number of school productions and concerts since they began at Nailsea School in Year 7.


What did you aspire to be like or do?

Anna: To be able to make friends more easily and to be more fearless and just get over myself.

Josh: I aspired to become part of the presidential team at Nailsea and help bring about real change for the students.


What are your aspirations for the future?

Anna: I want to be a creative director and work in advertising. Or pursue a career in music.

Josh: At the moment I’m looking around different universities. I’d really like to study music but after that I’m not sure!


Who inspired you to develop the aspirations that you have/had?

Anna: A lot of my achievements have been self-motivated but I’ve had support from friends and family to achieve the things I want.

Josh: Both of my parents have been really supportive in making sure that I do what I really enjoy. My piano tutors have always been great mentors that I can look up to but I find anybody who is truly fascinated by what they do inspiring.


How has belief in yourself helped you to succeed?

Anna: I know if I don’t try I will regret it so I always put myself in for things. I just try not to think too much into it so if I want it-I will go and get it.

Josh: In terms of being the School President I’ve had to think hard about whether or not I can handle the responsibility and pressure that comes with it. That took a lot of belief in my abilities to take it on.

What gives you or has given you the perseverance to continue believing you will succeed?

Anna: I think opening as many doors as you can will help you at times where you’re feeling a bit stuck career wise.

Josh: Whenever I have an issue about self-belief I always remember a quote by Henry Ford that my Dad always says, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right”.


Give an example of a hurdle that you have overcome in order to succeed.

Anna: I was painfully shy and found it really hard making friends (to be honest I didn’t have any). Now I can perform in front of massive crowds and enjoy myself because I’m no longer a nervous person. I put myself in for roles that are out of my comfort zone. For example, I worked for Lush Cosmetics (200 applied, 24 got the job) and am currently working at Urban Outfitters in Bristol.

Josh: The easiest hurdle for me to think of would be to do with my piano. The biggest hurdle is getting past frustration and putting in the hours of work in order to achieve my distinction at my last exam.


What do you consider to be your biggest success (academic, career or personal life) and why?

Anna: I’m dyslexic and my GCSE results were miles better than my predicted grades. My music is by far my biggest success. Also obtaining jobs where there was a great deal of competition for them from the age of 16.

Josh: I was really pleased with my GCSE results. I got eight As and four A*s. This took hard work and perseverance and I had to go out of my way to find extra work and help from the teachers.


Who helped you succeed and how did they help you?

Anna: My family and friends purely by being there for me at my lowest points.

Josh: The teachers at Nailsea were all really supportive. I realised quickly that the more work I put in, the more I could get out of them.


What one piece of advice would you give to help someone succeed?

Anna: The more uncomfortable and out of your comfort zone you feel, the better it will be for you. Don’t think too much into something you want – if you want, just go get it or you will regret it.

Josh: I think that most of the time you get the outcome that you deserve. The more hard work you put in, the more success you will get out.