Maria Paduroiu is a Rising Star!

Maria Paduroiu (No.2, 2016 – 18) has won the ‘Rising Star’ award in the Independent Schools’ Awards.

We are delighted to announce that Maria Paduroiu (No.2, 2016 – 18), has won the ‘Rising Star’ award in the Independent Schools’ Awards. The award recognises an individual who has achieved incredibly highly, despite difficult circumstances.

In September 2016, an HMC East European Scholar joined Roedean for the first time. An excited, yet slightly nervous, Maria Paduroiu from Romania arrived with a steely confidence and a determination to make the very best of the opportunity. Straight away, it was clear that she was going to make an impression, and a difference. Maria arrived at Roedean as a 6-time World Karate Champion. In Romania, she trained intensively with her coach, but this was not possible when she came to boarding school. She quickly came to the realisation that coming to Roedean might mean that she would have to sacrifice her dream, but she was determined to work independently to see if she could maintain her exceptional standard. Not only did she have to keep up her training, but somehow she also had to raise funds to travel to competitions – she quickly began to run her own karate classes at a local gym and also found an entrepreneur who sponsored her travel. In her Lower Sixth year, she became World Champion for the seventh time.
Maria is far more than just a karate champion, she is a pro-active dynamic young woman with a keen social conscience, who took advantage of everything Roedean has to offer. She achieved academic success, she is currently reading Criminology and Lancaster University, and was elected by the rest of the school to be the Charity Prefect in 2017-2018.

When I got the email announcing that I had won the Rising Star Award, I had to read it three times in order to actually understand that what I was reading was real. My heart was beating so fast, and I was amazed that my name will actually be in such a prestigious magazine.
I found out that the winners were voted on social media and knowing that this evolving platform is so tough and intimidating, I was touched to know that so many people were able to relate to my story, and were actually impressed with what I did. For me, all the efforts I made and all the work were things that I loved and enjoyed doing, so seeing my work being appreciated by so many people made me feel very proud of myself. Now I know that whenever I look back, I will see this little girl who was afraid to speak up, transformed into a confident woman after 2 years at Roedean School, and now I am actually a Rising Star.


Maria has been asked to be the face of the awards, and there is talk that she may even appear on television in the new year to talk about her experiences – what a brilliant achievement!