Staff and students from Harris City Academy Crystal Palace were paid a visit earlier this week by ex-pupil and 2019 Apprentice winner Carina Lepore, back to the academy where she was a student from 1998 until 2004.

Carina, 30, who lives in Croydon, is the owner and founder of the Dough Artisan Bakehouse in Herne Hill and attended the academy from 1998 until 2004.

She rose to fame during the 2019 series of the Apprentice where she scooped the top prize, landing the job as Lord Sugar's newest business partner and gaining £250,000 investment.

During her visit, Carina spoke to Year 12 students at the academy about her journey since leaving school, entrepreneurship and how she started her own business in Croydon aged just 18. She also discussed her experiences on the Apprentice and what she learned from taking part in the show. She won an impressive nine of ten tasks throughout the competition and was the project manager for three of those wins.

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Disha, a year 12 student at the school said: "It was so great to meet and speak to Carina about how she built her business and landed the investment from Lord Sugar.

"She was such a lovely person and gave us some great advice. I’m feeling very inspired.”

She also met two of her old teachers – Mrs Sales in food technology and Ms Gatty, Carina’s media studies teacher.

Katherine Cumberbatch, principal of Harris City Academy Crystal Palace added: “It was a delight to welcome Carina back to her academy to speak to our current students about her journey from our school, opening her first business and then going onto win the Apprentice.

"Carina is a fantastic role model to our students – she is a driven, ambitious businesswoman who has shown that with hard work and a passion to succeed our students really can achieve anything they set their minds to.”