Gemma Sparks’ dream is to be model. And she is about to undergo her ‘biggest achievement yet’.
The 18-year-old, of Challoners, Horsted Keynes, is to compete in Top Model 2018 – a model, fashion and awards show taking place at the Hilton London Metropole.
She said: “I have always wanted to be a model for as long as I can remember. And I have always told people that it is what I want to do.
“All throughout school I was made fun of and bullied about my aspirations and I was told I would never make it. So last year, when I was 17, I decided I was going to prove everyone wrong.
“I applied for Top Model out of a moment of determination. Not long after applying I heard back from them offering me an interview. I couldn’t believe it. I went to the interview and I was selected as a finalist.
"I am now preparing for the finals and I’d like to say that I am so grateful to all the people who told me me I couldn’t do it because each person who told me that, made me want to do it even more.
“It is a great feeling, I didn’t think I would ever get this far to be honest. It is my biggest achievement yet.”
Gemma, who works part-time in Sainsbury's in Haywards Heath, has been ‘getting into shape’ at Solan Fitness in East Grinstead, in preparation for the finals, which take place on Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7.
She said: “I am nervous and excited, I haven’t done anything as big as this before, I have had a lot of tips on how to prepare for it. I have been put in the commercial category, which I am happy about as my goal is to be a bikini model. We have rehearsals on March 24.
“My mum, dad and my boyfriend Oli are coming up with me, they are really supportive. My mum has always wanted me to model.”
Top Model supports Children with Cancer UK. To find out more visit www.topmodel.co.uk