Students’ Successes Celebrated at Annual Awards Ceremony

04 July 2019 | Access to HE & GCSEs, Apprentices, Childcare, Health & Social Care, Employers, Learning Difficulties & Disabilities, Performing Arts & Music, Sport & Leisure, Student Life

Community work, volunteering and overcoming adversity were just some of the many achievements celebrated at City College Plymouth’s recent Student of the Year awards.

The annual ceremony recognises students who have really gone above and beyond – making a positive contribution to the College or local community, or overcoming personal challenges to achieve highly in their studies.

The award winners were joined by family, friends and their nominating lecturers as well as local employers who presented five special awards. They all enjoyed a delicious three-course meal prepared by the College’s hospitality and catering students before receiving their certificates and prizes.

Ben Manning, Deputy Principal of City College, said: “The Student of the Year awards ceremony is an important event for the College and a great way to round off our academic year. It provides us with an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge some of the remarkable achievements of our students and recognise publicly their hard work and commitment.

“These students, some of whom have had to overcome additional barriers, have all achieved fantastic results and deserve to be congratulated. The staff at the College are enormously proud of their accomplishments and the way in which they reflect so well on the City. It really is an honour to celebrate the outstanding qualities and achievements of our students and to share in their successes with family, friends and tutors.”

Award Winners

Max Lavis, 20, Stoke

Apprentice of the Year

Max left school at 16 and with his employer, student accommodation company Tern Quay, he has progressed with his painting and decorating qualifications from a traineeship to an Apprenticeship. He has demonstrated his ability to learn and has quickly gained valuable skills and experience, and is now taking the lead on various projects in his workplace. Max has consistently exceeded his employer’s expectations.

Max said: “I’ve worked hard to succeed, and the support I’ve had from both the College and my employer during my Apprenticeship has helped me to push through all of the challenges I’ve faced. My time at City College has taught me perseverance and leadership skills, and I am proud to now be supervising and supporting a new apprentice in my workplace.”

Lewis Matti, 21, St Budeaux

Endeavour Award

Lewis is a student who has faced numerous personal challenges, but is ready to face whatever life throws at him. Not only is Lewis highly motivated to succeed, but he is described by his lecturers as “an incredibly kind, thoughtful student” who always goes above and beyond expectations.

Lewis said: “I’ve benefited from taking part in a variety of work placements during my Independence and Life Skills course and also been supported to swim for the Special Olympics and to work towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I love the College and with my increased confidence have enjoyed being a student representative, passing information between staff and my fellow students.”

Bracken Mitchell, 18, Stoke

Community Engagement Award, sponsored by the Real Ideas Organisation

Bracken is a Health and Social Care student who works hard, supports her peers and takes up every opportunity to gain valuable work experience and help others. Whilst this can be expected from someone hoping to start a career in the care industry, Bracken’s nominating lecturer highlighted that she is someone who stands out from the rest for going the extra mile.

Jenny Bishop from the Real Ideas Organisation, said: “We chose Bracken as the winner for this year’s Community Engagement Award for her participation in work experience opportunities across a number of community settings during her course, but also her active involvement as one of the College’s Student Ambassadors. As an Ambassador, Bracken regularly delivers tours to potential students and their families, and talks to new and potential students about the College. I love the fact that Bracken lives for the College brand and is really integrated into the College community.”

Tom Smith, 18, St Budeaux

High Achiever of the Year Award, sponsored by Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce

Tom juggles his full-time course in Sport with a judo career that has suffered numerous knockbacks due to repeated injury, which has put his selection for Great Britain in jeopardy.

Helen Hart from the Devon and Plymouth Chamber of Commerce said: “We chose Tom as the winner for this year’s High Achiever of the Year Award due to his positive ‘can do’ attitude and perseverance in order to succeed. We were really impressed that Tom was able to achieve distinction grades, whilst suffering with a learning disability, and competing at such a high level for his judo.”

Rebecca Mercer, 44, Crabtree

Student Voice Award, sponsored by Livewell Southwest

Rebecca (Bex), is a real ambassador for others. Alongside her Access to Higher Education course, where Bex is working towards becoming a Social Worker, Bex is a support worker and advocate for ‘Not Alone’ which is a support group that she runs for transgender and non-binary people in Plymouth. She has also spoken out on TV about the stigma surrounding mental health on behalf of the College.

Ginnie Stiff from Livewell Southwest said: “Bex stood out to us as a peacekeeper, with an open minded approach. She is influential and inspirational to other students when it comes to matters of equality and diversity, and we can fully appreciate why she has been nominated for a national equality and diversity award. As Livewell Southwest as an organisation is a great advocate for promoting and encouraging equality and diversity, we really wish to applaud Bex. We were delighted to select her for the Student Voice Award.

Hannah Buckingham, 18, Turnchapel

Employability Award, sponsored by RedRok

Hannah is a Live Events student who was praised for her high organisation skills, effective communication and turning ideas into reality whilst also managing expectations. She was nominated for the employability award for her highly professional delivery and planning of the College’s recent Hair and Beauty Show, and, Hannah has taken numerous opportunities to increase her employability skills whilst at the College.

Hannah said: “From meeting crew members at gigs, to working on the Illuminate light festival at the Royal William Yard and in the Drum Theatre at The Theatre Royal Plymouth, as well as numerous College performances as Stage or Production Manager, there have been so many opportunities for me to gain work experience during my time at City College. It’s lovely to have been commended for both my professionalism and determination to succeed.”

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