Cheshire College – South and West hosted the first of two annual awards ceremonies at its Ellesmere Port campus.
Celebrating the achievements of learners over the past 12 months, 36 individual awards were presented to the delight of parents, family, friends, college colleagues and employers.
Jasbir Dhesi, principal and chief executive at Cheshire College – South & West, said: “This is a very special evening for Cheshire College – South & West.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to recognise the outstanding achievements of these learners, in front of the family, friends and tutors who supported them along the way.
“We are committed to helping all of our learners reach their potential so that they can enjoy successful futures.”
Learners receiving awards had completed a wide range of courses this year including vocational qualifications, higher education qualifications and apprenticeships.
Alex Howson, 21, from Chester who won computing and IT Student of the Year, said: “I’ve always been interested in computers and came to the college open day.
“I met the tutors here and found out more about the courses available. I chose to study the level 3 extended diploma in software development.
“I really enjoyed the programming parts of the course – especially the opportunity to programme the robots we have in college to do dance routines.
“I’m due to finish my course this month and I’ve already started applying for jobs including some apprenticeship opportunities.”
They were praised for their excellent academic achievements and for the impressive ambition, determination and enthusiasm they demonstrated which helped them to reach their goals.
Award winners and their guests arrived to a selection of delicious non-alcoholic mocktails and canapés made and served by the college’s hospitality and catering learners.
Penny-Jane Prior, 18, from Chester, who won Media and Games Student of the Year and won gold in the WorldSkills competition last year, said: “When I was at high school I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to do.
“I thought about studying art and then found out about the video gaming course here at college.
“I came to the college open day and met my tutor Paul Browne. I’d always liked games and was part of the gaming community, so as soon as I came here it just clicked and I knew this was the course for me.
“I’m now a completely different person to who I was when I started two years ago. At high school I used to be very quiet and didn’t have a large group of friends.
“But coming here I’ve met so many new friends, people just like me.
“The tutors here are amazing – they give us creative freedom and space to express ourselves.
“I’m now going on to Staffordshire University to study a BA in games art.”
The evening started with a stunning performance by the college’s dance learners who performed a routine That’s Entertainment from their forthcoming show-inspired routine.
Guest speaker for the evening was adventure travel writer and broadcast journalist Simon Parker who delivered a fascinating and thought-provoking speech.
Kayley Pritchard, 18, from Ellesmere Port, who won Health and Social Care Student of the Year, said: “Since I started my course at college I’m a lot more confident – I’ve had the opportunity to meet new people and had work placements at a nursery day-care centre and care home.
“I’ve now got a job as a care assistant which I’m really excited about. The tutors have been amazing and given me so much support during my studies.”
Leah Hunt, 17, from Frodsham, who won Motor Vehicle Student of the Year and has just started a three-year apprenticeship with Vauxhall, said: “After I finished my GCSEs last year, I started the level 1 in motor vehicle course at the college’s Chester campus.
“School wasn’t an easy place for me but here at college I’ve completely changed as a person.
“I’m a lot more focused and I love studying a course that is practical and hands-on.
“When I applied for the apprenticeship at Vauxhall, I didn’t think I’d get offered the position, so I was delighted when I did.”