It was a night of celebration and inspiration as New City College recognised its high achieving students last night at the college's annual student achievement awards evening.
Held at the stylish Leonardo Royal London City Hotel, beside the iconic Tower of London, students from across all of the college's campuses were joined by their families, staff and external guests including high profile London political dignitaries including the Mayors of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Redbridge, GLA member for east London Unmesh Desai, and Ilford South MP Mike Gapes.
Special guest for the evening was the BBC news presenter and reporter Ashley John-Baptiste who spoke eloquently about his upbringing in care and achieving his ambition to make it in the broadcasting world, particularly as his background was very unconventional to traditional BBC journalists.
Gerry McDonald, Group Principal and CEO, New City College said:
Tonight, we celebrate the awe inspiring achievements of our students, many of whom have overcome incredible odds to become successful and be on this stage tonight. We witness the power of further education to change lives and help people achieve their ambitions and dreams.
30 awards were given out on the evening reflecting the college's varied curriculum areas and particularly highlights included:
Aisha Sadiq, winner of the New City Corporation Award for Adult Learner of the Year - a profoundly deaf and BSL user, Aisha undertook study for GCSE English and worked incredibly hard to develop her English reading and writing skills, and all without the opportunity to hear anyone speak or practice English herself.
She became the first deaf learner at the Tower Hamlets campus to pass GCSE English in ten years and her success was testament to overcoming significant barriers to succeed and progress.
Fadomo Abdulrahman, winner of the New City Corporation Award for Young Learner of the Year - Fadomo arrived in the UK from war-torn Somalia with her family and spoke no English. Described as a phenomenal student, she progressed to pass nine GCSEs, including an A* in English Literature. She worked hard at the Redbridge campus to pass her BTEC Applied Science diploma achieving distinctions in all her course work and is now studying to become a radiographer at City University.
Yash Mozumder, winner of the English and Communication Student of the Year - Yash overcame severe health problems, including undergoing life-threatening heart surgery to succeed in his course, maintaining a positive attitude towards his learning and working hard in class and at home to catch-up with missed lessons. He has been described as an inspiration for all students at the Redbridge campus.
Lapaz Copus, winner of the A Level Student of the Year - Lapaz has had an unconventional educational background being home schooled in her early years. In the first year of her A Levels, she lived in a caravan with no electricity or running water and her daily commute to college took over an hour and a half, but her attendance, punctuality and positivity remained an inspiration to her class mates. She also represented the Attlee A Level Academy in a mock murder trial at the Supreme Court, playing a QC and in Parliament, arguing in a debate on a second Brexit referendum. She is now studying law at Sussex University.
Andrea Balazs, winner of the Early Years Student of the Year - Andrea funded her studies by working as a chef and despite juggling work and study, successfully passed her GCSE English. On completion of her Early Years course, at the Hackney campus, she was offered a full-time job with her placement and then passed her TEFL course and was quickly promoted to be a full-time room leader at work and enrolled on a Level 3 early years course. She passed this course and is now fulfilling her dream ambition to work with young children in South Korea.
Christianna Vitanova, winner of the Sports Studies Student of the Year - Christianna is studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science at the Epping Forest campus, in which she has completed distinctions in all her units. It is however her commitment and passion which is not just confined to the classroom, she is also a competing rhythmic gymnast for Great Britain, training around 18 hours a week as well as competing abroad in competitions which has seen her become both English and British champion. Despite travelling each and every month to training camps or competitions, she has never let her passion and drive to compete in the Olympics affect her studies.
New City College would like to thank its award sponsors: - Blue Sky Systems, Daisy Corporate Communications, Konica Minolta, University of East London, Outdoor Advertising, Wrap it Up, Caterlink Ltd, CTC Building Services, Mitie, Archant Media and Higgins Proviso.