Thurrock students among those honoured at annual awards

SOUTH Essex College commemorated outstanding student achievements at its annual awards ceremony, Celebrating Success.

The event, held at the College’s Southend Campus, saw more than 20 students from across the College’s departments and campuses receive Student of the Year awards.

Students were nominated for a variety of reasons including outstanding achievements, overcoming barriers to learning and positive contributions in the classroom.

The awards were presented by guest speaker and former College apprentice Emily Hamlin, who took the opportunity during her ceremony speech to share her experience of being a female apprentice in engineering.

She encouraged students to ‘never give up, believe in yourself and break the mould.’

Billy Gibbons, who studies Public Services at the College’s Southend Campus, was picked from all of the departmental winners to be named as overall Student of the Year.

Billy has overcome communication barriers within the classroom, with British Sign Language being his first language. Far from holding him back, his tutors say he is the most determined and driven young man they have ever met. Alongside his dedication to achieve the highest grades in the classroom, he has recently received his gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Billy signed his thanks and delight to the audience after collecting his ward.

College Principal Angela O’Donoghue added her congratulations to all award winners, saying: “Celebrating Success is one of the favourite parts of my job. All of our award winners should be extremely proud of what they have achieved, well done to you all.”

Guests were treated to a buffet meal at the ceremony which was prepared by hospitality and catering students. Student Harrison Lemaitre provided musical entertainment with a DJ set throughout the evening and Ryan Jackson wowed the audience with his magic tricks.

Among the students from Thurrock campus who enjoyed success were:

Simeon Odubanjo, Construction, Engineering and Motor Vehicle Student of the year, Thurrock Campus

Simeon is a hardworking, intelligent student who has rapidly advanced on his course this year due to the extra work he has put in, practicing his skills whenever he could. He is now excelling in both practical and theory, racing ahead of his group. His tutor is amazed, excited, and happy to see how he has progressed and believes his hard work truly does deserve recognition.

Emily Brown, Early Years, Health and Social Care Student of the Year, Thurrock Camus

Emily shows attention to detail in everything she does. She not only goes the extra distance to make sure her own work is of the highest quality, she is also willing to offer support to her peers who may be struggling with some of the material. In her placement she is described as a hardworking, compassionate person who always puts the needs of the children first, and tutors are sure she will have a fantastic future working with children.

Margaret Ajala, Foundation Studies Student of the Year, Thurrock Campus

Margaret has achieved success in a number of different ways this year in both her work experience and personal life. She has maintained relentless motivation and continues to give her upmost best in order to achieve positive outcomes. Her values have been paramount to her success as she prides herself on her work ethic and undeniable determination and has made a lasting impression on all those who have come into contact with her.

Rachel Pasquale, Hairdressing and Beauty Student of the Year, Thurrock Campus

Rachel is a hardworking and committed student. Her tutors say that she has excellent skills and is very busy in salon sessions with clients regularly requesting her. Despite her busy home life situation she has excellent attendance and always hands in her assignments on time, revises for her exams and shares her practical skills with the group, helping and supporting other learners. She is a great team player and a well-respected member of the group. A true inspiration to other young learners.

Thomas Arrowsmith, Hospitality and Catering Student of the Year, Thurrock Campus

Thomas has set an excellent example of what can be achieved with hard work and dedication. His tutors claim he is a ‘real success story’ having developed his practical skills to become a talented professional chef, producing work of an excellent standard. The progress he has made over the past two years is something others can aspire to.

Rory Cox

Rory Cox, ICT Student of the Year, Thurrock Campus

Rory has shone in his role as student rep for his group. He has an ongoing rapport with all of the students in his group and will always endeavour to assist with any issues. He has an aptitude for learning and is dedicated to achieving distinction in each assignment he produces. He is always involved in group discussions, willing to contribute and open to new ideas. A responsible, inspired and self-confident learner.


Kornelia Zielniewska

Kornelia Zielniewska, Media and Performing Arts Student of the Year, Thurrock Campus

Kornelia continually strives to be the very best at what she does, working tirelessly, above and beyond the call. Her attendance is excellent, her behaviour is impeccable and she is motivated to represent the very best that the College has to offer. Last year she was one of the production leads for the Royal Opera House Education Conference in Southend, which received numerous plaudits from guests and the team at Royal Opera House Thurrock.

For more information about the College, visit www.southessex.ac.uk

You can view a photo gallery from the evening on the College’s Facebook page here:www.facebook.com/pg/southessexcollege/photos/?tab=album&album_id=10156093107665025