2015 Winners

The 2015 winner for the Student of the Year award is Reece Taylor, 22, from Derwentside College. 

Reece left school with no qualifications and was determined to find a vocational trade that suited him.  After trying tree surgery and construction, Reece attended taster courses at Derwentside College aimed at students not in education or training.  From day one of entering the elding department, it was clear that Reece had a natural talent for fabrication and welding, a talent that tutors had never seen before from someone so young.  His dedication and skills led him to excelling, and soon became an apprentice with a prestigious engineering company. 

In 2015, Reece completed his advanced apprenticeship with flying colours and also won a Medallion of Excellence, finishing in the top ten percent of competitors at WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015. During WorldSkills, Reece unfortunately endured a broken bone in his hand, to which he is now receiving hospital treatment, but despite the pain, he continued through four gruelling days of the competition to receive a Medallion of Excellence.

Reece has become an ambassador to his fellow students and the college, helping other students who are struggling, and speaking to prospective students at open evenings and community events.  He does this whilst undertaking an extremely busy day job, training at College for his Advanced Apprenticeship, competing in events for WorldSkills in the UK, Ireland and France, and being a father to a young family.

Second place for 2015 was Nishall Garala, 19, from Harlow College.

What makes Nishall’s personal achievement both remarkable and outstanding is that he achieved a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business for which he was awarded the highest possible result – triple starred Distinctions, whilst also expending a great deal of time taking an active role in the Harlow College community.

As well as his course and work placement at Simmtronic Lighting Controls, Nishall was a Student Ambassador, Student Governor and an E-Learning Mentor. He is also dedicated to Harlow and its residents and institutions and shows tireless commitment and outstanding service by working as a volunteer with over 20 organisations. 

Highly Commended

Due to the exceptional nature of the applications, we have awarded Highly Commended awards to the following:

  • Hannah Cooper, 20, Amersham & Wycombe College
  • Bradley Carr, 17, Barnsley College
  • Connor Stevenson, 23, Bolton College
  • Jacob Lewis, 22, Coleg y Cymoedd
  • James Grocock, 18, Central College Nottingham
  • Mustapha Mohammed, 26, City College Coventry
  • Callum Coles, 18, Cirencester College
  • Emily Mackay, 19, East Kent College
  • Duncan Cathie, 19, Priestley College
  • Carla Portmans, 49, Richmond Adult Community College
  • Ben Parsons, 18, Richmond upon Thames College
  • Roua Adel Sami, 19, Salford City College

Find out about this years recipients in Celebrating Student Success (PDF,1.67 MB) booklet.