At the close of a very eventful academic year, a selection of our outstanding students have been honoured at the Gower College Swansea 2017 Annual Awards ceremony.
The ceremony took place at the Liberty Stadium, with recipients representing every aspect of college life from art, sport and engineering to construction and hospitality.
Swansea Sound DJ Kevin Johns MBE hosted the evening, where students were honoured for their achievements both academic and personal, and he was joined by guest speaker Colin Jackson CBE, one of the greatest athletes Great Britain has ever produced.
“This was a wonderful event where we heard stories of students achieving the highest grades possible, of students receiving national recognition in their chosen disciplines and of students really going that extra mile,” says Principal Mark Jones. “Other students manage to balance significant family and work commitments with their studies and there are others still whose educational distance travelled since starting college has been nothing short of inspirational.”
Among the winners were:
Business student Zack Sekllani, who turned the sad loss of his father from a brain tumour into a proactive drive to raise funds for a local children’s charity. In addition to his daily studies, Zack plays an active role in Welsh Baccalaureate activities and is part of a team of students who visit primary school children giving lessons relating to business.
Hair and Beauty student 'Jay Jay' Ansumana, a survivor of the civil war in Sierra Leone, during which she lost her entire family. Coming to the UK aged around seven, Jay Jay had no formal education experience and spoke no English. She joined the college as a Level 1 Hairdressing student and has absolutely flourished ever since. Her lecturer says that Jay Jay is 'quite unlike any other student I have taught in 25 years...'
Engineering student Andrew Tipton, who overcame a grave illness (including 19 theatre procedures and a four month period of bed confinement followed by a further eight months of recuperation) only to return to college and effectively pick up where he left off - producing assignments to a standard worthy of publication and gathering Distinction grades along the way.
A Level student Briall-Wen Baker, who achieved 100% in her recent mock Chemistry exam and holds an offer to study at Imperial College, London after college. A member of the college's Oxbridge tutorial group, Bree also recently attained a Silver Award in the Chemistry Olympiad.
Mum-of-five Hannah Pawsey, who is currently working towards her AAT Level 4 and intends to start the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualifications in September to achieve her goal of becoming a fully chartered accountant.
The event was a practical showcase for student talent too, with entertainment being provided by first year Performing Arts and Level 3 Photographic Make-Up students. Level 3 Technical Theatre students provided the set and sound and the beautiful table decorations were created by our Floristry students.
Gower College Swansea gratefully acknowledges its sponsors for the 2017 Annual Student Awards: First Cymru; University of Wales Trinity Saint David; WalesOnline; WJEC; Aston & Fincher; Harcourt Colour Print; The Wave; Mark Jones; The Welsh Institute of Emergency and Unscheduled Care at Swansea University; Blake Morgan; Vibe Video Production; South Wales Transport, Hengoed Court Care Home; ComputerAid; RW Learning; the College University Skills Partnership; TRJ; Track Training and Oakleigh House.
The full list of 2017 Students of the Year:
Creative Arts – Calley Lewis-Meredith
Visual Arts – Emilia Sliwinska
ABE/ESOL – Marta Skoczek
Humanities and Languages – Bethany Lawson
Maths, Science and Social Science – Briall-Wen Baker
Technology – Emily Linley
Health and Care – Charlotte Hill
Business – Zack Sekllani
Hair and Beauty – Jay Jay Ansumana
Hospitality, Travel and Tourism – Paige Jones
Independent Living Skills – Ffion Thomas
Sport and Public Services – Andrew Dyer
Engineering – Andrew Tipton
GCS Training – Lydia Doyle
Apprentice – Lyn Hovvels
International – Seoyoon 'Joanne' Chang
Welsh Language – Charlotte McClure
14-16 – Jaquitta Dennis
Higher Education / Access – Hannah Pawsey
Outstanding Sports Achievement – Daniel Williams
Plumbing and Construction – Owen Davies
Most Inspirational Student of the Year – Andrew Tipton
Photos: A Frame Photography