Students selected for exceptional achievement or major progress at Kirklees College attended a glittering awards ceremony to receive their prize.
Richard Bentley and Monika Kulka
The annual student COLS (College Outstanding Learner Success) ceremony took place at the Huddersfield Centre.
The winners were made to feel glamorous at an Oscar-style awards evening, hosted by Huddersfield Town’s commercial director Sean Jarvis.
Amongst the audience to cheer them on were the students’ family, friends, and college tutors who had nominated the winning students and the college’s senior managers.
Awards were presented in each curriculum area as well as overall prizes for Education and Training Student of the Year and Apprentice of the Year.
Acting Principal June Durrant said: “It never ceases to amaze me how the students who come to Kirklees College do such astonishing things – winning national awards, raising significant amounts of money, volunteering, being a carer at home or facing personal problems that they overcome all whilst achieving excellent outcomes in their qualifications.
“Our mission statement at Kirklees College is creating opportunity and changing lives and tonight we have seen some of that in action.”
The college was delighted to have received sponsorship from local businesses for individual categories and the overall prizes.
Representatives from the companies were invited to attend the event to present awards in the category they sponsored.
The award for Apprentice of the Year was won by Monika Kulka from Huddersfield.
Monika arrived in the UK with low confidence in communicating in English as it was not her first language, but began a Business Administration Apprenticeship with Kirklees College.
Within weeks she unfortunately found herself looking for a new home for her and her sons but difficult personal circumstances did not impact her ability to work and learn. In fact she responded with increased drive and motivation, taking every chance to develop.
A challenging role at work was approached by professionalism, determination to succeed and a friendly smile. Nothing was ever too much trouble and she strived to deliver the very best on every task.
She has now moved on to a full time role at college.
The Education and Training Student of the Year award was won by Richard Bentley from Wakefield.
Richard studied the Access to Higher Education course at Kirklees College after being a bomb disposal expert in the army.
On duty in Iraq he had received extensive injuries which took over two years’ rehabilitation to overcome including numerous operations and learning how to walk again.
Through working with children and thinking about his own issues post Iraq, this led to a desire to go in to mental health nursing.
At college Richard consistently produced work of a very high standard and was nominated to be a class representative, due to his willingness to help others.