Emily Newhouse was named Principal’s Choice at the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College’s annual achievements ceremony, where work across the five campuses in Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing, was celebrated.
Emily was injured shortly after taking her GCSEs and was left with memory loss, crippling headaches and tiredness, requiring a cocktail of medications.
The MET worked with Emily to provide an adapted timetable for her art and design course, with additional learning support.
Tutor Lucy Grout said she produced ‘thoughtful, mature and visually stunning work - always with such pride’.
Presenting the award, MET principal Sharon Collett said: “Choosing one overall winner from all the nominations that we had was incredibly difficult as there are so many students who shine for different reasons. Emily is thoroughly deserving of my Principal’s Choice award and we celebrate her achievement.”
Many other students won awards in recognition of their outstanding achievements in the face of adversity and there were several more moving stories.
Julie Nerney, chairman, said: “This is the highlight of my year. It puts everything that everyone working at the college does into perspective. Our students are at the heart of what we do. I am overwhelmed by the nominations and the stories they tell.”
The ceremony took place at the central campus in Pelham Street, Brighton, and was attended by students, parents and teachers from City College and Northbrook MET.
Leanna Edwards won Contribution to the Community, having started the Uniformed Services programme at Northbrook MET in September 2016, hoping for a medical career in the ambulance service or the RAF.
A positive role model and outstanding student, she has been an active member of St John Ambulance since she was 13, working tirelessly as a volunteer serving the community at many different events across Sussex. She was presented with the first aid charity’s highest award, the Grand Prior Award, when she was 17.
Leanna works as an emergency medical adviser, handling hundreds of emergency calls a week from the community and giving specialist medical advice until ambulances arrive.
She is also continuing her studies at the college and is on track to gain her Uniformed Services Extended Diploma at Level 3.
Benedicte Deutsch won Commitment to Learning, having returned to education at the age of 52 after being in the travel and tourism industry all her working life.
She produced outstanding work and her grades were among the best in the class.
Her tutor said: “She has become a mentor and confidant to many of the younger students and as such is a role model, someone who epitomises what Access to Higher Education is about.
“All of this has been achieved despite the luxury of having English as her first language. She often has to spend extra time in understanding technical scientific language in English, which just goes to show how committed she is to her studies.”
Boxer Tyrieq Campbell, winner of Extraordinary Dedication, travels down to Brighton daily from Croydon for his BTEC Sport course. He trains with the college, then returns back to London to Bethnal Green to train with his club in the evening.
Tyrieq won the national junior championships earlier in the season and more recently won the national youth championships. To top it all off, he has been offered a place on the England Talent Pathway, where he will train with the best boxers in the country.
James Webb, runner-up for Inspiration to Others, started at the college two years ago. He is principal carer for his mother, who is confined to a wheelchair, and was very shy at first.
James has progressed significantly as an artist, having built strong foundations in his diploma year, while settling into the college despite his significant challenges.
This year, as an extended diploma student, James has found his creative voice and his live art performance work ignited the Fine Art Pathway. His vision and commitment to fine art really stood out.
Full list of winners
Contribution to the Community: Winner, Leanna Edwards, Level 3 Uniformed Services; runner-up, Paige Smith, Level 2 Pathways Care.
Diversity Champion: Winner, Clare Mason-Jones, BA Games Development; runners-up, deaf learners Gabriel Decolongon, Alice McCann, Wesley Thomas, Rachel Jordan, Ben Ramshaw, Jack Fowler, Level 1 and Level 2 Creative Media.
Employers’ Choice: Winners, Aaron Feldberg and Will Peters, Level 2 Brickwork; runner-up Ryan Bartlett, Level 3 Art and Design.
Inspiration to Others: Winner, Aidan Maule, Level 2 IT; runner-up, James Webb, Level 2 Art and Design.
Class of the Year: Winner, Art and Design Fashion; runner-up Level 3 Beauty.
Exceptional Achievement: Winner, Marcus Barnes, Level 2 Hospitality; runner-up Shalom Nuhu, Level 3 Photography.
Brighten Up the Day: Winner, Karun Gohler, Level 3 Music; runner-up Kyia Fitzgerald, Level 2 Travel.
Commitment to Learning: Winner, Benedict Deutsch, Access to Higher Education Health and Health Sciences; runner-up Karen Jeffery, Access to Higher Education Psychology.
Extraordinary Dedication: Winner, Tyrieq Campbell, Sport, Boxing; runner-up Wutthichai Saomok, Foundation Construction.