Outstanding student achievements were celebrated at a prestigious awards ceremony at Hartlepool Sixth Form College.
Students who had left Hartlepool Sixth Form College this summer, following successful completion of A-level and BTEC qualifications, returned to be presented with prizes of achievements and other special awards.
Over 50 awards were presented to the class of 2017/18 and among the award winners was 23-year-old A-level student Niloufar Saffari, who is now at the University of Bath studying a prestigious engineering degree.
She scooped an impressive four awards - A-level Physics Prize for Achievement, A-level Further Mathematics Prize for Achievement, the Dorothy Lownds Prize for Outstanding Academic Achievement and joint winner of the Principal’s Award for Academic Excellence.
Originally a refugee from Iran, Niloufar was excited to be back at college and said: “I came to Hartlepool from Iran and the support of my teachers at college was fantastic. I was really excited to catch up with them and let them know how I’m doing. It was great to see my old classmates too!
“I am so happy about winning these awards and really proud of myself. I had a great experience at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. It has completely changed my life and given me the foundation to get into university.”
Anna Acey, 18, from Hartlepool, was awarded the A-level Biology Prize for Achievement.
Anna, who is now at the University of Birmingham studying medicine, said: “I was delighted to be nominated and to win an award. I feel very humbled and grateful. I want to express my thanks to the teaching staff for all the support they have given me. They made my transition from A-level to degree level study so much easier.”
Reflecting on her college experience she said: “There is an extremely supportive environment at Hartlepool Sixth Form College. The teachers gave me the confidence to take on A-level exams, which initially seemed very daunting to me.
"They were always on hand to help me when I needed it and supported me in developing my independence to prepare for university.
“It was so nice to come back and see my college friends and teachers, and to look back and think how far I have come already.”
Adam Radwan, 20, a former student of the college who is now playing rugby for Newcastle Falcons, was invited back to present the awards to the students.
Mark Hughes, head of Hartlepool Sixth Form College, said: “Our annual awards ceremony gives us all an immense sense of pride and achievement as we recognise and celebrate individual student achievements. It was great to see the students again, and to welcome back Adam, and to hear how they have all progressed since leaving us.
“Our students who left in the summer are now studying at 50 different universities across the country and even overseas. We were delighted that almost 20% of our students secured places at Russell Group universities, which is testament to the hard work and dedication of both staff and students. We wish all of our students every success for the future.”