Inspirational students from Northampton College honoured in annual awards ceremony

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Northampton College celebrated its annual awards ceremony which recognises the achievements of its outstanding students.

Sixty students were presented with certificates during the prestigious event, which was held in the College’s Booth Lane building. Some award winners had overcome incredible difficulties during their studies and others had achieved outstanding academic success – each of these students had their story read out to the audience.

More than 250 guests attended the event including the parents and family of those students nominated for an award, local businesses and a number of local councillors and civic dignitaries.

This year the college also introduced a series of sponsored awards for the first time which were supported by local businesses including Northampton Town Football Club, The University of Northampton, Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, Cummins, Opus Energy, Recol Engineering, Chelton Brown, SEMLEP, Ensafe, Sir Thomas White’s Northampton Charity and the Northampton Saints Hitz programme.

Former catering student, Viktorija Bernataviciute also made a special visit to the college to deliver an inspirational talk to award winners and guests about her time at Northampton College and her latest experiences within the catering industry. Viktorija is now working as a Commis Chef at Michelin Starred restaurant, The Elephant in Devon.

Guests were also treated to entertainment from the college’s Dance and Musical Theatre students who performed numbers from famous musicals.

Principal, Pat Brennan-Barratt, said: “This was the college’s eighteenth ceremony and the stories and incredible journeys these students have been on never ceases to amaze me. It’s wonderful to hear about the progress they have made, both personally and academically and it’s great to be able to celebrate their achievements amongst their tutors, family and friends. It was important for the College to have so many local businesses and organisations with us during the evening too, as one of our main strengths is preparing students so that they are able to progress after gaining their qualifications so that they can make a positive contribution to the local economy.”

HR Director from Opus Energy, Annamarie Petsis Jones was one of the sponsors on the night and sponsored the award for ‘Best Progress in Maths’, she said, “It was a pleasure to attend the event and we were delighted to sponsor an award. I thought the evening was very well structured and it was lovely to hear a few words about each student which made it more personal. I also thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment as well as Viktorijas Bernataviciute’s address which was so inspirational.”


Pooja Patel

Pooja was looking for a fresh start after her A Levels and the opportunity to really showcase her abilities. Hoping for top grades from the start of her time on the Diploma in Business course, Pooja found she was quickly meeting the demands of the course with relative ease. All was going according to plan until Pooja had an accident at the start of her second year which left her seriously ill and needing some time off her studies to recuperate. When she returned to college, Pooja remained as stoical and determined as ever and went on to complete the course with incredible Distinction and Distinction Star grades. She is now studying International Business and Chinese at Aston University.

Maciej Tomaszewicz – Best Apprentice sponsored by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership

Maciej first started at Northampton College on the Entry Level Body Repair course. Having moved from Poland in 2006, English was not his first language but despite this, Maciej showed great determination from the outset. He worked hard during his first year to develop new skills to successfully complete his award and attended additional English language lessons in his spare time to improve his understanding and ability to communicate with fellow students. Maciej’s positive attitude gained him work experience in a local garage which led on to an Apprenticeship at Castle Coachworks.Maciej is now working towards his Level 3 Qualification and is on track to achieve his next qualification early next year. 

Naje Thompson – Special Achievement sponsored by SEMLEP

Naje is profoundly deaf and communicates mainly through Sign Language. Her very clear determination to overcome her communication challenges is inspiring. Naje studied the Level 1 Health and Social Care programme, frequently participating and helping others in class and quickly building strong friendships with her peers.With her natural friendliness helping her to break through any verbal communication barriers, Naje quickly found, as early as Day 2, that she no longer required the College’s additional support assistant to accompany her during the lunch period, and would confidently spend breaks with a group of friends where they would communicate by gestures, written notes or sending each other texts and Twitter messages.

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