Recently, The Winter Gardens at our South Bristol Skills Academy played host to The City of Bristol College Student Awards 2023, where the event space was filled to the rafters with inspiring stories and incredible achievements from each and every award-winning student and nominee.
The annual awards give the college the opportunity to both recognise and champion excellence and the incredible achievements of our students.
The event united staff and students alike for an evening saturated with immense celebration.
The awards were hosted by Amy Woodrow, Director of Student Experience, Quality & Safeguarding at City of Bristol College, who injected a sense of pride into the evening.
Amy commenced proceedings by saying: “Tonight, we are lucky enough to be joined by governors, staff, students, parents, carers and friends.
“We are also particularly honoured to warmly welcome members of Rahana Davis’ family, it means an awful lot to have you here – thank you for being with us tonight.
“We are all part of City of Bristol College, a place where Everyone Belongs. Therefore, it’s important for us to recognise and champion not only the award winners but also the nominees and every one of us here this evening.
“So, without further ado, let’s get the 2023 Student Awards underway.”
The first award of the evening was the Outstanding Effort and Determination Award, which was kindly sponsored by Mindful Education. This award was scooped by Kieran Hope.
Kieran has progressed enormously throughout the duration of this entire academic year, overcoming a multitude of hurdles and persevering with sheer hard work and determination.
Up next was the Outstanding Achievement Award for a Child in Care or Care Leaver.
Shahid Khan won this award.
Shahid is a UASC student who has been through the trauma of crossing to the UK from Afghanistan, not knowing where his family were, or even if they were alive. He has progressed from ESOL to Level 3 Electrical Installation and is set to complete his course this year which is an outstanding achievement.
The Young Parent of the Year Award went to Ebony Liddell.
Ebony took last year out to have her baby, she has since returned and is determined to gain her Level 3 qualification whilst being a mum to a young baby.
The Outstanding Achievement Award, kindly sponsored by Mindful Education, saw two award winners, one in the under-19 category and one in the over-19 category.
In addition to her academic achievements, the first award winner, Rachael Ndungu, has an ambition to open an institute in Kenya. With her drive and passion, we are sure that she will achieve her dreams.
The second winner was then announced as Katie Hill.
Katie is on the Access to Humanities programme, studying English Literature, History and Sociology. She is progressing to Bristol University to study Archaeology and Anthropology.
The fifth award of the evening was the Early College Student of the Year Award.
Kali Hall was given this accolade as a student who has really grasped the opportunity that Early College has afforded him. He is incredibly considerate of others, and his attendance and attitude to learning are exceptional.
The next award was very special, the Lee Sheriton Award for Endeavour.
The Lee Sheriton Award for Endeavour was introduced in memory of a much-loved colleague who lost his hard-fought battle against cancer in December 2018.
The winner of this award was the deserving Jouma Saidy, a mother of a young son who has been working incredibly hard to progress and access Higher Education courses.
Next, the Outstanding Community Contribution Award went to Sam Saidipoor. During his studies, Sam has persevered with an immense amount of hard work and commitment.
The College of Sanctuary Award saw two winners.
Ali Karimi Aziz was announced as the first winner
Ali is from Iran Kurdistan and came to the UK without his family when he was 17, not speaking English. He has been a student here since 2018 and has worked through ESOL provision and GCSEs to progress to Access to Science this year.
Hasan Ali was named as the second winner.
Hasan is from Somalia, where he left when he was 15 and lived in Ethiopia for 2 years before coming to the UK with his family aged 17, speaking practically no English. He first enrolled at the college, working his way up through the college’s ESOL programmes before studying GCSEs with us. He has progressed to Access to Science this year, where he has studied Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Next was an incredibly special award, The Rahana Davis Diamond Award.
Taking to the microphone, Amy said: “Now for an extra special award close to the college’s heart, The Rahana Davis Diamond Award.
“This award has been introduced this year as a way to honour our much-loved colleague and dear friend who sadly passed away this year.
“Shine Bright Like A Diamond was the song that opened Rahana’s funeral, so this award title is a fitting tribute to dedicate this award to an individual who has shone brightly this year.”
The deserving winner of the award was announced as Shakila Qurbani.
Shakila is an ESOL Level 2 student. She is a mother of three and has not missed a class this academic year. She works so incredibly hard yet always has a smile on her face.
Soon it was time for the penultimate award, The Outstanding Progress in English and Maths Award.
Fred Watkin scooped this accolade. Fred deserves to be recognised for the determination and sheer effort that he has put into obtaining his GCSEs in both Maths and English.
The final award of the evening was The Everyone Belongs Making a Difference Award, which was kindly sponsored by Latcham.
The winner was announced as being Nadezhda Dimitrova, an ESOL Level 2 student who is genuinely interested in her fellow students and wants to learn about their differing cultures and religions. She is noted as being highly positive and empathetic.
However, the evening was not yet over as all runner-ups of each award were invited to the stage, where they collected their certificates and had a photo opportunity.
Our 2023 runner-ups were:
Sophia Ferreira Antas
Angelita Passos Vaz Mussati
Nazar Ali Musa Idris
Taking to the microphone one final time as the awards ceremony drew to a close, Amy said: “I think we can all agree that it’s been an absolutely incredible evening of celebration and recognition as we champion the success of our students, of which we are so proud.
“A heartfelt thank you to one and all for coming and joining in the festivities with us – until next year!”