Former Middlesbrough College student Sam Beckett has been named a finalist of the Association of Colleges Student of the Year awards! Sam is a finalist in the Adult award category of the national awards, sponsored by Pearson Education.
Former Level 3 Health & Care student Sam, who overcame significant communication barriers after been diagnosed as deaf, was nominated by his Health & Care tutor Clive Brook for the prestigious award.
Clive said “I decided to nominate Sam for this award as he is truly an inspirational student. Despite his impairment Sam was always cheerful, had a brilliant sense of humour, taught BSL to others including his former classmates, volunteered at the centre for deaf and completed his Health & Care course with an excellent grade.
“Sam was an absolute pleasure to teach and was a remarkable student. Sam communicated through signing and was accepted onto a course in Mental Health Nursing at Manchester Metropolitan University, which is outstanding. He is a role model for both D/Deaf and LGBT+ deaf people who want to work in mainstream careers like health care.
“Sam was also an ambassador for the college, showing how young people with disabilities can succeed given the appropriate support.
Sam said “I truly did not expect this nomination and I feel honoured to be a finalist.
“The huge challenge for me throughout my education has been my language barrier. As I am Deaf, I use British Sign Language to communicate. This means I’ve had to translate BSL into English to be able to submit my assignments at College and to be able to communicate effectively with individuals. It has been challenging as I have had to adapt myself to match different environments, so I can learn and work effectively to gain knowledge and experience.
“I have to thank MeSign and Middlesbrough College for their support during my education. They were able to provide me Communication Support Workers (CSW) who were able to translate my language BSL into spoken English and spoken English into BSL.
“I truly enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough College and would recommend the College and the Health & Care course wholeheartedly. The tutors and College staff were very supportive and lovely and without them I don’t think I would be studying for my nursing degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.
“I am aiming to become a fully qualified Mental Health Nurse so I am able to support Deaf individuals with mental health issues.
“My advice to anyone considering studying Health & Care at Middlesbrough College is to absolutely go for it. I promise you that the course will be your best decision of your life as it’s so helpful and it opens up lots of career paths for you.”
Sally Dicketts, President of the Association of Colleges, said “The standard of entries this year was incredibly high and all the nominated students deserve praise for the contribution they make to their colleges. It is inspiring to hear the stories from a range of students and colleges each year and the awards are an opportunity to highlight their outstanding achievements. The finalists this year have done fantastically well to reach this stage and I look forward to seeing them all at annual conference.”
The awards will be announced on 8 February during the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference. Annual conference showcases the ways that colleges are transforming the lives of more than two million people across England and how vital colleges are to the future of the British economy in the 21st century.
The judging panel was made up of members of the AoC Charitable Trust Board, AoC President and chaired by Kirsti Lord. All the judges were very impressed by the variety of inspirational stories and the success achieved by the students.
Good luck Sam!