Vicky named Student of the Year
|Published: 26th November 2013 10:49|
Now in its seventh year, the competition seeks to honour the brightest and the best among college students in England. It recognises excellence in any academic, vocational or extra-curricular area. The only criterion is that winners must have made a significant contribution to college life or to their local community and have inspired others.
Vicky was presented with the first prize and a £1,000 prize fund after impressing judges with her hard work not just in her studies but also in her determination to overcome difficulties presented early in her life. When she was eight-years-old she was the victim of an arson attack at her family's business. With 33% burns on her upper body and limited use of her hands, she has undergone 20 operations and suffered a lack of self-esteem as a result of her injuries.
Being in constant pain however has not stopped Vicky. With four fellow Barking & Dagenham College students she launched Scar Quality. The charity provides professional makeovers for burns victims to help boost their self-esteem. She has raised £1,000 with a sponsored 28-mile walk and even travelled to South Africa to meet burns victims in the townships. Vicky also gives talks on how to overcome challenges and has shared her experience with adult counselling and childcare students, inspiring them to make generous contributions to her charity. Even though she is frequently in hospital, she requests a laptop to ensure she keeps up with her studies.
"It's amazing to win, I really can't describe it. My scars are something I have to live with every day, but by setting up the charity I can help others. It was hard work, but it's amazing."
AoC President Michele Sutton, who led the judging panel, said:
"This year's nominations for the Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards were of an exceptionally high standard and it is both humbling and heart-warming to see the impact that further education has on the lives of so many of its students. It is clear that Vicky has had to overcome significant personal and physical difficulties in order to continue her studies - and she has done this with aplomb."
"Her studies are earning her a distinction and she has still found the time to make a significant contribution to college life and has set up her own charity to help support burns victims and has raised funds to support this work. Her determination, spirit and motivation are truly inspiring."
The announcement follows a series of wins for Vicky. Last week she received the Health & Social Care Award and also the Adam Gemili Sponsored Award for High Performance at the College's own Excellence Awards ceremony.