After months of hard graft, tireless campaigning and after college hours, the Rise To: Challenge students headed down to the awards ceremony in London to collect prizes and acclaim for finishing in second place at the national competition.
As most of you will know from previous stories, the students have been getting members of the public to say thanks to diversity by giving a ‘thumbs up’ print onto their canvas and writing down a message of thanks. The campaign has seen them put in a tremendous effort as they campaigned in the community, at the local civic offices and at the Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards.
The group headed down to London knowing that they had finished somewhere in the top 3 however, it was only on the night that they were told that they had finished second.
“To get into the final three and represent the City was a really proud moment”, said former St Thomas More student Joshua Bird, who was part of the team, “It’s great to get recognition for hard work.”
“Everyone in the team is really proud of what we’ve done”, added Rojgar Azad, who came to us from Birches Head High School. “Going to London for the awards evening was an amazing experience.”
“Before the event, we went around London to visit Downing Street and the London Eye before heading to the venue for the event. We had to go in and do our presentation to the judging panel. It was so nerve wracking”, added Rojgar. “We were the youngest group to reach the final. Everyone else was from universities. Overall there were 42 participants, so to finish second is quite something.”
The group were presented with a cheque for £1000 as a reward for their efforts and also met Timothy Campbell, winner of the first series of The Apprentice.
“It’s been worth the effort”, said Joshua. “My highlight has been meeting people during the campaign, including Jonathan Walters and Adrian Lewis at the Stoke-on-Trent Sports Personality of the Year Awards.”
Curriculum Co-ordinator Jos Singh Sanghera and former teacher of Business, Amy Chappell, kept tabs on the project. “We’re very proud of the students”, said Jos. “They were the youngest team in the top 20 and were only just pipped to the post by the University of Bristol. The students have said that they could not have achieved this without the support of the college students and staff, and also the local community. I’m sure this will be the springboard for them to go on to big things in the future.”
“We’ll be participating again next year and hopefully, the College can go one better. This year’s students now become part of the Rise To: alumni and will be invited to networking events to boost their contacts in the industry. A big well done to everyone involved.”