Barnsley College apprentice Alisha Shepherd has beaten off the competition to be named Apprentice of the Year at the Association of Colleges (AoC) Student of the Year awards.
The AoC Student of the Year awards is a national ceremony which celebrates the achievements and successes of exceptional students who stand out from the crowd.
Alisha, a Level 3 Business Administrator Apprentice, was nominated for her commitment to her studies whilst providing support to the College’s Teaching and Learning department during Covid-19. She was also shortlisted in the Colleague of the Year Award at the Barnsley College Staff Star Awards and played a vital part in the Barnsley 2030 launch campaign, a project celebrating and championing the borough and its communities.
Alisha said: “I am absolutely over the moon with this achievement and will be forever grateful for the support I have received. The atmosphere when the video was streamed was unbelievable, surrounded by my colleagues who helped me get where I am. Words can’t explain the happiness and pride I feel. It is an amazing achievement, where not only is all my work recognised by my College, friends and family but by the AoC itself.”
Yiannis Koursis, Principal and Chief Executive at Barnsley College, added:
“We are delighted with Alisha’s achievements, as this award not only recognises the College’s ongoing commitment to the promotion and delivery of apprenticeships but also the individual’s efforts and accomplishments. Alisha is a true inspiration to us all and we are very proud of what she has achieved throughout her time with us. Well done!”
Sally Dicketts, President of the Association of Colleges, said:
“Each year the level of applications is extremely high, and it goes to show the fantastic work that students are doing in colleges as well as the lengths colleges go to support their students. It is particularly amazing to see the achievements of students and positive impact that colleges have on the students and community. Alisha Shepherd has done amazingly well to finish first and should be extremely proud.”
Also during the event, which was hosted virtually, Evar Jawhar, a current Level 2 Engineering student, was named runner-up in the Young Student of the Year (16 to 18-years-old) category. He came to the country as a refugee and, with dedication throughout the year to his learning journey, Evar has gained the results and skills he needs in order to progress. Evar volunteers in a community group where he helps to translate for Kurdish refugees. He also leads a weekly fitness class in the same community group to help the refugees meet each other, develop friendships and feel more confident accessing the community.