From education to employment

Sam overcomes disability to scoop national award

Sam Beckett

A MIDDLESBROUGH College (@mbrocollege) student has proven deafness is no barrier to being named among the best in the country

Sam Beckett, 20, won Adult Student of the Year at the Association of Colleges Student of the Year Awards for his inspirational attitude, volunteering, cheerful sense of humour and top-class work ethic.

Sam faced huge challenges on his course and throughout his education because of his deafness. He had to translate British Sign Language (BSL) into English to submit assignments and communicate effectively with peers.

The former Middlesbrough College Health and Care student has gone on to pursue his dream career – being a Mental Health Nurse – at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Clive Brook, Sam’s Health and Care tutor, said:

“Sam was a remarkable student, an inspirational role model amongst the deaf community and a pleasure to teach.

“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 and Care course with an excellent grade.

“He was also an ambassador for the college, showing how young people with disabilities can succeed given the appropriate support.”

Sam volunteered at a learning disability centre on his first placement as he felt he could connect and relate to people with disabilities.

Sam said: “I feel honoured to win this award and didn’t expect it at all!

“I have to thank MeSign and Middlesbrough College for their support. They provided me with Communication Support Workers (CSW) who were able to translate my BSL into spoken English.

“I truly enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough College and would recommend it and the Health and Care course wholeheartedly. The tutors and College staff were very supportive and without them, I don’t think I would be studying for my nursing degree at Manchester Metropolitan University.

“It has been challenging as I have had to adapt myself to match different environments but I have always dreamed of being a qualified Mental Health Nurse so I can help deaf people with mental health issues. I wasn’t going to let any barriers stand in my way.”

The former College student from Redcar will share the award with Scott Yarrington from Walsall College.

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