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UCW Student Kam Wins AoC Higher Education Student of the Year!

Kam Smiling at Camera at Awards Evening

University Centre Weston (UCW) student, Kam, was successfully named the Association of College’s (AoC) Higher Education Student of the Year winner this week, in front of a packed crowd at the ICC, Birmingham. 

The annual AoC Student of the Year awards celebrate students who stand out from the crowd, have gone above and beyond, whether in college or their local community. 

Corrienne Peasgood, 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. Well done Kam on winning you should be extremely proud.”    

Kam is a truly inspirational learner. His life started in a challenging place, experiencing hardships and difficulties all through his childhood and school life. Kam was even incarcerated at one stage.  

Despite these setbacks at the beginning, later on in life Kam made the decision to enter university. At UCW he has thrived, achieving excellent grades and fantastic feedback from his lecturers. Kam’s favourite course module is ‘professional development’ which he describes as “intellectually stimulating and directly aligning with his interests and career goals”. While at university, Kam was shortlisted for the AoC Higher Education Student of the Year award! 

Kam was incredibly pleased at the news that he’d been shortlisted saying:

“When I received the news that I was selected as one of the final three candidates for the AoC HE Student of the Year awards, I was overwhelmed with a mix of emotions – excitement, gratitude, and a deep sense of accomplishment.” 

Kam gave credit to his lecturers for helping to support him on this incredible journey:

“My lecturers Ross Bliss, Richard Edkins and Sam Brooks have been exceptionally supportive throughout my journey. Their expertise, guidance, and willingness to support me in my endeavours have been instrumental in my educational and personal development. They’ve provided valuable insights, mentorship, and encouragement, which have enriched my learning experience.” 

“UCW’s facilities and equipment have been incredibly beneficial to my studies. Providing me with not just the hardware to excel in my chosen field but also the technical expertise and encouragement has significantly enhanced my learning experience. The university’s commitment to providing top-notch resources has made a tangible difference in my academic journey.” 

Kam is proof that you are never too old for education:

“Being a mature learner at UCW has been a positive and enriching experience. It’s allowed me to bring a unique perspective to class discussions, given my life experiences. The diverse academic environment has provided a platform for meaningful interactions and learning from peers of all ages and backgrounds.”  

A key part of Kam’s journey and one of the many reasons he won this impressive award has been his commitment to social justice outside of university. Specifically, his incredible work surrounding penal reform has gained strong attention:

“My commitment to the field of penal reform stems from a profound sense of social responsibility. I firmly believe in the transformative power of education and rehabilitation within the criminal justice system. The work in this area has been both challenging and rewarding. We’ve made significant progress in implementing more effective programs and interventions, ultimately leading to a more just and equitable system.”  

Excitingly, Kam is helping to develop an app which provides comprehensive support for individuals leaving custodial settings. Kam explained:

“The Growth App is a groundbreaking project I’ve had the privilege to be a part of. By centralising resources from various 3rd sector organisations, the Growth App offers personalised support, addressing individuals’ most critical needs in order of importance. Moreover, it provides a structured roadmap for the client, guiding them through their journey towards reintegration and rehabilitation. With the strained probation services and the pressing concern of resettlement, the Growth App serves as a vital bridge between the public and private sectors, empowering both probation and 3rd sector organisations to provide timely and tailored assistance to their clients.” 

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