Yeovil College have celebrated and recognised almost 100 deserving students during their 2023 end-of-year formal celebration – the Shining Stars Awards Ceremony.

The celebration recognises extraordinary students who have demonstrated outstanding effort, achievement, resilience or determination in the ceremonial hall at Westlands Entertainment Venue. The ceremony, which took place on Thursday 8th June, honoured students from across the whole breadth of Yeovil College, including A Levels, Apprenticeships, Vocational qualifications, T Levels, Foundation Learning and Access to Higher Education (HE), and included every curriculum subject area. The ceremony also recognised a West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) Award for the very first time – awarded to Charlie Smith.

Another first, was the recognition of the Sports Performance of the Year, awarded to the Yeovil College Netball Team. The team have had a superb season, having secured promotion within the AoC Sport Southwest Netball League, following an unbeaten reign this year.

Award winners, along with their family, friends and the Yeovil College teaching team, were invited to the event, which featured over 60 awards, presented to almost 100 students, from the 4,500 cohort of eligible students. Joining the ceremony were several local business people, local school representatives and industry leaders from our community.

Mark Bolton, CEO & Principal of Yeovil College led the ceremony, reflecting: “Throughout this evening we are celebrating the extraordinary achievements of our full-time students from across our entire curriculum. I believe that everyone here tonight has the potential to be extraordinary; to be more than you thought possible; to achieve more than you dared to dream; to achieve higher, bigger and better. The diversity of your achievements makes this celebration rewarding in output and rich in story-telling.”

“As a college community, we believe that success breeds success, and that by shining a light on greatness, we will breed a more positive future for our students, our businesses and our communities. We are ambitious for our learners, and we work exceptionally hard to provide them with the best environments, resources, facilities, technology, teachers and future opportunities.”

“Your success will forever be entwined within our own rich history, and we will forever be connected. Finally, your last task is to go forward, live brilliant lives and be even more extraordinary!”

The Overall Student Winner of Shining Stars 2023 was awarded to Level 3 Sports Coaching and Development programme, Aaron Cox, formerly of Buckler’s Mead Academy. The competition for this year’s Shining Stars Overall Winner was incredibly tough, with the six nominees forming the top 0.1% of the Yeovil College student population.

Principal & CEO, Mark Bolton, had this to say as he announced our winner: “Our overall winner has made a contribution in and out of College, which demonstrates commitment and maturity that many career professionals would commend. He has given countless hours of his time to local schools encouraging young people to get involved in healthy activity. His lecturer has described his studentship as faultless.”

For the first time, the guest speaker for the event was one of our own students, Level 3 Business student, Weronika Rdesinska. Having enjoyed massive success in a recent business start-up and has been instrumental in leading her Young Enterprise company, Bondi-Bee Candles, in the role of Manging Director to regional glory.

Weronika, who will be studying Business Management with Chinese at the Queen Mary University of London from September, speaking directly to the student community, offered: “From representing the college at Southwest Young Enterprise finals, to running a Jubilee event, to participating in daily college classes. From the bigger things to the smaller things, everything has helped to build my personality and sense of confidence, which in turn has helped me to mature and grow into the young woman standing before you today.”

Weronika concluded her speech with: “To all the students here today, huge congratulations. I am proud of every one of us. Today is all about resilience, and every single one of us has shown it in our time at college.”

Congratulations to all students recognised as part of the 2023 Shining Star Cohort, and appreciation for the support shown by businesses, employers, former schools, parents and members of the Yeovil College community involved in the event, who all contributed to the success of this significant event.

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