A Bradford College Media Makeup with Special Effects student Benjie Kusita has been named as one of three finalists in the running to become AOC’s Student of the Year.
Benjie, a former British soldier who completed tours in Afghanistan and Cyprus has always had a passion for make-up, and enrolled at Bradford College University Centre to set herself on a new career path.
She shed tears of joy when she discovered she had been nominated for an award by her tutors and was excited to be selected as a finalist in the Student of the Year’s Higher Education category.
Talking about the nomination, Benjie said: "I was so surprised but very happy to find out I was nominated for this award. I have had lots of support and encouragement from my tutors. They are always so understanding and available to talk to outside of class. They are like a second family to me."
Tutor Lisa Dawkins said, "Benjie is an inspiration, showing exceptional passion and commitment to learning despite being faced with a number of challenges.
English is not her first language, she is a single mother, and works at her family’s Thai Massage Therapy business. There are a lot of expectations and responsibilities placed on her, but she still works so hard going over and above. Her determination has also influenced her peers, placing her at the centre of sharing ideas, encouragement and support both in and out of the classroom. We are incredibly proud of all she achieved."
Benjie has competed in various competitions, and in Summer 2018, submitted an entry to Brush Wars in London. Despite being unable to attend the competition, her work was highly commended by the judges and was showcased on the organisation’s social media, which garnered compliments from famous TV/Film make-up designers such as Mandy Gold and Julia Townsend.
In the same week that Benjie will attend the Student of the Year Awards ceremony in Birmingham in November, she will also compete at The Prosthetics Event in Coventry - a highly regarded annual forum for professionals in the special effects and prosthetics industry.
"People tell me I take on too much", says Benjie, "but I’m always looking at how I can learn and improve. I’m very passionate about make-up and special effects and I know that completing my degree will help me on my way to achieving my dreams of working in the creative industry."
Bradford College have been delivering quality education and training for more than 185 years. The College is one of the biggest Further Education colleges in the country and a large provider of Higher Education. The College benefits from having Bradford School of Art onsite – offering a fabulous range of arts and creative courses.
Visit the Bradford College website to find out more about the huge range of courses, degrees and apprenticeships available in arts and the creative industries. Applications are now open for entry in 2020. You can also register to visit the next College open event on Saturday 16 November, 11am – 2pm.
Find out more about Media Make-up & Special Effects courses.
The winners of each category for the ‘Student of the Year’ competition will be announced at the AoC Conference on 19 November and a reception to further celebrate the achievements of the students and their colleges will be held in Westminster in Spring 2020.
NOTE: Higher Education Student of the Year. This new category for 2019 seeks nominations from colleges to recognise outstanding and exceptional students who have studied a higher education programme at a college. The programme will need to be at level 4 and above and lead to a prescribed or non-prescribed HE qualification. This could include Foundation Degree, HNC/D, Diploma HE, Undergraduate Degree, NVQ 4 and above, Higher Level or Degree apprenticeships or others studied on a full time or part time basis. We encourage colleges to nominate students from all age groups. This is an opportunity to help provide recognition to students and colleges for excellence in HE.
Benjie Kusita, working in the Media Make-up studios at Bradford College’s School of Art, Lister Building & alongside her creation for the ‘Brush Wars’ competition in London, 2018.