Smiles all round as adult and community students achieve awards

Ruth Peterson | July 8, 2021

Adult and community students at Bradford College were celebrating last night (7 July) after gaining recognition for their amazing achievements.

In the fourth of Bradford College’s FE Student and Apprenticeship Award ceremonies, students studying English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), as well as adult and community courses, received awards after being put forward by their tutors.

Mikhail accepts award from Deputy CEO Mark Day

First to receive an award was Mikhail Mladenovica, Maths & English Student of the Year. Mikhail returned to education as an adult learner because he realised that, without qualifications, he would never be able to achieve his employment goals. Despite his initial nerves, he has embraced the learning experience and fully engaged in every lesson. Presenting the award, Vanessa Phillimore, Curriculum Area Manager for ESOL, said: “He is a great example to others and says that he wants to inspire everyone to believe in themselves, and know that anything is possible if you work hard.”

Simon Baraki achieved the Head of Department Award for Overcoming Adversity. Simon left his homeland at the age of 12 and spent several years working as a slave before he finally made it to the UK. When he arrived in Bradford, all he wanted to do was enrol in college and get an education. He quickly excelled because of the great effort he put into his work. He recently wrote a monologue and performed about the importance of respecting women.

Simon Baraki

Simon said: “I’m very grateful for this award. This is inspiring me to do a lot more in the future. I’m also really thankful to my teacher Esther Wilkey.”

The Head of Department Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement went to Randa Mahararai Eyob, who has excelled this year and applies everything that she learns.  Vanessa said: “She is highly motivated and takes personal responsibility for her learning and has aspirational goals.  We have every confidence that she will succeed.  She is an inspiration to the others and is always willing to help others.”

Receiving the award, Randa said: “I feel so good! My teacher makes me so passionate about studying.”

Randa Mahararai Eyob

Student of the Year for the entire department went to Klea Kurmekaj, who not only excels in lessons, but she has also come into college outside of class hours and help to put up new displays. To support her classmates, she contacts students who are absent from class to check that they are safe and well and offer any help that they might need. Klea, who is hoping to become a model or a hairdresser in the future, said: “I feel so lucky and thankful.”

Mark Day presents Klea Kurmekaj with her award

It is the second time this year that Klea has received recognition as she was in the finals at the Telegraph and Argus Education Awards for Star Student aged Over 16. She was a finalist alongside her fellow ESOL student Baklcha Ahmed, who was given the Head of Department Award for Consistent Commitment at tonight’s awards ceremony.

The award for completing the most enrichment hours went to Franck Mulunga, who is a talented footballer. Frank, who is hoping to work in electrical engineering or computing in the future, said: “I feel amazing!”

Three students were named Student of the Year for ESOL, including Polina Kochetkova, Wigdan Elagib and Omar Mohamed Mohamed.

Polina Kochetkova and Wigdan Elagib

Polina and Wigdan have both taken part in the Through Our Lens project, in which teenage students including students from ESOL at Bradford College have taken pictures capturing their loves during lockdown. Led by photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn, this project has seen young people’s photos feature on billboards, buildings, sides of houses, pavements, lamp posts, windows and school railings across the district.

Wigdan, who plans to study for a science degree at Bradford College and eventually become a doctor, said: “I feel so happy and proud of myself.”

Polina also won the award for Greatest Achievement. As well as the Through Our Lens project,she has been involved with a number of workshops where the Personal Development team has noticed how helpful, polite and enthusiastic she is.

Dawn Leak, Vice Principal, said: “The college is central to the Bradford community and we are extremely proud of our Students and delighted that you chose to study at the college. We wish you every future success.”

The award winners

The Adult and Community Award Winners were:

  • Maths & English Student of the Year        Mikhail Mladenovica
  • HOD Award for Exceptional all round Skills and Resilience: The Mouhamadou Award        Dominik Kovac
  • HOD Award for Overcoming Adversity    Simon Baraki
  • HOD Award for Consistent Commitment  Baklcha Ahmed
  • HOD Award for Outstanding Team Player              Hamza Jan
  • HOD Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement       Randa Mahararai Eyob
  • Student of the Year for the entire department    Klea Kurmekaj
  • Student of the Year  for Community         Liam Butterworth.
  • Student of the Year for ESOL       Polina Kochetkova
  • Student of the Year for ESOL       Wigdan Elagib
  • Student of the Year for ESOL       Omar Mohamed Mohamed
  • Most enrichment hours completed          Franck Mulunga
  • Greatest achievement   Ibsa Yasin
  • Outstanding contribution             Polina Kochetkova

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