When it comes to her studies, Stockton Riverside College student Ebony doesn’t consider herself particularly special.
Her view is that you have got to put in the graft and give it your all if you want to achieve, and that’s what she does.
But those around the 18-year-old computing student say something quite different.
Describing her as “a champion”, Ebony’s tutor, Simon Patterson, said: “She is relentless in her pursuit to get her qualifications. She doesn’t let anything hold her back, never complains and, while she recognises her limitations, she won’t give up.”
It’s a view that others clearly share, as this week Ebony was named a silver winner of a prestigious national award.
Recognised for her tenacity and commitment, she received the Silver Award in BTEC IT and Computing Learner of the Year at the Pearson’s 2020 BTEC Awards.
Excited to have even been nominated, Ebony, who has cerebral palsy, said: “I freaked out a little because I had no clue. It just proves that when you are passionate about something, it pays off.”
Joining the college straight from school on a level 2 computing course and progressing to level 3, she said: “I have loved every minute of it. I get to sit next to my best friend and now to be nominated for student of the year is just crazy.”
Brushing off any praise for the hard work she puts in, she said: “It’s a fact, if you don’t put the effort in then you can’t expect to get anything back. If you do put the effort in, then there’s a sense of achievement that comes from that.
She is quick to turn the praise back to her teachers, adding: “Simon is always there if I’m stuck to help. He gives that extra attention to detail that makes such a difference. He goes above and beyond.”
In its 10th year, the Pearson’s 2020 BTEC Awards celebrate students’ exceptional achievements and success in vocational learning. Winners were announced at an online ceremony today with 17 award categories.
Nominating Ebony, Simon believes she epitomises everything the awards stand for.
He said: “She will put in the extra hours, having organised study groups with her friends, to make sure she gets through the course.”
“For all that she is up against, she never uses it as an excuse. She is a champion who doesn’t complain and just gets on with it.”
The 2020 BTEC Awards ceremony was hosted by presenter of the United Stand, YouTube influencer and BTEC Ambassador, Flex, with awards presented by double Olympic Gold medallist, Max Whitlock, and actress and former BTEC Drama student at The BRIT School, Kellie Shirley.