A computing student from West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield joined the UK’s top learners at the British Education Awards finals in Manchester last month.
IT student Jack Wood, 20, was one of just five nominees to receive a Special Achievement award.
These awards pay special tribute to students who have overcome a range of particularly difficult circumstances and personal challenges during their education, making their accomplishments all the more remarkable.
Jack said: “I would never imagine winning an award from a nationwide event and I’m so happy to win.
“My journey through education has been a tough one, but this proves that I’ve overcome the barriers and made me what I am today.”
Jack’s journey in education got off to a difficult start as he contended with diagnoses of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Tourette’s and OCD.
Jack has defied expectations to excel in computer science and flourished as IT technician within the college where he volunteered more than 210 hours and was invited to undertake paid work.
Jack achieved triple distinction for his BTEC Extended Diploma in IT and won an award for Dedication to Progression in Education.
He is now studying HNC Computing.
He was put forward for the his award by computer science curriculum manager Trudi Dean for being a simply outstanding learner, despite having a range of issues to contend with.
Trudi said: “Since starting his Level 2 IT Technician course Jack has absolutely flourished and his skills as technician have developed well beyond expectation.
“He always works above and beyond what is expected of him and this is reflected in the distinction grades he has consistently achieved.
“Jack is now working as a technician in the computer science department while studying for a HNC in Computing.
“The whole team are thrilled to see his achievements recognised with the BEA Award.”
Jack joined 76 finalists from across the UK at the awards ceremony where 20 winners were presented with a trophy by an array of politicians, leading education professionals and celebrities from the world of television and sport.
The awards were co-hosted by BBC television and radio presenter Kevin Fitzpatrick, and Prof Basma Ellahi.
Karen Albrighton, a former hairdressing student and now tutor at the college, was also nominated for an award and although she narrowly missed on winning, she was delighted to have reached the finals.