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‘Inspirational’ James Learner of the Year!
Friday, 15 June 2012
AN ‘inspirational’ teenager from St Athan, who is the lone carer for his parents, has been named Agored Cymru’s ‘Higher Education Learner of the Year’.
At one stage in his life, everything seemed bleak for 18-year-old James Bevan.
He was taken out of school because of bullying, had no exam qualifications, and ended up as a recluse for a year.
But at a time when everything seemed at its darkest – James had suffered a total loss of confidence – he summoned up the courage to enroll at Cardiff and Vale College in 2010.
A college spokesman said: “After achieving excellent results in his GCSEs, he was accepted onto the access course to higher education and blossomed into a confident, articulate individual ,who was voted as course representative by his peers.
“James has successfully balanced his studies with caring for his parents, and is on course to achieve his diploma with 45 distinctions – the maximum possible.
Speaking about his award, James told The GEM: “To even be considered for this award was an achievement and an honour in itself.
“To actually win the award is another story entirely. I am overwhelmed and delighted.
“College so far has been a testing but fulfilling journey. To say it has been anything less than the best time of my life would be selling it short.”
And James had a message for other young people who were experiencing difficulties in life:
“Everyone can succeed in whatever they want to do, but sometimes it takes time and a lot of effort and support.”
He explained: “After experiencing the challenges of balancing my home and college-life, my ambition to succeed not only for myself, but also for my parents, is even stronger.
“I am extremely thankful to my tutors for all their support during my studies and I could not have succeeded without my peers – who are all wonderful people and some I consider to be my closest friends.
“I am now confident that I can achieve my dream of going to university.”
Janet Barlow, the chief executive of Agored Cymru said: “James really stands out as an excellent example and inspiration to others to achieve their full potential.
“He has overcome hurdles and personal challenges and his tremendous achievements are down to his determination and resilience.”
The access to higher education Learner of the Year Award is organised by Agored Cymru, Wales’ leading awarding organisation, to celebrate and recognise learners whose achievements have been inspirational or life-changing.
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