Gold medallist Amy joins graduation celebrations
PUBLISHED: 15:00 17 September 2012 | UPDATED: 16:15 17 September 2012
OLYMPIC gold dazzled more than 200 Weston College students as they graduated with foundation and honours degrees.
Gold medallist Amy Williams, who gained first place at the skeleton bobsleigh event at the 2010 Winter Olympics, was guest speaker at this year’s ceremony, telling graduates that 2012 is the year to celebrate effort and ability.
She said: “In sport it is the extra percentage of work you put in that gets you the medals, and because you have all made that effort you are in a great position to go out in the world and do anything you want.”
Students from graphic design, musical theatre and computing courses gathered at St John’s Church, led by a samba band.
This year, 20 per cent of graduates gained a first class degree, well above the national average of 14 per cent.
Jodie Smith, aged 22, gained a first in her creative industries course and is now working as a designer for a marketing agency in Bristol.
She said: “I was very surprised and delighted to get a first. The lecturers at the college were extremely helpful and there wasn’t competition between people on my course, which meant we all helped each other.”
Also graduating was Laura Rickards, from Worle, who balanced the demands of a family and a job with her studies. She is now going on to an honours degree after gaining a foundation degree in early years.
She said: “I was a bit apprehensive about going into education again and, because I’ve got five children and I work, there was a lot of organisation to think about, but I’m very glad I did it.
“I really do believe that anyone can do it if they are determined enough, and this proves it. As a mature student, the college has been very supportive of me. In the future I’d like to own and run my own preschool.”
College principal Dr Paul Phillips said: “I would like to congratulate everyone who has graduated on their hard work, dedication and commitment to their studies.”