ONE of Sunderland’s brightest young minds was honoured at a glitzy graduation and awards ceremony held on Thursday 27th October.
Amy Kilty was named Student of the Year at Sunderland College’s Higher Education Awards, which are organized each year to pay tribute to its student superstars.
The 21-year old from Washington, is leaving the college after five years of Further and Higher Education study and gaining top marks in A-levels, a BTEC diploma and HND in Business (Management).
Having spent her time with Sunderland College at its Washington Campus completing two years of study to gain her Higher Education National Diploma, Amy is about to embark on the final stage of her academic journey – the final ‘top up’ year of her Business degree at the University of Sunderland, which will see her gain a full BA Honours. She is already using her skills though, and has set up her own charity during her time as a student.
Speaking before she knew she’d won the award, Amy said: “What I would say to anyone planning on studying at Sunderland College is that you are heading somewhere with a fantastic atmosphere and into a really supportive and friendly environment.
“I have enjoyed five good years at the college and really feel like it has and still is providing me with a stepping stone into my future career.”
Amy was presented with Student of the Year Award by Sunderland College Principal and Chief Executive, Ellen Thinnesen.
She said: “Amy’s s commitment and determination to succeed is outstanding; she is a shining example to others who may be thinking of developing their skills and studying qualifications highly valued by employers – her tutor paid tribute to Amy’s dedication, work ethic, talent and positive outlook when we were discussing potential winners of this award.
“There is nothing better than being able to reward students who have really worked hard throughout their time with us. Amy is the the best of the best, turning in the highest quality work while spending so much time with worthy causes outside of her studies.”
Amy is a progression student, having completed her Level 3 course at Sunderland College after school. She helped out as a student mentor andvolunteers with a local homeless charity HOPE.
HOPE supports the homeless community that has gravitated towards Newcastle City Centre. Amy helps at a weekly outreach on Saturday nights at Greys Monument in Newcastle, where hot food, hot and cold drinks, lunch packs, sweets and savoury snacks are distributed. HOPE also provides clothing, books and toiletries, and other essential items to people on the streets.
Combining her personal and academic endeavour, Amy based her business research project on leadership and motivation within the charity.
Ellen added: “As a graduate of Sunderland College, Amy is a fantastic ambassador for College based Higher Education. We are all very proud of her and her many achievements during her time with us.
“Not only has she excelled academically, she excels at life with the high standards she sets herself and which is reflected in her passion for helping people less fortunate than herself. To combine her studies with such a noble cause as volunteering with HOPE is incredible and I wish her nothing but success in her final year at university and in her future career.”
Amy was also a winner in the 16-18 age group at the Student of the Year Awards, scooping the Award for Best Performance in Business and Enterprise.
She added: “I’m not sure what the next step will be when I finish at Sunderland, but I think it’s time to focus on finding a job and taking that first step on the career ladder.
“It’s an exciting time and while I’d like to do my Masters one day, I’m looking forward to starting work.”