An EKC Ashford College student has won a prestigious national bursary after being selected by a panel of judges for his outstanding work ethic and creative talent.
Level 3 Photography student, Jake Sheppard, was awarded the Peter Roberts Bursary and presented with a £2,500 cheque by Peter McCann, Chair for Quality and Safeguarding at the Skills Network, at a ceremony at EKC Ashford College on Friday 29th September.
The Peter Roberts Bursary award celebrates outstanding achievement. Each year two students in the further education sector are awarded the bursary to support them from the end of their college education into self-employment or higher education.
Jake received the award in recognition of his hard work and determination which saw him progress from a Level 1 and Level 2 Diploma in Art and Design to a Level 3 Diploma in Photography. Having achieved a Merit in his Level 3 course, Jake has already begun a degree in Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Speaking after his win, Jake said: “I was really excited and happy when I found out that I had won the award. I plan to use the bursary money to buy camera equipment and a printer for my photos to support me with my degree. After finishing university, I hope to become a professional photographer and travel around the world taking photos.”
The bursary follows a difficult route through education for Jake, who was initially unsure what subject and career path he wanted to pursue.
He said: “I had a hard time at school, so I came here to College. I originally wanted to study IT but then I realised that photography was the thing that I really wanted to do.
“College has really helped me to come out of my shell and find out what I want to do in life. I am more talkative now and it has helped me to make friends.”
Jake was nominated for the award by his tutors. The bursary, which attracts hundreds of applications, was set up to honour the memory of Peter Roberts. Peter was an outstanding and inspiring Principal of Stockport College and the Leeds City College as well as a former Chair of Collab Group and long-standing partner of the Skills Network. The annual award recognises Peter’s contribution to the further education sector and is awarded to two students who reflect the outstanding work of the sector.
Jake’s tutor, Marc Christmas, Lecturer in Art and Design at EKC Ashford College, said: “Jake enjoys learning and fully reciprocates any interest shown in his progress. He has thoroughly, brilliantly and creatively exploited the opportunities that our College and its dedicated teachers and industry partners have offered him.
“Jake is thoughtful and creative; it has been our fortune to have him as part of our college community.
“He has applied his immense creative talent and worked hard to become the independent and reflective photography practitioner we see before us today.
“We know in view of his personal qualities, academic ability, and creative intentions, he will have a brilliant time at university. We wish him every success in the future.”