SOUTH Essex College of Further & Higher Education held its annual awards evening, Celebrating Success, for students from across its campuses in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.
The evening, which took place in the Southend Campuses impressive Atrium, saw nearly 200 nominees of all ages recognised by their tutors as truly outstanding students who have excelled and have achieved high grades or overcome great personal challenges along the way.
Speaking at the event, Acting Principal and Chief Executive, John Hayles said: “This is a real celebration of the diversity of courses, programmes and, indeed people at South Essex College. Our learners come from all walks of life; include young people from 14 upwards and adults of all ages, and a huge variety of personal circumstances.
“We’re helping regenerate south Essex and meet the needs of local people – both young people and adults as well as employers and communities across the area by creating the very best learning opportunities in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock.”
Special guest on the evening was local boy-done good, Josh Dubovie, who represented the UK in Eurovision in 2010 and has since gained singing success, performing in Munich, Orlando, New York and supporting the likes of Katrina and the Waves, Olly Murs and Stacey Solomon and headlined for crowds as large as 40,000 at various UK festivals.
Whilst admitting that things don’t always turn out the way you planned…like coming last in Eurovision…Josh told the audience: “I assure you every cloud has its silver lining. My silver lining has led me to follow my singing dreams, I’d never have done any of that and I’d have been constantly asking myself that dreaded question, ‘what if’?”
He added: “The best piece of advice I can give to you? Be true to yourself. What do YOU want to do? The only person telling you that you can’t do something is yourself.”