Students’ outstanding efforts recognised
- Credit: Archant
Outstanding students were rewarded for exceptional effort in their studies during Lowestoft College's Celebration of Achievement Awards.
Trophies were presented to 17 of the college's 5,000 students during a ceremony at Potter's Leisure Resort in Hopton.
The winners were nominated by their tutors for exceeding expectations, showing dedication or overcoming adversity to succeed in their chosen subjects.
Each year the Lowestoft Journal sponsors a special Student Achiever of the Year award, which is presented to one of the 17 students award-winners.
The winner is chosen by Journal editor Max Bennett and college principal Simon Summers.
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Taking the title this year was 25-year-old Vitorino Iong, who moved from Macau in China five years ago to study in Lowestoft.
Mr Iong, who is known to friends as Vic, is about to finish his public services level three extended diploma and has recently started working as a special constable in Lowestoft whilst also holding down a part time job.
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He said he was delighted to win: 'It was a surprise for me.
'I feel emotional that I have won.
'I can't wait to tell my family.'
Mr Iong, who also won the Success Through Determination Award, moved to England for education and career opportunities when he was just 20 years old, leaving behind his mother and twin brother in Macau.
He had worked as an interpreter in Macau but, having been taught English by Chinese tutors, struggled to understand the Suffolk accent.
Determined to overcome the problem, he took on extra studying and read books aloud to himself every night to improve his pronunciation.
He said: 'I was afraid of talking to people because the language was not what I had been taught.
'It was hard sometimes and I felt embarrassed asking people to repeat themselves when I didn't understand.
'I can speak to people now and I think in English but it was a challenge for me.'
Nominating Mr Iong, his tutor said he was liked by all tutors and students because of his determination to succeed and his outstanding commitment, attendance, behaviour and attitude.
Mr Iong hopes to gain more experience as a special constable and secure a job as a regular police officer.
College principal Simon Summers said it had been difficult task choosing the winners from all the students put forward for an award.
He said: 'There is a fantastic selection of award winners.
'I have been really pleased with how it has gone.
'Just being able to celebrate the success of students and to hear their stories has been uplifting.
'I would like to congratulate them on their awards and wish them every success in the future.'