The first annual Ray and Associates Accountancy Bursary has been presented to two CONEL learners.

The bursary award, sponsored by prominent local businessman Ray Ankrah, was presented for the first time on Tuesday 28 July 2009. Two CONEL accountancy learners, Kennedy Wabwire and Chen Xuan Ying, each received a cheque for £250. Both learners were congratulated by Ray and CONEL Vice Principal Jane O’Neill

The Ray & Associates Bursary was established earlier in 2009, exclusively for people studying accountancy at CONEL, by Mr Ankrah, a local Practising Chartered Management Accountant. Explaining the background to his award Ray said, ”This is a proud day for me. I had the idea to set up the bursary because my accountancy business is in Tottenham, and also having lived in Tottenham for nearly 20 years I have come to appreciate the place and therefore feel a strong urge to put something back. I hope other businesses in the Borough will emulate this example. I also wanted to encourage young people into the profession. The College of North East London has excellent accountancy courses, and is really good at recognising potential, so it’s a great partnership. I am looking forward to fostering new talent over the years to come.”

Kennedy Wabwire has just completed his AAT Level 3 course and his co-winner Chen Xuan Ying has just finished her Level 2 course, which included classes for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Ray explains how the winners were selected “Kennedy has a really clear vision for his future. He wants to be a qualified accountant and knows the goals he needs to achieve along the way. Not only has he excelled in his own studies, in his spare time he has also mentored other learners to help them get through their course. That’s very special.”

Ray continued his praise to include co-winner Chen, saying “When she started the course in September 2008, Chen didn’t have a good level of English, which could have been a barrier but she has overcome it and has gone on to pass her course with flying colours. She is also very friendly and willing to share her knowledge and experience with others. Like Kennedy, she is a worthy winner.”

Explaining how he was planning to spend his bursary, Kennedy said, “I’m very happy to have won and I’ll be using the money to buy my text books for my studies in September.” Chen, clearly delighted with her win, said: “This is a wonderful end to a year of hard work – I’m looking forward to a summer holiday with my family and then back to my studies – the bursary will really help.”

Marcia Hamilton, fellow judge and Curriculum Manager in the Business and Accounting team at CONEL, said “It’s really encouraging to see so much ambition amongst our learners, and it’s great that people like Ray are so keen to reward excellence and achievement. His involvement is particularly timely as this year we have noticed a significant increase in the numbers of our learners who are coming back to us in September to study accountancy at a higher level, which is exactly what Kennedy and Chen will both be doing when the new academic year starts.”

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