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Nine exceptional learners from the College of North East London (CONEL) were thrilled to receive prizes and certificates in recognition of their achievements at the Colleges 2004 Learner Awards on Friday 10 December.

Tutors, friends and family gathered at the Tottenham Centre ceremony to recognise the drive, energy and dedication of star students in the following categories:

Effort and determination Mohammed Hamza
Achievement and success Rainat Toyin Badmus
Contribution to college life Tanis Morgan
Role model for other learners Daniel Terry
Young learner of the year Kimberley Pitsillides
Ian Macwhinnie Award for
Adult learner of the year Julia Johnson
Middlesex University Progression Award Augustine Adu Bosompem
Meron Getachew
Lifelong Learning Award George Decoteau

George, our oldest winner, began a key skills for IT course at CONEL at the age of 84 and is currently studying CLAIT (Computer Literacy And Information Technology). His initiative and fresh approach to studying proves that no one is ever too old to learn.

Another remarkable younger winner didnt let several serious disabilities get in the way of his academic achievement. Mohammed Hamza successfully completed an HNC computing course despite having no fingers, which makes using a keyboard and mouse extremely difficult. Despite the critical nature of his condition and the number of operations he faced, Mohammed never failed to submit his assignments.

However, the evening wasnt only about student success. Learners also decided to include a new Staff Award category this year. Joe Whelan, who teaches A Level Government & Politics, History and General Studies at the College, collected the most student votes.

Joe was a mature student at CONEL who went on to study at the London School of Economics (LSE) and gain a first in History. A Haringey resident, Joe embodies the spirit of CONELs aim to serve local communities and help them succeed. A popular and inspirational member of staff, Joe is described by his students as an excellent teacher.

Everyone present had a great evening and enjoyed the entertainment; dance and vocal work from CONEL students and a motivational speech by guest Pastor Nims, a founder member of the Haringey Peace Alliance and a member of the College Board of Governors, who encouraged everyone to follow their dreams. The night was rounded off with a lovely meal in the College pavilion.

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