IT – BTEC Student of the Year 2017
The Best IT Student in UK is a girl from Manchester!
Leah Dean is not only an exceptional learner, she is also a remarkable, generous and thoughtful person.
Leah is currently enrolled on the BTEC Extended Diploma in I.T Software Development at FutureSkills (Salford City College).
Despite being new to most of the subjects, she applied herself with conviction and determination to all of her BTEC Extended Diploma and achieved Distinction grades in all of her modules – She openly admitted that programming was something she feared – but in the same way, overcome this barrier and now teaches coding to young people in her spare time in Salford Community Centres.
She feels this is the best way to give something back to her community – As a consequence, she is now looking to become an I.T teacher sometime in the future.= – Maybe at SCC (Salford City College)!
To acknowledge Leah’s BTEC achievements and her community work, she was awarded the Salford City College Student of the Year 2016 – presented by University of Salford at the Lowry Theatre.
Through her second year of her course, she has again achieved all Distinction grades and is being rewarded with a D*D*D* – A great statement for Girls in ICT.
Leah works with the BTEC I.T team at all of our Open Events and actually goes into our local schools to work with I.T & Computing students and teaching staff, showing them examples of her own BTEC I.T & Computing experience. Schools have asked the college if Leah could return to repeat this experience for them.
Leah actually shaved all of her hair to raise funds for Cancer charities – this generated in excess of £3000 – her inspiration being one of her former teachers.
Last Christmas, Leah won £600 on a Scratch card – she donated all of this to the Salford flood victims – another great act.
Leah also works on the college Student Council, spreading the word of Girls in Technology at higher levels and has actually been featured on the cover of F.E Week profiling her great work.
Being one of our team for the UN Girls in ICT initiative, Leah speaks with both internal and external guests on the theme – to further this, she was interviewed by a local T.V after her case study was noted.
Leah was asked to give an inspirational speech at a recent college event, and highly impressed. So much so, that the BBC who were guests, asked her to deliver something similar at the BBC, where guests included The Bank of New York and more. This again was completed with vigour and presence.
Leah is about to undergo a 100-mile cycle ride from Bourneville, Birmingham to Salford to raise further cash for Cancer charities.
Her attendance is outstanding as well as her timekeeping.
Due to the strength of her BTEC record, Leah recently received an unconditional university offer to pursue Computing – which she is looking forward to – something she felt would never happen to her – she often assists in class by helping her peers with more challenging topics and enjoys her course thoroughly.
We have had many high-performing – even exceptional I.T & Computing learners at Salford City College, but it is difficult to think of anyone who has joined us and travelled such a distance in such a short amount of time, overcoming personal barriers and giving back to the community at the same time as Leah Dean has.
Leah wears the I.T & Computing badge like a medal – and with excellence in all she does.
A real inspiration and role model for all future I.T & Computing students.
In the last few days, Leah has been awarded the highly prestigious BTEC I.T & Computing Student of the Year award 2017 from Pearson Edexcel.
When you consider how many tens of thousands of I.T & Computing students there are globally – this is an amazing endorsement of Leah’s fantastic contribution and achievement.
The award ceremony was at The House of Commons and attended by many dignitaries – with a grand reception at the Royal Horticultural Society in London. There was Leah Dean with her dad Joe Dean and her teacher Ioannis Ntizolgou.
A big thanks to Mr Lee Chadwick CL of the Salford City College IT department for writing this article.