Bournemouth & Poole College are delighted to announce that Uniformed Public Services (UPS) student, Adam Dufresne, has won the Association of Colleges (AoC)'s prestigious national Young Student of the Year Award. The awards ceremony took place at the ITN “Learning for Life” premiere in Birmingham on Monday 19th November ahead of the AoC Annual Conference.
Each year, the AoC’s Student of the Year Awards celebrate the achievements of exceptional individuals from colleges across England. Student of the Year finalists have used their achievements and talents to give back and positively impact their college and/or community.
Adam was shortlisted for a variety of impressive reasons. A well organised and popular student with ambitions of attending university and becoming a social worker, Adam is achieving the highest grades in his course assessments and takes a full and active part in college life. He has represented the college at the British Indoor Rowing Championships and is now working towards his Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Adam also makes a huge contribution to his local community. Having been in foster care himself when he was growing up, and recently moving into independent accommodation after turning 18, Adam has sought to help others in similar situations by playing a key role in CLICK – the care leavers’ forum for Bournemouth Borough Council.
Speaking of the award Adam says: “I can’t believe it. I really enjoy studying at the college and I have always just wanted to help people have the best life possible. I never dreamed I would be nominated for such a big award.”
Adam attends weekly CLICK sessions and has accrued over 100 volunteering hours. As part of his role, Adam attends Corporate Parenting Panel meetings, where he presents to senior managers, elected members and staff. He presents on numerous different aspects of the care system, highlighting the views of other young people to show what is working well and what can be improved. Recently Adam presented a new version of ‘The Promise’ (the pledge of all local authorities to children in care that they will listen to them, help and support them) to Bournemouth Borough Council’s Cabinet.
One of the biggest pieces of work Adam has been involved with this year has been the creation of ‘Willow’s Story’. This is a piece of work depicting the journey of a child through the care system, and highlights how it feels when decisions are made about their lives. This performance was first delivered at the Family Justice Board Conference – attended by over 150 people, including judges, barristers, solicitors, family court representatives and social workers. It was also attended by Judge Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales. This was a very impactful piece of work and has since been delivered at a staff forum at Bournemouth Borough Council.
Bournemouth & Poole College Uniformed Public Services lecturer, Alan Card has described Adam’s input, passion to make change, and involvement in the CLICK group as "truly inspiring to see".
Diane Grannell, Principal of Bournemouth & Poole College said, “Our College has always produced outstanding students, and Adam’s dedication both to his own study and to helping others means he certainly counts as one of them.
“Everyone at The College would like to congratulate Adam on winning a richly deserved award.”