Uxbridge College students from Hillingdon and beyond were chosen to receive awards from Fiona Phillips, star of GMTV breakfast show.

Among the winners were a student who went on to achieve top grades at A Level after suffering terrible depression, a former chef and till assistant who changed her career to computing, a single mother who went back to college to study accountancy, and a refugee who learned English and is now studying childcare.

The overall winner - the Superstar - was Waheedullah Safi (18), who arrived from Afghanistan barely able to speak English three years ago, and has now won a place at Somerville College, Oxford University.

Achievers of all ages celebrated with over 500 friends, family and staff at Uxbridge College's Annual Awards Ceremony 2008 on 18 September, at The Beck Theatre in Grange Road, Hayes.

The 109 winners were chosen from among the College's 10,000 part-time and full-time students.

Special guest Fiona Phillips, who presented the awards, told the packed theatre: "If I can do it anyone can do it - I never thought I'd be interviewing Prime Ministers.

"Lots of people coming to Uxbridge College have overcome huge obstacles in their lives. It really is truly humbling to see what you have achieved. I feel very privileged to be among you.

"This College reflects the community into which it fits - it's just so brilliant to see it cater for such a diverse community and that's what state education should be about."

Launching the event, Principal of Uxbridge College, Laraine Smith, said: "An outstanding college is comprised of many outstanding students, and at the awards ceremony this evening we are here to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our students, and to acknowledge the support that our outstanding staff have provided to ensure that our students reach their full potential. Many young people and adults come to Uxbridge College with high aspirations and it is gratifying to see the determination with which the vast majority of our students pursue their goals."

Star and Special Award winners were:

THE ACADEMY
Star Award - sponsored by Scolarest, the College's caterers:
Fahad Al-Huda (20), of Hillingdon

Gavin Taylor Bursary Award:
Waheedullah Safi (18), of Southall

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Star Award:
Magdalena Olweny (33), of Acton

Higher Education Award - sponsored by the University of Hertfordshire:
Nileema Pun (19), of Feltham

Individual Learner Award - sponsored by Hillingdon Chamber of Commerce:
Austin Roberts (19), of Hayes

Employer Award:
Mechanical Technical Services, of Norwood Green, Southall

SCHOOL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Star Award:
Isabel Coelho (34), of Hayes

Higher Education Award - sponsored by Thames Valley University.
Anil Dev (23), of Hayes

SCHOOL OF CREATIVE STUDIES
Star Award:
Jamie O'Dea (18), of Ruislip

Ian Hebditch Award:
Robert Rickwood

SCHOOL OF EARLY YEARS, HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE
Star Award:
Julie Barrance (19), of Hayes

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
Star Award:
Anthony Pillay (17), of Whitton, Hounslow

Higher Education Award - sponsored by Brunel University:
Andrew McGilley (22), of Slough

SCHOOL OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHING
Star Award:
Liza Shirinzoy (19), of Hayes

Best English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in the Community Award:
Dorota Lesiak (36), of Ealing

SCHOOL OF FOUNDATION STUDIES
Star Award:
Dean Rondel (18), of Harefield

SCHOOL OF HAIR, BEAUTY AND HOSPITALITY
Star Award - sponsored by Capital Hair & Beauty:
Sophie Barnes (19), of Uxbridge

Comfort Simoyan Award - sponsored by Capital Hair & Beauty:
Sheree Ferris (18), of Hayes

SCHOOL OF SPORT, LEISURE AND PUBLIC SERVICES
Star Award:
Bruno Coutinho Da Costa (18), of Watford

David Keating Memorial Award:
William Smith (20), of Harefield

TEACHER EDUCATION
Star Award:
Derry Moody (25), of Northolt

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