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Award paints Hengoed student’s path to success

Active Pathwaysd Learner

Laurell posing with former rugby star Jonathan Davies


A HENGOED student has been awarded a prestigious learning prize as a result of her outstanding level of work at The College Ystrad Mynach.

Laurell Pearce has won the Overall Learner of the Year prize, as part of the Active Pathways scheme, created to incentivise young people to achieve in college.  

28 Active Pathways students from around South Wales were nominated for this prized title, which was presented by former rugby star Jonathan Davies, Skills Ambassador for Associated Community Training (ACT).

Laurell, who also won Year 10 Learner of the Year, was recognised for excellent attendance and strong enthusiasm for the painting and decorating qualification she is working towards. 

The 15 year old has just completed Level One of the BTEC Painting and Decorating course and will be a qualified tradesperson when she finishes level two in 2014.

Laurell, from Hengoed, started at the College in October 2012, after deciding to pursue a career in painting and decorating. In addition to the course, she is also studying for GCSEs in Maths and English to further her prospects.

Out of 80 students on Active Pathways placements, five additional College Ystrad Mynach students from Year 10 and 11 won awards across various categories, including Most Improved Learner, Best Attendance and Learner of the Year.

Laurell said:

“I’m so pleased to win the Active Pathways Overall Learner of the Year award as I have really enjoyed my course so far, particularly the practical side where I have been painting and stencilling. I knew I wanted to attend The College Ystrad Mynach as the painting and decorating course looked great and I heard great things about the college.

“Since I started, my tutors and Active Pathways coaches have been really supportive and I’m looking forward to going on placement next year, where I will be able to do even more practical activities.

“I’m hoping to start an apprenticeship when I finish the course, which will really help me launch my career in painting and decorating.”

Louise Gill, Laurell’s Active Pathways Learning Coach, added:

 “Laurell is doing really well at college and her attendance has doubled since her time at school, which shows the course has had a really positive impact on her life.

“Her confidence has grown and she has made some great friends. In terms of the course, she has been absolutely brilliant and has shown a real talent. She thoroughly deserves the award and I’m sure she will do really well in her future career.”

Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach, said:

“The Active Pathways awards ceremony is a great way to celebrate young people’s achievements from the past year. I am thrilled that several of our students won awards at the event, as it marks their determination to succeed.

“Since starting at the college in October, Laurell has really flourished and is a brilliant student. She has completed several key skills, including communications, application of number and ICT. Furthermore, she is a talented painter and decorator and I have no doubt she has an excellent future ahead of her.”

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