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Student named as national finalist in Student of the Year awards for transforming his life through education

16th November 2017

Jared Carpenter, 24, from West Runton, has been named as a finalist in the Association of Colleges’ national Student of the Year awards after completing an incredible 5 year journey with City College Norwich’s Sixth Form Centre and RUGROOM, a specialist centre for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. His life changing college experience has helped him discover an exceptional talent for mathematics and has seen him transform from someone with severe social anxiety and very few formal qualificationsto a confident and flourishing individual studying a Master’s Degree programme at the University of East Anglia.

When Jared joined City College Norwich in 2012, his anxiety was so severe that he couldn’t walk around campus or go into classrooms on his own. To help him overcome his barriers, the college ensured Jared was given specialist support which allowed him to work his way through a variety of study programmes including the college’s Phoenix Purple course which is designed to help students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders progress on to further study.

During this course, Jared discovered that he had an incredible talent and passion for mathematics which led to him enrolling on to the college’s full time A Level programme in 2015 which he completed this year with 2 A* and 2 A grades and 100% pass marks in 4 maths modules. Alongside this, Jared was also determined to complete a GCSE in Biology which he studied part time in addition to his A Level courses and achieved an A* grade. On receiving his results in August this year, he decided to study at the University of East Anglia where he is currently completing their prestigious MMath Master of Mathematics programme, a 4 year course which will see him graduate with a full Master’s Degree.

Jared was nominated in the Adult Student of the Year Award category, sponsored by the Chartered Management Institute, by his former A Level tutor, Roz Hicks, who supported him throughout his A Level courses at City College Norwich’s Sixth Form Centre. He was announced as one of two national finalists (or runners up) in this category at a special dinner at the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference on Tuesday 14th November. To celebrate this achievement, Jared will also attend a special event at the House of Commons on Wednesday 17th January.

Reflecting on his achievements, Jared Carpenter said:

“I was absolutely gobsmacked when I found out that I had been selected as a national finalist. My time at City College Norwich has changed my life both personally and academically – it has moulded and shaped me in to who I am today and the support I’ve received has been amazing. Starting life at university is another massive change as I now live independently in halls which was a challenge to begin with but I’m now really enjoying it.”

Roz Hicks, Curriculum Programme Manager, City College Norwich’s Sixth Form Centre said:

“Jared has completely transformed every aspect of his life through huge amounts of hard work and sheer determination. He has truly made the most of every opportunity that has been given to him and has proven how applying a positive attitude to education can pave the way to a bright and successful future. Despite his incredible success, Jared is extremely humble, unassuming and genuinely surprised at the level of praise he receives for his achievements. We are exceptionally proud of him and all that he has achieved during his time with us and we wish him every success for the future.”

David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: 

“The Student of the Year awards showcase the very best of college students across the country. They celebrate the achievements of the exceptional students who stand out from the crowd. It isn’t only about whether someone has achieved the top grades, but rather the inspirational nature of accomplishments. All of the finalists are exceptional and highlight what can be achieved through determination, perseverance and commitment.”