15th December 2021
Former NSCG Stafford College student Nikita Gill, has been crowned ‘Student of the Year’ in the Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2021.
Nikita, who studied a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography, was joined by two other shortlisted finalists from NSCG Stafford College, Lily Carcaterra (BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Business) and Iona Newman (Access to HE Diploma) at the glittering awards ceremony hosted by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce at Uttoxeter Racecourse.
19 year old Nikita, from Tamworth, was nominated for the accolade by Lecturers Sue Bowdery and Robb Agostinelli for her exceptionally strong work ethic, courage and determination to succeed despite significant barriers to her learning, particularly during the second year of her course.
Having grown in confidence and consistently exceeded her target grades during the first year of her studies, Nikita suffered a sudden onset of Functional Neurological Disorder, a debilitating condition that could worsen without apparent cause, and with no timescale or certainty of recovery. This resulted in Nikita being wheelchair bound for much of the second year of her course, attending sessions remotely for significant periods of time.
Despite being unable to attend lessons in person, Nikita’s presence during online sessions significantly contributed to a positive group dynamic. Despite her own challenges, she was always willing to support less confident peers and work collaboratively with others in her group. Her Lecturers remarked that she never gave up when encountering physical challenges, instead she worked quietly and determinedly to negotiate them.
Photography Lecturer, Sue Bowdery said: “Most of Nikita’s peer group found lockdown challenging, but dealt with those challenges with fortitude. When they returned to college and understood the extent of the daily challenges faced by Nikita, and witnessed the way she dealt with increasing and ongoing setbacks, they were highly impressed and truly inspired, as were the staff team who taught her. Nikita is a truly inspirational student, who thoroughly deserves this accolade. We are so proud of her.”