Degree student's 9 year journey to success

15th October 2018 9:45am - Return to press releases

Degree student's 9 year journey to success

Lewis Singleton was awarded HE Student of the Year at East Riding College’s Higher Education awards ceremony on Saturday.  Lewis, aged 25, from Hull was also awarded a first class degree in Contemporary Media, Design and Production from the University of Hull at the ceremony. 

Lewis joined the College in 2009 from Northcott Special School, starting on a foundation programme before moving through the levels and joining the media department, where he has progressed from level one (pre-GCSE) to level 6 (honours degree).   Lewis achieved this despite having autism, OCD, dyspraxia and dyslexia. 

Lewis said, “It’s a massive surprise and a truly wonderful honour, it would not have been possible without help and support from my family, friends, mentor and the tutors and staff of East Riding College.  I think highly of the College, with its truly amazing supportive tutors and staff, I’m on the autistic spectrum and its evident there is a lack of opportunity out there for people like me and that's what the College and degree gave me - an opportunity, a chance to find my purpose.  I would recommend it to everyone who’s looking to gain valuable qualifications, studying at this College was the best decision I made.”

Lewis’ proud parents attended the ceremony and mum Sharon said, “It just shows with the right help and support Lewis has managed to achieve what he has always wanted to. Lewis has had to work twice as hard as anyone due to his condition, to get where he is now, there were times he wanted to give up but the passion for what he was doing gave him that drive to keep going. It’s not been easy with having great difficulties along the way, we are so proud, amazed and happy for Lewis that now he has a better chance at a well-deserved future.”

Lewis’ dad Neil added, “We have seen the struggles Lewis has gone through and he has never stopped amazing us with his dedication and hard work for something he loves. We are all amazingly proud.”

Over 70 graduates and over 300 guests attended the ceremony at the historic Priory Church of St Mary in Bridlington.  Honours were conferred by the University of Hull and the University of Huddersfield to students from across the East Riding.  The address was given by Chris Murphy, Associate Dean (Student Experience) for the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Hull.

Higher education at East Riding College is built on partnerships with the University of Hull, the University of Huddersfield and national validating bodies.

The College runs an expanding range of degrees, foundation degrees and higher national certificates and diplomas in a wide variety of subjects, as well as a Masters in Education and various teacher training courses.  The HE Awards ceremony also celebrates the success of Access to Higher Education Diploma students.  Access courses prepare people to step up to higher education level and are especially appropriate for people who have been out of education for some time.