Star student volunteer makes the shortlist for a national award

Star student volunteer makes the shortlist for a national award

Stockport College student, Esha Mumtaz, has been named a finalist of the Association of Colleges Student of the Year awards.

Esha was selected as one of the top three contenders for the Young Student of the Year category of the national awards.

The rising star was nominated for her outstanding commitment to the local community during COVID-19 when she volunteered her skills to help at a Greater Manchester hospital.

Esha’s experience for this role came from her paid employment at a local care home, which she gained following a successful College work placement during her studies in Health and Social Care.

Having arrived in the UK from Italy, where she was studying medicine, Pakistan-born Esha found the adjustment to her new life hard, but she kept pushing her boundaries in College to take on roles with increasing responsibility, from course representative for Health and Social Care to curriculum leader and Student Governor from Deputy for the entire College Group.

To tackle her initial shyness, Esha began her journey to self-improvement by volunteering to represent the College at open events as student ambassador, gaining such recognition among her peers that she was elected deputy leader of the College learners’ campaign body, the Equalities Council, which involved meeting some of the area’s leading VIPs, such as Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Esha has been incredibly active in helping others, writing tips for fellow students on observing Ramadan during lockdown and blogging about her voluntary work at Trafford General Hospital. She is currently working on an app to help people through depression in her spare time.

CEO and College Group Principal James Scott said: “We are tremendously proud of Esha in making the final three in this competition. Esha has a fantastic work ethic and juggles so many roles in College that enhance and enrich the experience of all our students. Her volunteer work in hospital at a time of great need and her work at a local care home show what a truly deserving finalist she is. College will continue to support Esha in everything she chooses to do, and we are all very much looking forward to the announcement next year."

The announcement of the winner has been scheduled to take place on February 8th 2021 during the Association of Colleges’ Annual Conference. Events like these showcase the ways that colleges are transforming the lives of more than two million people across England and how vital colleges are to the future of the British economy in the 21st century.

Esha plans to become a physician associate following a degree and postgraduate, and has been recognised by the College with two consecutive Student of the Year awards for her performance as ambassador as well as a Student Participation and Social Action award.

She said: “Throughout my studies, work experience and voluntary roles I have learned to be more patient, kind, focused and self-disciplined. My communication skills have also improved a lot. During my course, I have learned about care and social services, their disciplines and policies. Putting this into practice has certainly enhanced my knowledge and confidence.

“I’m grateful to have received the honour of making the finals and I hope to continue to make my College proud in future.”

The judging panel was made up of members of the AoC Charitable Trust Board, AoC President and chaired by Kirsti Lord (AoC Deputy Chief Executive-Member Services). All the judges were very impressed by the variety of inspirational stories and the success achieved by the students.

President of the Association of Colleges, Sally Dicketts, said: “The standard of entries this year was incredibly high and all the nominated students deserve praise for the contribution they make to their colleges. It is inspiring to hear the stories from a range of students and colleges each year and the awards are an opportunity to highlight their outstanding achievements. The finalists this year have done fantastically well to reach this stage and I look forward to seeing them all at annual conference.”