Jade Harley: Falkirk woman named as Forth Valley College’s student of the year

A Falkirk woman has been named as Forth Valley College’s student of the year.

Friday, 11th February 2022, 11:01 am
Updated Friday, 11th February 2022, 11:01 am
Jade Harley  with her daughter Addison and mum Yvonne after Wednesday’s ceremony at Falkirk Town Hall.
Jade Harley with her daughter Addison and mum Yvonne after Wednesday’s ceremony at Falkirk Town Hall.

The 2021 honour went to Jade Harley as the organisation staged two graduation ceremonies.

Jade, 28, picked up the top award for her outstanding efforts over the past year.

She graduated with a HNC Working with Communities, and also won the Most Inspirational Student in the Department of Business and Communities at the Falkirk Town Hall ceremony. She has now progressed onto a Masters in Learning and Communities at Edinburgh University.

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Falkirk award winners, Jade Harley, David Connell and Donna McLean.

Jade was joined at the ceremony by her daughter Addison (4) and mum Yvonne, herself a former Student Union president at the old Falkirk College of Further and Higher Education.

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She said: “I was completely and utterly surprised to win. I couldn’t believe I started crying.

“When the description of the recipient was being read out it only really clicked when my Addison was referred to.

“I am still a little shocked as I didn’t even know there was a Student of the Year Award – I do feel very proud to have won.”Jade paid tribute to the college, and the support she got from her lecturers.

She also received the ‘most inspirational student’ award for her department award.

She said: “I was very fortunate to be in such a great class with so many peers who had way more experience of working with communities than me.

“They are a very supportive group and everyone helped each other along during unprecedented period through lockdown.

“I am very proud of myself. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about the lecturers I had, who did everything in their power to make things feel as good and normal as they possibly could through the challenging times. I would recommend the course 100 per cent.”

Dr Ken Thomson, principal, also paid tribute.

He said: “Jade has demonstrated tremendous qualities throughout her time at Forth Valley College and over the past year has gone above and beyond what has been expected of her.

“Not only has she reached the heights academically at the college, but she has now progressed to study for a Masters in Learning and Communities at Edinburgh University and we are sure she continue to be a success in whatever she chooses to do.

“Jade is an outstanding student, who thoroughly deserves her Student of the Year award, and she also showed what an outstanding citizen she is with all her sterling work across her community during the pandemic lockdown helping less fortunate and vulnerable people.

“She is a credit to herself, her family and to the College and we know she will continue to excel in her career.”

More than 930 students were eligible to graduate this year from Forth Valley College and 204 of them chose to collect their scrolls - 62 at Stirling Castle and 142 at Falkirk.

Nicola Killean OBE, CEO of Sistema Scotland gave the keynote speech at Stirling Castle, while guest speaker at the Falkirk Town Hall event was MSP Michelle Thomson.

The Alloa Bowmar Pipe Band were on hand to lead in the top table and stage party at both ceremonies.

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