A Dewsbury student was among a record number of 26 young people who recently graduated from Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate.
Award-winner Mary Hinde is now planning to work from home as an ‘Avon lady’.
She is going on to her dream job in cosmetics sales thanks to the new skills she acquired while at the college.
Mary was born with cerebral palsy and has severe physical disabilities and visual impairment, using a wheelchair. Her communication is through a voice aid called a VOCA, something which she learned at College.
Her mum, Sarah, said: “From being given a voice by independently using her VOCA, Mary has been able to communicate what she wants and express choices about her education, her life and her future.
“This has had an impact in every area of Mary’s life.”
Both the family and the college were determined that Mary should not be limited by her disabilities and now she will be working on her Avon business from home. Her work choice reflects her love of pampering and make up, as well as the social side of meeting people to take and deliver their orders.
Sarah added: “I’m very proud of Mary and what she has achieved. She’s amazing.”
Mary won the Gillian Lawrence Award for “the student who has overcome personal obstacles and been a positive role model for others”.
For the second year running, the speaker at the event was Jono Lancaster, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome and has travelled the world visiting other people with the same condition. He shared his experiences with the students and told them it was important to love themselves for what they were.
Chair of Governors, Chris Oates, described the students’ achievements as ‘inspiring’.