Students celebrate graduation success
Higher educations students paraded through Walsall Town Hall in their caps and gowns to celebrate a successful year.
Walsall College students stopped traffic during their graduation parade as Town Crier Cyril Richardson led the procession.
Shoppers watched as the parade made its way down Park Street and Bridge Street, before arriving at the town hall.
The high achieving students received certificates for success on courses such as Higher National Diplomas (HNDs), Higher National Certificates (HNCs), Foundation Degrees and Top Up Degrees.
Over 350 guests attended the annual ceremony, including students, lecturers, family and friends.
Jatinder Sharma, Walsall College’s Principal and Chief Executive, said: “The 2017 Higher Education graduation ceremony was a celebration of what our higher education students have achieved. "They are role models within their communities, as they have done themselves and their families proud to become skilled, professional and enterprising.
“Our students have achieved what they set out to accomplish and should be extremely proud of their achievements.
"I speak on behalf of everybody when I wish them every success in the future.
“Our overriding ambition is to give students the best possible platform from which to develop successful careers - both now and well into the future.
"Looking ahead, we aim to continue our university partnerships, ensuring that our HE students develop the knowledge they need to enter the industry they wish to enter."
Taylor Bird, who graduated with a BA Degree Level 6 in photography, won the overall Student of the Year award, as well as the accolade for the Creative Industries Student of the Year.
Bullied at school because of her learning and physical disabilities, Taylor found school difficult and gained very few GCSEs.
Despite this, she joined Walsall College’s Achieving Together programme and worked hard to complete entry level English and maths as well as Level 2 and 3 Art and Design.
This led her to progress onto a photography degree; becoming the second person in her family to go to university.
Taylor has set up her own photography business and plans to expand in the future.
Earlier this year, she was also announced as the Festival of Learning National Young Adult Award for her exceptional achievement in adult learning.
This award celebrates individuals between 18-25 years of age who, through learning, have transformed their own lives and the lives of their families, friends, their communities, and the places they work.
Taylor says that learning has had a major impact on her life.
She said: “I’m now a lot more confident in my own skills and this has helped to me find the right path, develop my communication skills and set up my own business.”