Karen Kerr - Student of the Year
Each day in the lead-up to our 2016 Graduation ceremonies, we will be revealing one of our prizewinners. We begin with our Kilwinning winners ahead of their graduation ceremony on Friday 21 October!
If anyone out there is questioning going to college: take a chance, you may just surprise yourself.
"Before starting college I was a mother of three children working part-time in a local children’s shoe shop. However, as much as I loved my job, I was never going to be content doing that forever.
"Photography has always been a keen interest of mine and for years I have wanted to learn properly, but always found an excuse not to pursue it. I never told anyone that I applied for Ayrshire College and I genuinely didn’t think I was going to be accepted, so when I did it came as a huge surprise.
"In the first year I fell pregnant with my fourth child, two weeks into the course!
"I then questioned if I had made the right choice, but, the commitment was made so I put my head down and got on with it.
"The first year involved a lot of theory which I didn’t expect but it actually benefited me at that time.
"Second year was a lot more hands on; learning different camera techniques and studio lighting. I thoroughly enjoyed my Graded Unit, and getting to choose a subject that I was passionate about made it so much more enjoyable. I loved the freedom of the initial planning stage to the final editing process. It gave me a chance to express my skills throughout the whole unit.
"I have gained a lot of confidence in both my photography skills and working with models. I am constantly seeing photo opportunities every day and it gives me inspiration to try new things.
"I have to admit I was so shocked when I got the letter through to say I had been named Student of the Year. I am very touched that all of my hard work was recognised and feel very privileged to have won this award. It’s definitely a huge confidence boost.
"I am now back at the College for HND Photography and I’m really looking forward to the hard work and challenges that lie ahead.
"If anyone out there is questioning going to college, no matter what circumstance you are in: take a chance, you may just surprise yourself."
Alex Begg: "Alex Begg realises it is important to recognise young talent in Ayrshire, as we are a long established world leader in luxury fashion accessories. Encouraging, nurturing and mentoring our young people is essential to maintain the necessary skills in our workforce to maintain our recognised standards throughout the world."