The Educational Achiever Award, sponsored by Boeing, recognises young people who have overcome barriers, developed new skills and improved their education prospects.  

Finalist: Alfie Waters

With a history of difficulties in school, including poor attendance, low attainment and low motivation, Alfie, 16, always felt he was struggling. Then within three years he tragically lost both of his parents and school became a safe and familiar place for him.

He joined The Prince’s Trust Achieve programme and found a mode of learning that accommodated his difficulties and promoted his progress. His attendance was boosted to 99 per cent and he gained a Level 2 Award. Alfie went on to complete a successful work experience and was offered paid part-time work.

The confidence he gained motivated him to apply for an apprenticeship. He feels positive about his future, actively pursuing employment and training opportunities.   

Alfie's success on this course will make him an excellent ambassador and he has been invited back to the school to motivate and encourage younger pupils.

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Finalist: Baseer Khan-Omarkhil

Ripped suddenly, and without any explanation, from the heart of  his family in rural Afghanistan, Baseer underwent a long and terrifying journey to the UK.

He did not know if his family was safe but he had to adapt to a totally unfamilar culture and learn a new language whilst feeling so insecure.

Preoccupied with huge anxieties, and with no previous education, he found school extremely difficult. Baseer joined the Achieve programme, which helped to give him motivation to learn. He showed willingness to learn and the group helped him overcome his barriers to social and academic progress. 

Baseer's natural leadership skills became apparent and he organised and ran the group's activities. Now he routinely completes his work in class and helps his peers.

Baseer is currently working towards his GCSE exams and will go on to college to study carpentry or motor mechanics. He loves cricket and has become Team Captain for the school team.

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Winner: Caitlin Buckley

Removed from lessons for her own safety and that of others, former A-grade student Caitlin, 18, from Southampton, saw her behaviour spiral so badly out of control, that the police were called into school on four separate occasions. She suffered with ADHD, dyslexia and mental health difficulties, and was once escorted from school grounds in restraints after suffering a breakdown. 

She experienced panic attacks, was scared to leave the house without carrying a knife, used substances and self harm as an escape, and attempted suicide several times.

Our programmes helped Cait get her life back and she is now in a much happier and healthier place. She re-sat her GCSEs and is currently working part-time whilst studying at college. She is now qualified as a swimming teacher and is teaching and life-guarding at the leisure centre.

Cait is a brave young woman who is rightly proud of what she has achieved. 

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