TRIUMPH over adversity and dedication to study were celebrated at Tiverton's further education college last week.
An audience of parents, students and college staff gathered at the college for wine, cheese and inspiring stories at the humanities and science presentation evening.
At the event, on Thursday, exceptional students who completed their studies this year received prizes in a range of categories.
Among them was Amy Bradley, who received the awards for A level biology and law, as well as one for taking part in the British Biology Olympiad.
The former South Molton Community College pupil is now reading law at Cambridge University.
There were also awards for mature students who used access courses as a second chance to gain a university place. Among their rank was Stephanie Wells, who received a prize for achieving top marks in a maths access course. She is now studying A levels and hopes to become a doctor.
Vanya Lord picked up the award for Access to Higher Education Health Studies. She is now studying midwifery.
She said: "I couldn't recommend the course more highly, absolutely do it! The support from both staff and other students was outstanding."
Rebecca Gibson was presented with both the A level Chemistry and Mathematics awards. Rebecca who is now at UWE Bristol studying physiotherapy said: "It was lovely to come back and see all these familiar faces tonight. I really enjoyed my time at college, especially having smaller class sizes and plenty of opportunities for one-to-one tuition."
Guest speakers for the evening were Andrew Pierce, Petroc's chair of Governors, and Tiverton GP Dr Frank O'Kelly.
Mr Pierce said: "It really is a joy to be here. So often when one speaks to people about our local college people turn their noses up, but we should challenge that and celebrate the fact we have some really great achievements to shout about."
Dr O'Kelly gave the students advice on being positive and urged them to take risks to achieve their dreams. He read the poem It Couldn't Be Done by Edgar Guest.
Sponsors for the awards included the Gazette, ALICE Educational Holidays, South West Archaeology, Strobe IT, Hole and Pugsley Solicitors, the Lowman Gallery, Bampton Pharmacy and Devon County Council.