Brave TCAT student Connor Holbrook is to have his name added to Telford’s ‘walk of fame’ after being hailed as an inspiration to other young people.
Connor, 16, from Warrensway in Woodside, is pursuing his dream of becoming a teacher, despite being diagnosed with cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
He has been chosen to receive a Telford Tommy award – and to have his name added to the ‘walk of fame’, an avenue of trees displaying the names of award-winning young people, in Telford Town Park.
He was nominated by Police Community Support Officer Chris Jones, who witnessed Connor’s hard work during his time at Lakeside Academy, where he was continuing his studies whilst dealing with his condition.
Connor will be officially invited to add his name to a tree, and receive his medal, at a ceremony in the Telford Town Park visitor centre on April 27.
“When Connor was diagnosed with his condition, he was very mature and resilient,” Chris said.
“Connor knew he wouldn’t get to sit his GCSE exams due to having to take a lot of time off from school, but any day he wasn’t having treatment, Connor would be at school in lessons and still offering support around the school as the Head Prefect.
“Connor is a wonderful human being. He got into TCAT through his dedication and hard work at Lakeside, and was awarded ‘principal’s discretion’ straight into Business Level 3 because of his exemplary school report.”
The teenager now balances his BTEC Level three Business studies at Telford College of Arts and Technology with a part-time job at the Ramada hotel in Telford town centre.
He says: “I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which is cancer of the bone marrow and blood, in February.
“But I spend a lot of my time studying towards my qualification. The college course has helped me to mature – TCAT has given me a lot more opportunities than other colleges.”
Connor’s lecturer Lisa Allen said: “Connor is a hard-working student who is prepared to apply himself to the task set, and ask questions when he does not understand.
“He did not have the required qualifications to gain entry for the course, but TCAT prides itself on treating each student as an individual – and based on his interview, it was rapidly evident that he was an exceptional young man.
“He has continued with GCSE maths and English qualifications as well as his BTEC course, and has already been successful in gaining his GCSE maths during the autumn term.”
The Telford Tommys are annual awards organised by the community participation team at Telford & Wrekin Council to recognise local children and young people.
Anyone can nominate children and young people that they know have made a difference in the community, or improved and enriched their own or other people’s lives.
Connor has been chosen to receive this year’s individual special award, for an outstanding young person.
To find out more about BTEC Business courses and other options at TCAT, call 01952 642237, or see http://www.tcat.ac.uk