Student of the year – Ma Carmina Provan

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An inspirational student facing an ongoing battle with breast cancer was awarded Student of the Year at New College Lanarkshire’s recent awards ceremony.

Ma Carmina Provan, an HNC Accounting student at the College’s Coatbridge campus, received the prestigious award after being nominated by her class lecturer.

Ma Carmina was recognised for her ongoing dedication and effort into her studies, even during her ongoing treatment, and her positive attitude paid off as she was awarded an overall A for her final coursework project.

Having moved from the Philippines to Gartcosh with her husband in 2010, Ma Carmina left her job as an administrator in the Republic of the Philippines Department of Education.

On relocating to Scotland, Ma Carmina struggled to get a job in the same line as her previous job, so decided to apply for an accounting course at New College Lanarkshire after doing research into the College and its offerings.

She said: “I wanted to get a job similar to the one I had in the Philippines, but was struggling to find anything with my qualifications.

“I applied to New College Lanarkshire in 2014 as it was near my home and was offered an accounting course that looked interesting and accessible to me.

“After being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2015, I was worried about what would happen with my course, but everyone was very supportive.”

Despite having to undergo regular chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment, Ma Carmina vowed to continue her studies at college to gain her HNC qualification.

She continued: “I really enjoy studying at New College Lanarkshire, and didn’t want cancer to prevent me gaining the qualification that I had already worked so hard for, so with the help of my lecturers, I was able to continue my studies throughout my treatment.”

College staff supported Ma Carmina as she started chemotherapy treatment, and allowed her to be flexible in her learning, providing her with a college laptop so that she could access coursework in at her own time and pace.

Ma Carmina continues to attend college when she can, and staff are always on hand to provide extra care and support – both educationally and emotionally – whenever it is needed.

Ma Carmina continued: “I was delighted to find out that at the end of my HNC course I achieved 95% in the Graded Unit exam! All my hard work paid off and I am pleased to now be studying at HND level.

“I’d like to thank all the staff and classmates at New College Lanarkshire for their continued support during my treatment. I can’t believe I’ve been named student of the year – I am very happy.”

Ma Carmina completed chemotherapy and radiotherapy in August, and continues to undergo preventative treatment at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre once every three weeks. She plans to look for a job in accountancy upon completion of her HND.

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