Hard work pays off for Mikayla

From first-week jitters to Marlborough Community College Student of the Year, Mikayla Charlton has definitely earned her title, college manager Virginia Andrews says.

The 17-year-old hairdressing student received the annual award at a graduation ceremony at Clubs of Marlborough in Blenheim last Thursday.

Students eligible for the award have to be enrolled under the Youth Guarantee scheme, free to eligible 16 and 17 year olds, of which there were 50 at the college this year.

Mikayla has achieved NCEA level two and credits towards a level two certificate in hairdressing.

Beginning the course this year and not knowing anyone in her class was pretty nerve-racking, but as the year went by, her confidence had grown considerably, she said.

"I was nervous - I used to be quiet but doing the course gave me more confidence, so I'm not so shy any more."

Ms Andrews said Mikayla had stood out during her first week.

She was the kind of person who would pick a piece of rubbish off the ground instead of walking past, or help clean up the classroom without being asked.

Staff had chosen between three candidates but agreed Mikayla's helpfulness, positive attitude and work ethic had distinguished her from her peers. She also contributed to the community through playing and coaching touch rugby.

"She's an extraordinarily nice young woman," Ms Andrews said.

"She has a great future ahead of her."

Hairdressing tutor Virginia Pettigrew was also impressed.

"Mikayla is one of those students you never have to ask to ‘do it'," Miss Pettigrew said. "She's never brought personal dramas into the classroom, she never has a bad word to say about anyone and she helps students from other areas of the school."

Mikayla hoped her award would help secure a hairdressing apprenticeship with a salon in Blenheim.

NZQA-approved Youth Guarantee courses offered at Marlborough Community College next year: cookery, hospitality/barista, chef, retail/hairdressing, and youth "excelerate", which involves a programme of outdoor sports and fitness-oriented activities.

The Marlborough Express