JUST over two years ago Luca Drobnyik could hardly speak a word of English but her determination to succeed saw her scooping two top student awards.
The 18-year-old from Hungary, and fellow students Carwyn Rees and Jordan Dunt, proved they had the perfect recipe for success at the annual NPTC College’s Student Awards.
Luca and her family moved to Brecon from Hungary in 2014. Despite being faced with language and cultural barriers, her determination to succeed saw her make off with the
Outstanding Student of the Year award for business, travel and tourism, as well as the Chief Executive Award.
"We moved here when my father got a job as a baker," she said. "I couldn’t speak much English at all and struggled to make relationships at first. But because I am Hungarian people were very interested in getting to know me. It took me about a year and a half but by the time I did my GCSEs my English had got much, much better."
Her thirst for knowledge has helped her achieve distinctions in NVQ Level 3 Business, Level 3 Travel and Tourism and Level 3 Applied Law, the equivalent of three As at A-Level Ð as well as obtaining a Welsh Baccalaureate and a C grade in International English. And to top it off, she’s a student representative and works part-time in St Mary’s Bakery.
"I really enjoy college and learning," said Luca from Llanfaes. "I couldn’t believe it when my tutors Rob and Mark nominated me. I was excited to win one award but when I won the second I just but couldn’t believe it. I would love to go into business development or tourism eventually but I’ve got more studying to do first."
Tetrathlete Carwyn Rees’ culinary talents helped him win the Outstanding Student of the Year award in Catering, Agriculture and Hospitality. Despite facing a drive from the farm he lives on just outside of Brecon to Neath daily, the student has maintained a 100% attendance record, while also finding time for a quick Tretrathlon trial before class at 10am.
"I love to bake," said Carwyn. "I’m not a great fan of cooking mains but really enjoy making deserts and puddings."
The chef from Brecon has passed his VRQ Level Two in Professional Cookery and is working towards Level 3 and then an HND in Hospitality and Culinary Arts.
He said: "I’d love to be a TV Chef eventually, maybe have a show like Saturday Kitchen one day."
Chief executive of NPTC Group Mark Dacey said these awards celebrate the achievements of students.
He said: "There are so many outstanding achievements that students have gained during their time at NPTC Group of Colleges. Some have achieved high levels of success during difficult time. This is testament to their hard work, dedication and commitment."