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Students at Havering College Of Further And Higher Education saw all their hard work pay off at their graduation ceremony last week.

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Internationally acclaimed designer Wayne Hemingway MBE was the guest of honour at a double graduation ceremony at the Queen’s Theatre in Billet Lane, Hornchurch.

Havering College principal Maria Thompson said: “Every student has achieved something very special, often juggling their work in the context of a full-time or part-time job as well as a busy family life. Our fantastic staff play an essential part in the success of our academic environment

Celebrations were held in the afternoon and the evening to mark the success of students who have completed higher level courses at the college and are now advancing their careers in everything from social work to engineering and graphic design to childcare and teaching.

Wayne Hemmingway told the achievers: “Many people have talent but nothing substitutes hard work. You have a chance to leave the world a better place.”

Among those graduating on the day was Lucy Dodds, who appeared on the BBC programme The World’s Strictest Parents, which sends teenagers abroad to live with other families.

Lucy has gained a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Design and is now a junior designer at Create-Motion in Essex.

Her final major project on travel has been featured in a world graduate showcase article in Computer Arts magazine.

The 22-year-old, who has recently moved from Harold Hill to Chelmsford aid: “I got ten GCSEs A-C at school but from Year 11 to my first year at college I started to have a bit too much fun and wasn’t bothered about education anymore.

“Going to South Africa for World’s Strictest Parents was my first travel experience and it made me get this degree. It was the turnaround for me to see people loving education but not being able to afford one. The family in South Africa know about my degree and are happy and proud for me. My Mum, Dad and Nan are really proud too.”

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