She has had to overcome many obstacles during her childhood, but Abbie Gilson has beaten them all to become one of East Riding College’s star students - and book a place at university.
The 18-year-old will study for a degree in social work at Hull University after earning three distinction grades in her Level 3 Diploma Health and Social Care at the Bridlington campus.
When she was seven, Abbie was injured by a firework and missed several months of school. At secondary school she had operations on her jaw, had treatment for a curved spine and suffered at the hands of bullies.
When she was told she wouldn’t achieve the GCSE grades she needed, she knuckled donw, proved her critics wrong and got the five Cs required to get a place at college.
She said, “I’m really grateful to my tutors, who were very supportive. Social work is in itself a difficult degree course to get on to and I think I have done well to be accepted onto the course.
“I think my job as a home carer and the placement work I did also helped my application.”
Abbie’s mum Pam Delaney is understandably proud of her daughter. She said “Abbie should be so pleased with her progress. She has gone from being classed as having special educational needs whilst at school to achieving top grades and a university place.
“She is even being considered for a scholarship.”
The college is promoting BTEC diplomas as an alternative to A-levels.
Two other Bridlington students Jordan Slater-Hall and Maisie Banks achieved the equivalent of three A*s at A-Level in their BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design. Jordan has secured a place at the University of York St John to study Graphic Design and Maisie is heading to Leeds College of Art to study Visual Communication.