STUDENTS were urged to change the world as they celebrated the end of another spectacular year at college.
Hundreds of students, staff, family and friends packed The Sage Gateshead for the annual presentation evening of Emmanuel College.
They heard special guest Stephen Mbewe tell students: “We all have the potential to change the world, to be history makers. Today is your day to start. You can make a difference with your God-given talents.”
Mr Mbewe, national co-ordinator of the Mozambique charity YWAM, said as a child his impoverished family had picked cotton and he’d had to walk five miles barefoot to school. He had coped with hunger, a brutal civil war and racism.
Life only improved when missionaries took over the farm and an Englishman showed him compassion and kindness and gave him books. “Many of you have also overcome incredible odds to be here today,” he added.
Principal Jonathan Winch said: “This is our 24th presentation and our belief as a school remains the same – helping everyone discover and develop each student’s gifts until they reach what they are truly capable of.”
Prizes were awarded for excellence, endeavour and performance in academia, music, drama, sport, subjects and spelling.
The Vardy Award for Excellence went to Olivia Moran and the House Cup was awarded to Romans.
Entertainment was provided by the cast of West Side Story, the college choir and orchestra, brass soloist Peter Winch and dancer Rachael Ward.
Andy Bell became the first ever Emmanuel College student to conduct an orchestra at The Sage, while head girl Anna Cummins and head boy Sam Hedley took the audience through an Emmanuel experience including a demonstration by 14-year-old black belt Steven Jaremko.
A retiring collection was made in aid of the Burmese charity Health and Hope.
The winners of the special awards were:
Outstanding Sportsperson Award: Christopher Rouse
The Principal’s Special Award: Rachael Ward
The John Laing Community Service Trophy: Danielle Payne
The Albert Dicken Award for Business Studies: Liam Hedley
The Onyx Cup for Technology: Andrew Coffell
The Wiecek Cup: Sam Thompson
The Derek Tams Award: Natalie Reay
Harlie Gilbertson Endeavour Award: Ethan Lisk
The Vardy Award for Excellence: Olivia Moran
The House Cup: Romans