19 year old Gemima Christodoulou-Peace received the outstanding light vehicle apprentice awards at the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) at their annual outstanding achievement awards that were held in Hertfordshire.
The former level three vehicle maintenance and repair student,currently works as an apprentice mechanic for Hyundai. During her time at One she teamed up with fellow students at One to promote careers in engineering to girls in schools.
On following her dream of becoming an engineer, she said, "It (engineering) is seen as being male dominated but after A-levels I looked at my options – I saw car mechanics as my favourite option so I just went for it. After my course at One I started the apprenticeship (at Hyundai) and although its early days, it has been going well."
It's been going so well that Gemima received this award that was presented to her by His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Michael of Kent.
On winning the award and meeting royalty, she said, "It was a big surprise for me and it was the first time I've ever met royalty. He (HRH) asked me about my background and congratulated me. There was 10,000 people in the category that I was in and I won. It felt shocking at the time and it took a while to sink in. It's a massive thing for me and it has given me confidence that will help me in my future career. It also looks great on the CV."
In terms of One, she said, "One was a really good college. I was impressed by everything they did for me and for other students."
In terms of the future, she added, "After my apprenticeship I might go to University. And in ten to fifteen years from now – I think ultimately I'd like to go down the motorsports route."
Deputy Principal, Jenny Milsom, said, "Gemima was a superb student and we are incredibly proud of her. To win when she was up against so much competition is impressive. She is one of the top engineering students in the UK therefore we are delighted for her. She worked hard when she was with us and deserves the recognition."