Shildon sports coach, Jack Mensforth, from Tynedale Walk flew to Los Angeles last week to begin a five month contract teaching children at soccer camps.
He is just one of 64 individual success stories from last week’s Bishop Auckland College HE graduation ceremony, having collected his scroll after completing four years of study culminating in his Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Sport Coaching.
Jack landed his contract with UK International Soccer after successfully completing an assessment day in Newcastle following the organisation’s visit to the college scouting for new coaching talent. The 20-year-old, who will teach children aged eight to 18 in the US and hopes to achieve his UEFA licence in football coaching, said: “I really can’t wait to get out there!”
Former Army bomb disposal expert Steven Dykes is also looking forward to a bright future, after qualifying with a distinction in his HND in Business.
The 32-year-old, of Bishop Auckland, was with the Royal Engineers Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) in Essex for five years.
He now works as a clinical engineer at the University Hospital of North Durham and also as a part time fitness instructor and in September starts his BA (Hons) in Applied Management one year top up, which will see him study at the college’s strategic HE partner the University of Sunderland.
Steven said: “I always thought I would run my own business. Now I would like to work my way up to management.”
Other graduates last night included mother-of-three Sarah Bennett, 25, of Newton Aycliffe, a volunteer at Butterwick Hospice in Bishop Auckland who has achieved her Level 1, 2, 3, 4 and Foundation Degree in Counselling at the college and now plans to do a one year top up at the University of Sunderland to complete her BA (Hons) degree and become a full time counsellor.
Addressing the ceremony at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, College Principal and Chief Executive Natalie Davison-Terranova told the graduates: “You must revel in the knowledge that you have already achieved immense success and that you will, undoubtedly, go on to achieve much more in the future.
“Each of you will have a very personal and individual story to tell about your learning journey and I know how much dedication, work and passion you have committed to your studies.”