Level 3 Extended Diploma Engineering student at Darlington College, Jonathan Leonard was awarded five scholarships for his dedication to his work.
Jonathan, of Carlton Husthwaite, near Thirsk, gained the top grades of D, D, D* and will go on to read a BA Hons in Automotive Engineering at Sunderland University.
The university was so impressed with his results, passion for engineering and quality of his work that it offered him five scholarships totaling £10,600.
These included the Anniversary Accommodation Scholarship, the University of Sunderland Scholarship, the Engineering Scholarship, the Excellence Scholarship and the Travel Scholarship.
Jonathan is interested in the mechanical systems of cars and hopes to do a placement with Nissan.
“I just love to know how things work,” he said. “As a child I used to dismantle the family computer, dishwasher, sink or oven. But I always managed to get them back together and working again.”
He had high praise for Darlington College, where he has spent the past two years, which he described as ‘life-changing’.
“It’s absolutely fantastic and took me from being an average student to being able to achieve the highest grades,” he said. “I even managed to pass my English GCSE with a grade B, which I had failed it about six times at school.
“You get so much one-to-one contact time with tutors at Darlington College, people who have vast experience of working in industry.”
Jonathan kept his tutors on their toes; his first health and safety report ran to 48 pages and his project to design and build a solar powered boat was 196 pages long.
As well as studying at Sunderland for the next three years, he hopes to spend a year in industry and a year working abroad, an interest sparked by a Darlington College trip to Mulheim, Germany, to visit the factories of Siemens and Mercedes.
“I have loved being at Darlington College,” he said. “The tutors are so knowledgeable and such good fun. The new mechatronics lab is amazing allowing us to build, operate and programme robots.
“I have also been to a university summer school, which was great and have secured some CAD work with a company, which is amazing.”