Kenyan-educated student wins global education award

George Benson Lyimo, a student at Braeside High School, has been crowned 'Outstanding BTEC International Student of the Year 2015'. The award was presented in a ceremony held at the National BTEC Awards in London. The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) Awards recognise top performers among more than one million students studying this vocational qualification.

Pearson, who own BTECs, received more than 800 nominations across the 20 award categories for this year's awards. Ahead of the award ceremony; the winners, their families, friends, and nominators attended a Parliamentary reception in the House of Commons in the centre of London.

George said he was "thrilled to win this award. My BTEC has helped me understand so much about creating new things to solve new problems and meet the needs of current and future generations."

Described by one of his teachers as "a humble young man destined for greatness", George explains: "In the country I come from, not so many people are privileged and my hopes for the future are that I can go and make Tanzania a better place. I want to give back to the world, I want to make the world a better place."

Wallen Nyamota, formerly a teacher and deputy head at Braeburn Arusha and now the headteacher at Braeside High School, says he knew George "from when he was a young boy at Braeburn Arusha, the sister school to Braeside. He was this softly-spoken chap, but who knew he had all this potential in his mind?"

George left his home in Tanzania to pursue a BTEC extended diploma in business at Braeside High School in Nairobi in 2012. He gained a triple-starred distinction and is now pursuing a degree in Business and Computing at Huddersfield University in the UK.

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During his time at Braeside, George excelled as a young, innovative, and creative business leader. He launched his own social network (texeer.com) and helped out in the school IT department, repairing and maintaining students' equipment, despite having no formal training.

As executive headteacher Andy Hill says, "George was quite a shy character, but clearly had a determination and interest, particularly in technology".

In addition, George organised annual charity events to support needy Kenyan children in education.

The judges on the BTEC Awards panel praised George's dedication in moving from his home country to pursue his studies, and his clear aptitude and flair for business as evidenced in his excellent grades and acceptance to a degree course in England.

Beatrice Teyie, the Braeside Sixth Form coordinator, described George as a "team player, with leadership qualities".

And a classmate said: "He's an all-round amazing person and I don't think I know anyone who deserves this award more than he does."

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George Benson LyimoBraeside High SchoolNational BTEC Awards