Lithgow girl Kiana Ryan has taken out the Health, Well-being and Community Services student of the year award 2020 from TAFE NSW.
Kiana was studying her Diploma in Children's Services at Bathurst TAFE travelling one day a week and was also travelling down the Mountains to work in Early Childhood and Family Support Work for Vulnerable Children and their families.
Kiana's teacher Stephanie Palmer nominated her first and asked her to fill in an application to go along with it.
"Winning this award made me so happy, it was such an acknowledgement of a job well done and gave me such justification for all the self-doubt, and the hard work that went into studying my course," Kiana said.
"It was honestly overwhelming, winning this award not only gave me validation but also boosted my confidence in the area of study as Early Childhood isn't recognised as much as it should be."
According to the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards page, the awards recognise outstanding student achievements.
"The awards acknowledge determination, resilience and leadership, identifying those who achieve outstanding academic results, who provide significant contribution to their professions, and who exhibit exceptional personal qualities."
Kiana said she was extremely proud of her achievements.
"It was very unexpected so that made it even more exciting," she said.
Kiana said she absolutely loved studying her course.
"Overall I really enjoyed my experience at TAFE NSW, I felt supported all the time," she said.
Kiana has now been accepted into doing her Bachelor of Physical Education at the University of Wollongong.
As for advice that Kiana would give to anyone studying or working this year that has found it tough is to just keep going.
"I just encourage anyone having any self doubt to keep pushing, 2020 has been such a difficult year for every single one of us but if I've learnt anything it is keep going," she said.
"We are all capable of thriving for greatness, take it one day at a time. Even making a little progress can go a long way.
"The key is to stick with what you've started, it's kind of like writing a book."
She also wanted to thank her teachers Stephanie Palmer and Stephanie Wilson, as well as her parents Shelley and Cory, friends and boyfriend Riley for their ongoing support and love.