A student from Camborne has achieved his goal of being accepted to study at university after overcoming numerous life challenges and adversity due to his learning difficulties.

Christian Soan, a photography student from Cornwall College Camborne has been enrolled to start a BA Hons Photography degree at Falmouth University from this September.

The Cornwall College Group has praised Christian for demonstrating “unwavering strength” and “resilience” in overcoming mental health issues and living with autism to achieve his objective of attending the “university of his dreams.”

Christian’s achievements have not gone unnoticed after he was recognised by the college group as this year’s winner of the Shining Star Awards in the performing and visual arts category. The awards ceremony will take place at St Mellion Estate on Thursday, June 27.

Christian’s educational journey with the college group began after leaving Pencalenick Secondary School in Truro, when he joined the Pre-16 Foundation Studies course at Cornwall College Camborne, which led him to gain work experience at Helston Railway before joining Duchy College Rosewarne, also part of Cornwall College, to study on the Level 1 Land-based Industry programme.

He returned to the Camborne campus to study Level 2 Art and Design following his successful completion of the course where he further developed his creative talents.

“This is when my photography skills really started to grow,” explained Christian, who is now in his final year of the Level 3 Photography course.

Christian has made significant strides in both knowledge and skills during his time at college, improving his communication abilities and understanding how to manage and reduce anxiety.

Christian said: “Cornwall College and Duchy College helped me develop and improve all aspects of my life, for which I am grateful.

“It will be sad to leave the college when my course finishes, but I will cherish all the memories and the friends I’ve made along the way.

“I would definitely recommend Cornwall College because I have felt well supported in my journey to succeed and achieve the skills necessary to progress further.”

“I’m really proud of myself and can’t wait to start my adventure with Falmouth University, studying photography.

“After university, I would like to create my own business working collaboratively with the local National Trust and the Cornwall and West Devon mining world heritage to potentially publish my own books about the history of Cornwall, documenting a period of time through landscape.”

Simon Colgan, study programme manager for photography and Christian’s personal tutor, said: “We couldn’t be prouder of how far Christian has come on his educational and personal journey during his time at The Cornwall College Group.

“When Christian first joined us, he often required regular breaks and pastoral support to manage his workload and stress.

“However, through dedication and the development of self-help techniques, like his breath-in and breath-out method, he now confidently handles projects and anxiety with minimal support, producing exceptional work and inspiring everyone around him. We wish him all the best for his future endeavours.

“Christian’s journey is testament to his resilience and determination, proving that with persistence and support, overcoming life challenges and reaching your goal is possible.”

Scan the QR code to find out more about Christian’s photography work via Instagram or search bit.ly/ChristianSoan online.