Hundreds of people graduated from a north-east college on Saturday, but none quite had the same journey as one young woman from Peterhead.
Kiera Wilson, 20, passed out of North East Scotland College (NesCol) with her HND in mechanical engineering ending a four-year association with the school’s Fraserburgh campus.
She had attended the college as a full-time student since leaving Peterhead Academy and now hopes to complete a degree at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
But her achievements are made all the more remarkable by her daily struggle with adversity.
At the age of eight, Miss Wilson was diagnosed with hereditary motor sensory neuropathy – a condition which damages nerves and weakens muscles.
As a result, it can make everyday activities difficult and Miss Wilson at times needs a wheelchair or support to get about.
She used this, however, a strength in helping to pass her course.
As a mandatory part of her course, students were required to compete a design project.
Miss Wilson set about designing a light-weight, motorised wheelchair, specifically aimed at younger wheelchair users.
Describing it, she said: “I hoped this would allow younger users to have more choice and potentially help them deal with some of the more emotional and psychological aspects of a diagnosis having been there myself.”
Lecturers have since commended her for her initiative, and one, Leigh Macfarlane, even nominated her for the Rotary Endeavour Award which she also took home on Saturday.
Miss Wilson added: “I was delighted when Leigh told me that I had been nominated for the award and very grateful to her.
“I loved my time at NESCol and I’m proud to have achieved my HND. It would not have been possible without the help I received from family and friends, in particular my fellow student and friend Neale Noble, and of course the amazing college staff.”
Mrs Macfarlane said: “Kiera always has a very positive outlook on life and is an extremely diligent student.
“Kiera has been an amazing ambassador and role model for all students who may face challenges in life.”