LOCAL Blayne Thomas is one of 500 students across Australia who has won an Australian Vocational Student Prize for 2013.
The Australian Vocational Student Prize recognises outstanding commitment and achievements in vocational education and training.
Mother Debbie Thomas explained how Blayne accidentally overlooked the email stating that he had won the prize.
"He got his award in the mail last week and gave it to me asking what it was," Ms Thomas explained.
"He was nominated in September last year so he had forgotten about it and all his hard work."
The requirements for the award were that it the student had to be nominated by the school and the nominee had to be currently studying Year 12 as well as a TVET or apprenticeship.
Mr Thomas completed his Year 12 HSC at Monaro High School whilst also studying Community Activities Certificate II in Sports Coaching.
"It was pretty easy balancing school and the apprenticeship. I worked every Wednesday at Cooma Swimming Pool as a teacher," Mr Thomas explained.
"Wednesday's at school were a short day with only three periods, so it was easy for me to catch up on subjects after school on other days and on Saturday mornings."
Mr Thomas was the first student at Monaro High to complete both a School Based Apprenticeship and receive an ATAR.
The high level of dedication and enthusiasm that Mr Thomas displayed whilst studying, proved him to be a worthy candidate for the award.
The Australian Vocational Student Prize acknowledges that Australia's future depends on a skilled and trained workforce.
Vocational education and training provides hands on experience to assist young people choose a future that is right for them and helps build great careers.
Mr Thomas is currently undertaking a traineeship at Birdsnest in Cooma as a graphic designer.
"I'm really enjoying working at Birdsnest and working as a graphic designer," Mr Thomas said.
As for the future, Mr Thomas is taking each day as it comes. "I'll continue to work at the Swimming Pool in the summer and I have hopes to do a bit of travelling and possibly further my studies in the sporting industry."