Award for ex-sol­dier turned make-up artist

Yorkshire Post - - EDUCATION ON MONDAY -

A FOR­MER Bri­tish sol­dier, who swapped tours of Afghanista­n to re-train as a make-up artist, has been named as the As­so­ci­a­tion of Col­leges’ Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Stu­dent of the Year.

Ben­jie Kusita en­rolled on the me­dia make-up with spe­cial ef­fects course at Brad­ford Col­lege fol­low­ing a spell in the Army, and af­ter win­ning the award she is now hop­ing to forge a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in the in­dus­try.

She said: “When I was in the Army, we had to run through mud with a 25kg weight in my bag and a ri­fle over my shoul­der.

“The make-up artist isn’t al­ways work­ing on the red car­pet, but it is very dif­fer­ent to my pre­vi­ous life.

“I re­ally didn’t ex­pect to get this award. I felt so shocked and proud when my name was an­nounced.”

Ms Kusita has al­ready won plau­dits from renowned makeup de­signer Mandy Gold, who has worked on films in­clud­ing Snow White and the Hunts­man and Rush.

Col­lege tu­tor Lisa Dawkins, who nom­i­nated Ms Kusita, said: “Ben­jie goes above and be­yond what’s ex­pected and she is such an amaz­ing stu­dent and per­son.

“She al­ways went the ex­tra mile re­gard­less of what was go­ing on in her life out­side the col­lege. As a stu­dent she al­ways wanted to try harder and all her tu­tors knew that she had to sac­ri­fice a lot to com­plete her de­gree.

“While study­ing she was also sup­port­ing her mum in run­ning a Thai ther­apy mas­sage busi­ness, but she never com­plained about any­thing. She was a very spe­cial stu­dent and in­cred­i­bly de­serv­ing of this award.”

Ms Kusita has com­peted in var­i­ous com­pe­ti­tions and last sum­mer she sub­mit­ted an en­try to Brush Wars in Lon­don. De­spite be­ing un­able to at­tend the fi­nals of the com­pe­ti­tion, her work was highly com­mended by the judges and re­ceived wider praise when it was show­cased on the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s so­cial me­dia feed.

PIC­TURE: JAMES HARDISTY

‘IN­CRED­I­BLY DE­SERV­ING’: Ben­jie Kusita has been named the As­so­ci­a­tion of Col­leges’ Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Stu­dent of the Year.

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