A SCUBA diver is on the crest of a wave after being recognised by three Education Secretaries.
Ryan Wright, a Year 12 student at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, was treated to a trip to London in recognition of his academic performance and contribution to the community.
The 16-year-old, of Felling, was the runner up in the annual Lord Glenamara Memorial Awards.
He travelled to Imperial College to be presented with a certificate by the current Education Secretary Michael Gove, and also met past cabinet members Dame Shirley Williams and Kenneth Baker, whose City Technology College policy led to the foundation of Emmanuel College in 1989.
Lord Glenamara was a former Newcastle Central MP and Education Secretary who would have celebrated his 100th birthday this year.
Ryan, who helps staff in the school library in his spare time, is learning to scuba dive with a view to becoming a naval medical officer.
Currently studying A levels in chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics with mechanics, he hopes to read medicine at Newcastle University.
“I like ships and boats and love diving,” said Ryan, who dives down to 30m in the North Sea, where the water temperature can be as low as 10 degrees and visibility just 30cm.
“I am currently studying a rescue and first emergency response course which teaches you how to treat an unconscious diver with oxygen and CPR.”
He said meeting the Education Secretaries was inspiring.
“Mr Gove’s speech was amazing and he didn’t look at his notes once,” he said.
Head of the Emmanuel’s Leadership and Management unit Andrew Farquhar said: “This is fitting recognition for Ryan’s contribution.
“There have been many times when he has stepped in to help library staff. He gives of himself because it is the right thing to do, not because anyone is watching. This award is very well deserved.”