House of Commons honour for award-winning Debby

July 2016

Inspirational UCB student Debby McAllister has been named as one of the Institute of Travel and Tourism’s (ITT) Students of the Year. 

The 24-year-old, who received her award at the House of Commons this week, is on a mission to prove anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

After finding school tough, Debby struggled to find a job she enjoyed. A once-in-a-lifetime trip to Australia resulted in her taking the brave step of going back to college to train in travel services and aviation.

Her new qualifications enabled her to apply for a place on UCB’s International Tourism Business Management FdA course.

Debby has made the most of every opportunity, including becoming a UCB student blogger, attending the World Travel Market in London, and travelling to Tenerife on a volunteer internship with the Atlantic Whale Foundation.

She was recommended for the ITT award by Michelle Callanan, Assistant Dean of Tourism and Aviation at UCB. Only universities which have been granted ITT ‘Centre of Excellence’ status are allowed to nominate students.

Michelle said: “For such a young person, Debby has contributed an incredible amount to both UCB and to the wider student body over the past two years. Her passion and energy in all aspects of her work, as well as her studies, shows that the future of tourism is in safe hands.”

Debby, who is returning to UCB in September to top-up her foundation degree to a full BA (Hons), said: “I never dreamed anything like this could happen to me. For someone who never thought they would end up going to university, let alone be receiving this award, it shows that anything is possible if you believe in yourself. It would be great to think I could inspire someone else to fulfil their dreams.”