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Joe Kirby - Real World Graduate

StudentsStudents’ Union President Joe Kirby was honoured at a recent awards ceremony for finishing in the top five of the Real World Graduates of the Year.

Joe was recognised for his work on integrating home and international students through the One World forum, part of One World Week, and for his work in a black African township during the summer holidays.

For the One World forum, Joe invited high profile personalities including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Hulme, to address international student audiences. In addition, he founded One World Walk, a charitable trek to raise money for the events and has on two other occasions led a team of student volunteers on a hundred mile trek across Britain to raise money to combat prostate cancer.

Working for a black township during his summer holidays in South Africa, Joe raised money to help organise and direct drama festivals which helped to bring together children from separated communities. It was through this work that he met and persuaded Desmond Tutu to speak at his own event.

The Real World Graduate of the Year, now in its fourth year, recognises and rewards students for their extra-curricular activities whilst at university. This could be through voluntary work, setting up a business, student union activities, environmental work or other contributions to society at large.

Darius Norell, founder of Real World magazine said, "all five finalists should be proud of their achievements, especially at a time when graduates and the value of university are under intense scrutiny. We have seen a diverse range of skills in this year’s applications – from those promoting enterprise to those excelling in debating, charity work and sport. Employers everywhere should be heartened that students are making the most of their time at university to develop experience that will benefit them in their career and life as a whole."