Pupils who overcame adversity are honoured

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Two inspirational teenagers who overcame enormous challenges in their lives have won special awards in 
memory of a local hero.

Leah Black, an S4 pupil from Kirkintilloch High School, is this year’s winner of the Peter Buchanan Award for Personal Endeavour.

Leah was diagnosed early this year with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (a type of blood cancer), and has endured a gruelling treatment regime.

Runner-up, fellow pupil Holly Wright, was seriously injured when a car crashed through a fence and wall, and ended up inside the living-room of her family’s home in Waterside Road, Kirkintilloch, last year.

Leah is the fourth winner of the special award in honour of former East Dunbartonshire Council Project Officer Peter Buchanan who was committed to supporting young people. He died in July 2011.

The award recognises young people who have, through determination, overcome significant challenges.

Provost Una Walker presented Leah and Holly with their awards at a special ceremony recently.

Provost Walker said: “We hear the word ‘inspirational’ a lot these days and it is often misused. But in this case it is entirely fitting.

“Leah is a remarkable young lady, looking forward with optimism to completing her education and is letting nothing stand in her way.”

Leah also works with the Teenager Cancer Trust to inform fellow pupils about the disease and to raise funds.

Guidance teacher Rosslyn Hay said: “Leah is such a strong individual who has inspired staff and pupils alike.”

Leah said: “I was pleased to be told I was getting this award, but I don’t always like a fuss. It was very kind of Ms Hay to nominate me and everyone at the school has been great.”

Provost Walker added: “Holly was recognised for her 
resilience and positive attitude following an accident last year.

“Her conscientious and positive approach to her 
education means she has been an excellent role model for fellow pupils.”