A high flying university student who grew up in care has been named Stockton's Young Person of the Year.
Rebecca Best, 21, is studying a business degree at York St John University and has her sights set on a top job in the retail industry.
Rebecca also holds the role of vice-chair of the University's students' business society.
And her achievements have been recognised after being nominated for the award by staff from Stockton Council's Leaving Care Team.
Rebecca said: "I was shocked to find out that I had won. To win this award for turning bad circumstances into good and achieving what I have is great.
"I feel honoured to be looked on as a role model for other young people in Stockton.
"The service provided for me by Stockton Council and my carers has given me the opportunity and confidence to participate in activities that I may have otherwise missed out on.
"They have helped me to flourish as a person and be able to live life like any other child without my circumstances has.
"I took the decision to go to university thanks to the exceptional support from the team. If every young person who faces similar circumstances that I did was offered the same level of care that I was, then I believe more young people would be able to thrive just as I have.
"The support network, help and encouragement provided by the care team is part of the reason I am who and where I am today."
Rebecca was presented with the Looked After Children and Care Leavers Young Person of the Year Award by the Mayor of Stockton, Barbara Inman.
The Mayor said: "We are ambitious for all of the children and young people in our care so I am delighted to see Rebecca excelling in her university studies.
"She deserves great credit for her achievements and is a wonderful role model for young people in the Borough. It's clear to see she is thriving in her studies and fully embracing all that student life has to offer. I wish her every success.
"I'd also like to commend the staff from the Leaving Care Team who do all kinds of fantastic work to support young people, often in difficult circumstances, to be the best that they can be."
The Leaving Care Team works with young people to offer accommodation services along with practical and emotional support.