A student who overcame his own difficulties to help others has been named Highland Theological College UHI student of the year 2012. Mike Robertson (31) from Inverness has just completed a BA degree in theological studies.
Overcoming the challenges presented by having a visual impairment, Mike was commended for his excellent academic work, his determination to succeed and his dedication to others. On top of university work, family life and training to become a Church of Scotland minister, the father-of-three also found time to volunteer as a trustee of Carpathian Aid, a charity which works to tackle discrimination against disabled people in Romania. His support included encouraging a team of friends to travel to the country in July to attend a camp to help disabled and disadvantaged children.
Now he has completed his theological studies degree, Mike is undertaking the last year of his ministerial training as an assistant minister at Barn Church in Culloden. Speaking about his award he said: “Any degree level study, particularly the amount of reading required in theology, presents significant challenges for a visually impaired person.
“I went into survival mode at the outset, thinking the best I could do was scrape through. Receiving this award from the staff and friends who have supported me all that way is not just an unexpected surprise, but is in some ways even better than completing the BA itself.
“I don't feel any credit is due for my charity work as all I've done is follow my heart and passion. Again, I'm thankful to HTC because it was during my studies that I met fellow student Gary Torbet who founded Carpathian Aid in 1992. Our learning will equip us to be more effective mission workers for many years to come in our beloved second home, Romania.”