imageLast week in San Diego, 15 year old Rebecca Rickwood pulled off a major shock at the 2011 Worldwide Competition on Microsoft Office. Rebecca, who was one of the youngest contenders in the field, came out on top in the annual competition which this year attracted over 228,000 students from 57 countries around the world. The newly crowned champion won a $5,000 cash prize as well as the much sought after title of ‘World Champion In Microsoft Excel’ and was clearly thrilled: “When I was waiting with all the other students from around the world to hear the result I was really nervous. I heard my name read out in 1st place and I just couldn’t believe it. I’m ecstatic, I just can’t believe I won and now I’m world champion. It’s a day I’ll never forget.” Rebecca, from Sawtry Community College, a Microsoft IT Academy in Cambridgeshire, scored an incredible 100% in her specialist subject Microsoft Excel at the finals. Rebecca had earned her right to attend the world finals back in May after she achieved the top nationwide score in the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel certification exam. Since then Rebecca has continued to hone her skills by studying at lunch and in the evenings at her school, supported by Pam Kitchen her instructor at Sawtry Community College. “I’m absolutely delighted for Rebecca. She really is a wonderful student who is extremely talented but, also, a very modest person. ICT is a massive part of what we do here but Rebecca astounded me when she took the exam and achieved 100% first time around. What was most impressive was her hard work and dedication during lunchtimes and after school. We told her to go out to San Diego and be herself and are obviously thrilled to have her coming back to us as World Champion” explained Pam. Kevin Ryan, Marketing Manager with Prodigy Learning who are responsible for the competition in the UK added, “We realised Rebecca was extremely talented and one to watch from her scores in the UK championship. But the world competition is another level; it’s highly competitive and notoriously difficult to win, particularly for someone so young. Rebecca really has done her country proud and her ability is a testament to the quality of the Microsoft courses being offered by her school and others across the UK. I believe Rebecca has a very bright future ahead indeed.”