Five local students are to take their first steps on the path to academic success with help from the Thomas Devlin Fund.
Stars from theatre and cinema attended a gala event at the Europa Hotel on Saturday night to award the art and design students with bursaries.
TV and theatre star Dan Gordon and international screenwriter and director Terry Loane helped host the proceedings, which are providing over £6,000 in educational bursaries to students from across Northern Ireland.
Chosen after a rigorous application process, the winners included Jonathon Allen from Lisburn, who will further his education at Camberwell College in London.
Tiarnan Larkin from Magherafelt, Jamie Shields from Coalisland in Co Tyrone and Mark Dunlop from Newtownabbey will all attend the University of Ulster, and a special bursary was awarded to Newry student Samuel McIlroy to help him pursue a career as a photographer.
The funds, administered by the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland, will be used to defray course fees, reduce travel costs and help buy vital equipment for the lucky quintet.
The annual gala event raises funds for the Thomas Devlin Fund, in memory of the north Belfast schoolboy who was murdered by loyalists in 2005.
Jim Devlin, father of Thomas, said: “It’s wonderful that our son leaves such a positive legacy.
“His mother Penny and I draw enormous comfort from seeing the recipients receive their bursaries and we wish them well for the future.
“My thanks go to all those who attended the gala dinner and I can assure them the funds raised from the night will be invested in a similar way next year.”
Mr Devlin thanked Dan Gordon and Terry Loane for their generosity in hosting the event.
“Their professionalism and good humour was enormously welcome,” he said. “This was a busy year for the fund, which is administered by the Community Foundation.
“In June we supported a cross community Flags of Hope project in two local schools and initiatives like this provide incredible visual representations of healing and diversity in our society.”