A MOTHER-of-two has won a competition for university students.
Samantha Cowles, of Lindley, came first in the Huddersfield and Halifax heat of the 2004 Step Awards.
The competition recognises students who undertake eight- week placements to help small firms carry out vital projects.
Mrs Cowles, 39, won the award for helping Aspley-based Longwood Engineering achieve a national quality standard.
Mrs Cowles is studying full time for an honours degree in health and environment at Huddersfield University.
She now goes forward to the regional final of the Step Awards, sponsored by Shell.
The regional final is in York on Tuesday, September 14.
The runner-up in the local heat was Elisha Gardner, who carried out a marketing project for Halifax-based recycling organisation Urban Mines.
Miss Gardner, who lives at Mirfield, is studying film, television and video at Staffordshire University.
A special commendation went to Adam Knight, of Golcar, and Sally Jasper, from Newsome, for their project to devise a building scheme using environmentally-friendly materials for Elland-based charity Pitstop 2000.
The local heat - featuring 10 competitors - was organised by Huddersfield University.
The entries were judged by Susan Cook, strategic business adviser for Business Link West Yorkshire; John Thompson, the university's professor of entrepreneurship; Denise Downs, head of the university's regional office; and Examiner business correspondent Henryk Zientek.