A memorial service was held at Luton Sixth Form College on Friday to remember a “kind, generous and modest” student who died during the summer holidays.
Waleed Khan, 17, passed away after a short illness in August.
Around 250 of his classmates and teachers gathered in the Eastside Theatre to pay their respects and say prayers.
They also got the opportunity to pass on their condolences to Waleed’s father and brother, who were in attendance.
Waleed had been to start his second year at the college, where he was studying for a BTEC business diploma, and A Levels in geography, and government and politics.
His family was presented with exam certificates Waleed never got the chance to collect and a book of condolence containing tributes from his fellow students.
The service was led by Sufian Sadiq, Waleed’s business teacher, who said: “It’s quite overwhelming for me to see the number of students who have turned up. I’m sure it’s overwhelming for those of you who knew Waleed too.
“It means a lot you have taken the time out to come and reflect.”
Mr Sadiq added that the three words he thought defined Waleed’s character were “kind, generous and modest”.
Student Caleb Gaturuku paid tribute to Waleed on behalf of his business class.
He said: “As a class the loss of Waleed was a shock to us all, almost beyond belief.
“The last few weeks have been a real reflection for us all, as the loss of Waleed simply made us realise how short life is, we cannot take anything for granted.
“When you listen to anyone speak about Waleed, it makes you smile and think how fortunate were we to know such an amazing guy.
“He would always smile, he would always be the first to class, he would always do his best with every assignment, he would always get the best grades, never talk too much and always soft in tone and personality to all.”
Principal Chris Nicholls unveiled a cherry tree, which is to be planted in the college grounds to remember Waleed.
The college has also pledged to build a well in Malawi in Waleed’s name, as part of its charity work in the African country.
Donations of more than £2,000 were taken in college last week in the lead-up to the memorial service.
Caleb added: “His character and personality was an example for us. Although he has left us, what we have learnt from him will live on and I hope the small token of building a well and planting a tree is a continuous reward for him.”