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Fahd “very proud” to receive accolade

Posted: 06 October 2017

Popular former student and Syrian refugee, Fahd Saleh, has spoken of his pride at achieving success in a national competition celebrating exceptional students.

Fahd receives his certificate from tutor Rachael.
Fahd receives his certificate from tutor Rachael.

Fahd returned to West Nottinghamshire College earlier this week to receive his cherished certificate after being highly-commended in the adult learner category of the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Student of the Year Awards.

It was presented by sport and coaching tutor Rachael Evans, who nominated the 32-year-old for his “inspirational” approach towards his studies and for adapting to college life so positively.

The former professional goalkeeper, who represented Syria’s national football team, enrolled on to the NVQ Level 2 in Activity Leadership in September 2016 after being resettled in Mansfield with his wife and young family the previous December.

Despite initially struggling with the language, Fahd was completely dedicated to his studies and quickly became an immensely popular member of his class. He excelled on his work placement, and as a coach with the college’s football academy – and successfully achieved his qualification upon completing the course in June this year. Fahd is now working as a teaching assistant at Queen Elizabeth’s Academy, Mansfield.

Fahd said: “I am very proud of myself because, before I came to the UK, I didn’t know any English words but now my English is improving. Because of that, I think I can work even harder and improve more, and I will do other things in the future.

“Coming to the college has made me more confident. All the staff, especially Rachael, gave me more confidence and helped me realise I could do the course, and more. I was very happy at the college.”

Rachael said: “Fahd has come such a long way since last September, especially in terms of his language skills, both written and verbal. I’m extremely proud he’s been highly-commended in the AoC awards.

“I’m also delighted that he’s got a job and is doing well after his studies. That’s what we want for all our students. Considering the barriers and life challenges that Fahd has faced, he’s achieved so much in such a short space of time. He’s an inspiration to us all.”

Fahd has been invited to a reception at the House of Commons early next year.

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