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From Syria to Liverpool, Shadi finally follows his dream


In this guest blog post, Digital Development student Shadi tell his inspiring story.

By Shadi Azizi.

My name is Shadi, I am 19 years old and I was born in Aleppo, Syria.

I studied at an international school there and by the time I was 9 years old, I could speak fluent English. The school offered me a scholarship to study at a university in London as it was my dream to study in the UK. Unfortunately, my family and I had to leave Syria because of the conflict there. I had to leave my house, my friends and my school and it was then I thought that I couldn’t follow my dream anymore.

We left Syria and moved to Egypt, and I felt my dream of carrying on my studies in the UK was starting to fade away. To help cope with the huge changes in my life, I learnt how to programme computer code - it was then that my passion for Computing began.

My family and I spent 7 years in Egypt before we eventually got the chance to move to the UK. We found Liverpool as our new home. As soon as we settled, I started to look for places to continue my studies and what I could do to follow my dream.

In 2019 I discovered Hugh Baird College. I went to an open day, met with the Digital Development tutors, and asked a lot of questions. I found them really helpful and welcoming so I decided that I wanted to study there and I applied for the course.

As I didn’t have any GCSEs, I started on the Level 1 course and studied GCSE maths and English alongside it. The course was a perfect starting point and I achieved great results through lots of hard work.

In 2020, I was awarded the Digital Development Student of the Year. I was surprised but really happy to be given the award. I was also told that because of my hard work, I could progress onto the Level 3 course for the next year.

2020 was a crazy year, not only because of the pandemic and everything that came with it but also because of my realisation that I was following my dream. I’m now looking forward to continuing to the second year of the Level 3 course and then hopefully progress to university to study a degree in Computer Science.

My tutors Vincent and Richard believed in me and supported me all the way. I appreciate that so much and I’d like to say a big thanks to them. I would like to say a special thanks to my Progress Coach, Emma Griffiths. Studying in the UK was totally new to me and she helped me navigate the best path to take and has given me the motivation to achieve my potential.

Finally, I believe that whatever happens, you should always keep following your dream! Nothing can stop you from doing that and thank you to Hugh Baird College for helping me follow mine.

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