A woman who fled Syria is celebrating her A Level results after achieving three As in chemistry, biology and maths.
Aida Alfares, who wants to be a dentist, leaves Leeds Sixth Form College with her head held high after picking up her top grades.
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Originally from Syria, where a prolonged conflict and humanitarian crisis continues, 21-year-old Aida’s journey started with self-taught English when she arrived in the UK four years ago.
It took her just three months before she was speaking confidently and was able to apply for GCSEs as a mature student.
She said: “Arriving in the UK was a challenge at first due to the language barrier.
My family had to flee from Syria as it was too dangerous for us. I once heard a bomb explode while I was at school and my mum decided that we had to leave.
“Luckily the support here and at Leeds Sixth Form College has been amazing. The tutors were extremely supportive and made sure I knew what qualifications I needed to be able to pursue dentistry."
Aida knew from a young age that she wanted to be a dentist.
She added: “I watched a documentary about Syrian refugees and the care they receive.
Although there were doctors and healthcare support, there was a lack of dentists and it was that moment that made me want to pursue this career option.
“I wanted to do something that would help others and I love science so it was a natural step to take. I’m so thankful for the support and help I received here at the college. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming and I’m looking forward to my next steps.”
Aida is now considering taking a gap year for some work experience before heading to university. Her goal is to own a dental practice.