A Sheffield College student’s success against the odds have been recognised in a national roll of honour.
Samara Hussain, who is visually impaired, is off to university after picking up an impressive batch of qualifications.
The 20-year-old, from Rotherham, left school with only two GCSEs – but at college completed a travel and tourism course, equivalent to two A-levels, and two more GCSEs.
Now her achievements are being recognised by educational charity the Edge Foundation, which has placed Samara in the vocational qualifications digital yearbook and the national VQ roll of honour.
Vocational courses teach people specific skills that give them a foot in the door to industry and a head start in their chosen career.
Samara, who studied at Hillsborough College, has now won a place on a one- year foundation course, specifically for people with visually impairment, at Staffordshire’s Keele University, beginning in September.
If Samara completes that, she will be able to fulfil her ambition of going on to a law degree. In the long term, she wants to become a barrister.
At college, Samara was given assistance through a software system called SuperNova, developed for visually-impaired computer users.
The computer reads words aloud when Samara touch types, and can create notes as a Braille display.
Samara has also had support in class from a ‘scribe’ who takes down notes for her so she can concentrate on listening to lectures.
The notes are emailed to Samara, who hears them read out by the SuperNova system.
She said: “The additional support and careers guidance I have received at Sheffield College has been phenomenal.
“I had low expectations of myself when I left school, but I’ve become a lot more confident and independent.
“My life has changed so much, and for the better. It’s amazing.”
Heather Smith, college principal, said: “Samara’s impressive achievement is down to her hard work, resilience and positive attitude to study, as well as excellent support from staff.”