A student who only arrived from Spain in 2015 speaking little English but has has now excelled in her studies was presented with the UCLan Education Achievement Award.

Volunteers and community cohesion campaigners joined entrepreneurs and sporting talent at the 2018 Fusion Awards held in the Concert Hall at King George’s Hall Blackburn. The ceremony was hosted by Noreen Khan.

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She was presented her award in front of hundreds of guests by Russell Hogwarth, UCLan Honorary Fellow and Community Ambassador

Aleena only joined Nelson and Colne College in 2015 and has since flourished in her studies achieving high marks in her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design. This comes after completing her Level 2 Diploma.

Alongside her BTEC pathways, Aleena has also worked extremely hard to achieve her GCSEs in English and Maths, achieving her Maths C grade in 2017 with her English C grade in sight this year.

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English is Aleena’s fifth language after Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish and Catalan. She has had to overcome an enormous language barrier through her determination to succeed.

Aleena has been instrumental in organising funds for charity. In the ‘Stand Up To Cancer’ Fashion Show, she worked under pressure with other students from the college’s Creative and Digital and Hair and Beauty departments and local Cancer Research UK fundraisers.

She negotiated her own work experience to teach at St Philip’s Primary School in Nelson while dropping off some of her younger family members at the school.

In total, she has completed over 50 hours of teaching, relishing the chance to pass on her knowledge and skills to younger generations and fuel her future ambition to teach professionally, while leaving a lasting impression on the school’s leaders.

Within college, Aleena has excelled in Textiles, Photography and Fine Art through a natural talent.

Her most impactful piece of work was exhibited in the college’s end of year show in 2017.

Focusing on the concept of identity, Aleena created a hard-hitting piece of work, in the simple form of a passport.