Outstanding Individual Learner Award

Habib Rezaie

2017 National Winner

Habib came to the UK from Afghanistan at the age of 16 without his family and without any English. Ten years on, he has a degree and is working for a charity supporting people like himself.

Habib was taken into care by Leicester City Council when he arrived in England as an unaccompanied asylum-seeking child. Without any English, and not having attended school in his home country, he had to work long hours to catch up with his peers.

His hard work paid off, and he secured a place to study ICT at Leicester College, and on completion started at De Montfort University to study Computing for Business.

Alongside his studies, Habib volunteered his time to After18, a Leicester charity which supports unaccompanied asylum seeking children and young people.

Habib’s confidence greatly increased while at university. He became a mentor for other care leavers at the joint Leicestershire universities summer school, inspiring young people who have had a challenging start in life to consider education as an option.

Most recently, Habib graduated from De Montfort University with a 2:1 in Computing for Business BSc (Hons).

“Education is the most important thing in my life as it gives me hope for the future and allows me to make a positive contribution to my community,” said Habib.

“Habib has demonstrated how a desire and commitment to learning against all the odds can provide hope and a pathway in someone’s life,” said his nominator Melissa.