Syrian refugee documentary inspires student to become dentist

Aida Alfares leaves Leeds Sixth Form College with her head held high on A level results day with three As in chemistry, biology and maths.

Originally from Syria, 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.

Aida 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. The 21 year old, continued: “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.