My name is Ahmadzay Safi I am currently at my second year of Biomedical Science at Salford University. When I was 15, I went to a foster family. Before that I used to live in a children's home for one year. My life as a care leaver has been tough. First when I was at school, I didn’t know what I am going to do with my life. But after I did my GCSEs I went to college and studied science where it inspired me to go and study at higher education. I asked my social worker about support that they will give me, it was beyond my imagination: being a care leaver in higher education you get the most support for everything financially.  And support with your work at the university.

The amount of benefit you get as a care leaver is well enough for you to make a better future for yourself while you’re in higher education.  You get your student loan, and your rent is paid by the local authority, you don’t need to pay council tax and many more advantages.

University is a big place; it has changed my life. I have met new people and been able to find my passion to get my dream job.

My message to care leavers - I know you think life doesn’t mean anything to you but believe me if you make it to higher education you will grow as a person which you never would have thought you would.  You will become confident, employable, and you will find your way.

Don’t let your mental health, stress of life and coming from a disadvantaged background hold you back from being a successful person.

Kick those stresses and mental health worries out of your way.  Remember if you don’t help yourself, no one will be able to help you.  Start with the minimum, success will come to your door.

And be proud of yourself that you are different than others. Being different shouldn’t hold you back from higher education. Surround yourself with positive and successful people.  Avoid having bad people as friends. At the end, good luck, hope you get where you want in your life one day, and best wishes.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

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