The words, “I’m not sure you are quite ready for GCSE English”, dried on his soon to be tutor's lips when she saw the steely determination behind Ferzende’s eyes.

Ordinarily, as someone so new to the UK, Ferzende would have been guided towards a basic English course, but when he mentioned that he wanted to read a Thomas Hardy novel, she decided to give Ferzende a chance.

Read more: An inspirational journey powered by a love of literature

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When Bev was at school, she had loved French, but her A Level choices meant she couldn't continue to study it.

That was until Spring 2019 when passing the Library of Birmingham, she decided the time was right to pick it up again. Starting at the Beginners level she has quickly progressed to nearly Intermediate level.

Read more: Returning to study a language she first loved at school

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Evermore had her sights set on a career with Midlands Mencap which is what brought her to BAES.

Rewind a few years, and Evermore arrived in the UK unable to speak English. After completing a series of ESOL courses, she progressed to a Level 1 in Childcare, which is what motivated her to work with learning disabled children.

Read more: A bittersweet turning point to a new career

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Sadia became a BAES learner when she joined the Community Learning Becoming a Parent Ambassador course.

Sadia embarked on this educational path because of her desire to build self-esteem, overcome isolation, and actively engage in her community and her child's school.

Read more: A resilient and confident part of the community

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Erika is one of life’s creatives. She’s always had a passion for the more imaginative industries and, in 2017, whilst on maternity leave, she enrolled on a BAES workshop in Floristry.

Not wanting to return to her previous career, and struggling with confidence, communication skills and applying for jobs, her hope was that this would set her on a path to a more creative career. 

Read more: A springboard towards a creative career

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After losing his job, Imran found it difficult to find new employment. To make ends meet, he worked long hours as a taxi driver.

It was during this period in his life he heard a motivational speaker who captured Imran's imagination and had a profound effect on his life.

Read more: Hearing the motivating words of a speaker gave new direction to his life

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An Albanian teacher in her home country, Anxhela arrived in the UK with her daughter only four years ago.

Since then, she has worked tirelessly on improving her English. Her goal is simple - to create the future she has always dreamed of for herself and her daughter.

Read more: Creating a better future for both herself and her daughter

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Sarah aspires to pursue a nursing career, using her English course as a stepping stone to achieve the dream.

Despite a degree in Marketing & Management from UCB, Sarah's career direction shifted due to health issues, leading her to work in the care sector for seven years. Recognising the importance of enhancing her English skills to fulfil her dream, she joined BAES in 2022.

Read more: Fearlessly on the path to a career in nursing

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Adam loves learning and is keen to upskill in many different disciplines as in their professional life Adam has a variety of roles across many organisations.

Adam recently chose to return to BAES to complete a Bookkeeping course because of their role as a Treasurer for several charities and community groups.

Read more: Empowering different communities from all over the world

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When Karen saw an advert for a Cake Decorating class at a community venue, she was recovering from cancer and struggling with almost complete social isolation – but she knew something had to change.

She pushed herself to join the course, and her first class at Weoley Castle Library was the first time she’d set foot outside her house, alone, in three years.

Read more: Education as an aid to the recovery process

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Claudette is the perfect example of how education can build confidence and bring much-needed focus to one's life.

Throughout school, Claudette battled with maths. Her negative relationship with numbers followed her into university life and her resulting career in graphic design. A dyslexia diagnosis at university helped her to understand why these difficulties existed but didn’t allow her to overcome the anxieties she experienced when dealing with numbers.

Read more: Facing maths head on, against the odds

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What Liam has achieved in 6 months would take most school-age children 8 years to accomplish.

Having struggled with literacy as a child, Liam enrolled on an Entry 1 Functional Skills English course in 2021.

Once he’d completed his initial certificate, there was no stopping him.

Read more: Eight years achievement in only six months!

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Hanisa is new to BAES but made an impression on her community learning tutor instantly.

Motivated by a strong desire to support her autistic daughter with her education, Hanisa enrolled on a Becoming a Parent Ambassador course.

Read more: From social isolation to positive community role model

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Kulvir’s son was born with a series of health issues and needs extra support to attend and learn at school.

Seeing the special bond Kulvir has with her son and the way she related to other children, a teacher at the school suggested she should consider training to work with children.

Read more: Throwing herself body and soul into everything she does!

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