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17th August 2022

We were extremely proud of our students George and Yara when we discovered that they had both been shortlisted for a Bristol Young Heroes Award earlier this year. The Awards shine a light on those who have overcome difficult circumstances, made a difference to the lives of others, or achieved something extraordinary.

George and Yara were recently joined by their families at the Bristol Young Heroes gala awards night. Throughout the night, the award winners were announced across 11 different categories. George and Yara had both been shortlisted in the Learning Hero category, the criteria for which is: a young person who has exceeded expectations and achieved success in education, especially by overcoming adversity or challenging circumstances. This award was sponsored by the University of the West of England.

Awards Ceremony live stream - George and Yara’s stories are featured at 03:28:00

We were absolutely delighted to hear Yara announced as the 2022 Bristol Young Heroes - Learning Hero! You have done incredibly well on your learning journey Yara by soaking up every opportunity possible and for all the hard work you have committed to your education. It has been amazing to see you blossom into an amazing young person and we wish you all the best for your journey to becoming a paediatric doctor.  We are also so incredibly proud of George and the other nominees, you all have worked so hard and we are sure this won’t be the last we hear of you.

George has been elected to the Bristol City Youth Council where he is working hard to make a difference to the lives of young people, and he is also part of the City Leadership Programme where he is gaining some fantastic training to help him in his volunteering. George does all of this and more, while working hard for his A-levels and battling a late diagnosis of autism.

Yara’s family fled to Iraq from war-torn Syria but in 2017 were forced to move again as the medication desperately needed by Yara’s mum became unavailable in Iraq. They arrived in Bristol knowing no one and speaking very little English. Yara joined Bedminster Down School in Year 10 and began to navigate the English education system. In Year 11 she passed her Arabic GCSE and then joined St Brendan’s Sixth Form College which is a College of Sanctuary – an award given to colleges that go above and beyond to support refugees and people seeking asylum.

Read more about George and Yara’s incredible journey and how they overcame their personal obstacles here

“I nominated George and Yara because both students have managed to stay so positive and determined despite some massive challenges. I was thrilled to celebrate at the awards evening with them and their families, with everyone looking so smart and well turned out! They are both total superstars and will no doubt go on to thrive in their futures!”

Hetty Brown – Teacher (St Brendan’s Sixth Form College)