A talented Art and Design student has painted a positive picture in this year’s national BTEC Awards.

Aleena Nadeem, 19, from Nelson and Colne College, has been awarded Highly Commended in the Student of the Year category, after impressing judges with her College journey and ability to overcome cultural and language barriers – having moved to the UK from Spain.

Aleena joined Nelson and Colne College in 2015 without any formal GCSE equivalent results following her relocation and with English as her fifth language. Her hugely promising portfolio combined with a steely determination during interview saw her accepted into college on an exceptional basis. She has flourished since, and is on course to achieve D*D*D*, the highest possible grading, in her Level 3 Extended Diploma in Art and Design.

Alongside her BTEC pathways, Aleena has also worked extremely hard to achieve her GCSEs in English and Maths, achieving her Maths C grade in 2017 with her English grade C in sight this year.

Aleena, who has secured a conditional offer from UCLan to study Fashion Design, said: “I am feeling so lucky. It’s my third year at Nelson and Colne College, and I feel that I have developed myself every year. The college has given me a lot of opportunities and all the support I needed.

“I would like to say thanks to the college and my teachers who saw the potential in me and decided to send my name in for the nomination.”

Aleena has complimented her course through work experience at St Philip’s Primary School in Nelson and by taking part in a number of extracurricular activities on offer at NCC. These include trips to galleries, taking part in the College’s End of Year Show in 2017, and an observational drawing course.

Head of Division for Creative and Digital Morag Davis said: “We are beyond proud of Aleena’s achievements – to be recognised in the national BTEC Awards is a huge success and one that is so richly deserved.

“Aleena, like many of our students here at NCC, has embraced our Career College ethos wholeheartedly, making the most of work placement and extracurricular opportunities that have come her way.

“In Creative and Digital alone, we have a wide range of opportunities available to all students to enhance their study in the classroom and ultimately get them ready for their future. This ranges from a mock interview with a creative industry professional, personalised career pathway planning, free access to industry-standard equipment and facilities, live creative briefs to support CV and university applications, and much more!

“We wish Aleena the best of luck at university, and are positive she will follow in the footsteps of many of our alumni who have gone on to secure rewarding and exciting careers in the creative industry.”

Government data has placed Nelson and Colne College as the number one college in the country for 16-18 learner achievement at all levels. For more information on NCC visit www.nelson.ac.uk or contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272.