A Bradford mother-of -two, whose husband tragically passed away four years ago, has been named by one of the city’s top educational establishments as their ‘Rising Star’.
Sahdia Ashraf, from Great Horton, decided it was time to do something with her life, after struggling with the loss of her husband, Navid, through Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in February 2010.
With two children to raise, the 34-year-old decided to take up the option of returning to college to complete a beauty course whilst also balancing the ‘life of a busy mother’.
Coursework sessions until 3am and sitting numerous exams were juggled alongside school lunches and play time, yet even with such a hectic schedule, Sahdia completed her course two months early.
Achieving top grades in all her tests, and producing high quality coursework lead to tutor, Emma Morris, putting Sahdia’s name forward for the accolade of ‘Adult Achiever’ at the college’s ‘Rising Stars Awards’.
After being named as winner of the overall Adult Achiever award at the presentation evening, the dedicated student says she was shocked and had never expected to clinch the top prize.
“I really didn’t think my name would be said when they were giving out the award and I was just shocked,” she said.
“I guess it proves hard work does pay off and I am so happy to have completed the course because there were times that I was forced to overcome some big difficulties.”
Sahdia’s youngest son, six-year-old Rayhan, suffers from Autism and Hypersensitivity. Because of his condition, he often required his mother to pick him up from school early or from the child-minder meaning Sahdia would have to leave lessons.
She continued: “There were a few occasions where I had to miss a class or leave during one, because Rayhan may have been struggling.
“It was hard at times, and I could find myself completing coursework and catching up on lessons at around three in the morning, but I am so glad to have done it now.
“If Navid had of been here it would obviously have been a lot easier to deal with the kids and the hours of work but without him it was really hard.”
The Bradford mum says she would love to own her own salon one day and would tell anyone thinking about returning to college to give it a go like she did.
“It’s definitely one of the most rewarding things I have done,” she said.
“After my husband passed away I was just sat at home dealing with Rayhan and Haroon. Both were starting school again in September and I thought they would be fine and it was then that I decided that I wanted to do something with my life.
“One day I just applied to Bradford College hoping to clear my head of everything. Two days later I got a letter through saying I’ve got an interview and the lady there said ‘you’ve got in’.
“I was absolutely shocked and so happy and would tell anyone thinking about doing a course to give it a go.”