Brwa Mina, known as Kardo by his classmates and friends, is currently studying Access to Law at Gower College Swansea.
Kardo, who was born in Iraq, came to Wales as an asylum seeker in 2016.
“I chose this course because the law is an area that I am passionate about and really good at,” says Kardo. “Law is significant in everyday life - past, present, and future. It helps me gain the essential skills that I will need in my career and working life. The course is dynamic and competitive which suits my ambitious personality.”
Gower College Swansea has been like a second home to Kardo and he has benefited from extra support from his lecturers.
Before deciding to dedicate his studies to law, Kardo completed a L3 Health and Social Care course and a pre-A Level course in Science. At one point, he considered leaving College but the encouragement of the Health and Social Care teaching team persuaded him to change his mind.
“They insisted I stay and continue my studies because they could see my potential,” he says. “I owe them for that because they believed in me while I was at my lowest ebb.”
Kardo has also developed a fantastic working relationship with his Access tutor Emma Richards, who has helped him with his coursework and has instilled in him the confidence to stretch himself and be the best he can be.
“I owe a lot of my current success and achievement to Emma as her motivation and support has kept me going forward,” says Kardo and adds:
“Being where I am now is pretty unbelievable. I was only a child when I became a victim of war, a war I had nothing to do with and which ripped my childhood away from me.
“I have used my past trauma as a motivation to push me forward and get stronger. In my spare time, I enjoy boxing as a hobby as this sport was like a teacher guiding me on the right path when I was lost.”
After College, Kardo intends to pursue a law degree and has received a number of university offers.
“I want to graduate with a first-class honours degree and become the greatest commercial lawyer that I can be. I really enjoy debating and finding the best evidence to support my argument in discussions or team debates.”
“We are so delighted with the progress Kardo has made,” says Emma. “He has received all distinctions so far on his Access course and has received a well-deserved unconditional offer from his chosen university. He is an exceptional role model for others.”