26th October 2015
25 year old Ridhwan Ojetola was born in Nigeria to a hearing family and came to the UK with no language skills at age 7.
He was sent to a deaf boarding school and, until setting foot in Barking & Dagenham College in East London, he’d had no experience of mainstream education.
After getting advice from the College’s careers advisors, Ridhwan decided to sign up for a basic painting and decorating course. The College provided Ridhwan with a one-to-one interpreter for all his classes, allowing him to learn simultaneously alongside his fellow classmates. Ridhwan thrived in the supportive environment, being named ‘Painting and Decorating Student of the Year’ in 2012 and representing the College in competitions.
Ridhwan also had the opportunity, along with the rest of his classmates, to be involved in real work projects whilst he was studying. He painted the student lounge and even had a few days’ work in a local school, all of which he received payment for.
Over the course of 4 years, he worked his way up to achieving a Level 3 qualification which is A-level standard and means that he is fully qualified and ready to get employment.
“Before I came to Barking & Dagenham College I had a dream. I have hearing friends for the first time in my life. And, now, thanks to the staff who gave me the same opportunities as my hearing friends, I now have a future.”
“My aim is to find a job with an employer or start up on my own. I’m ready for real work and I can’t wait. Whatever happens now, I have the confidence, knowledge and skills that I need, all of which the College instilled in me.”
“Thank you all so much for your support and believing in me.”