Inquisitive students at Nelson and Colne College had the chance to talk to ex-student Sajjad, who they called a local “success story”, as part of their first ever Europe Day.
On his first visit back to the college for 26 years, Sajjad spend the day speaking to students about achieving aspirations and the role of Europe during the engaging and informative event at NCC. As well as hosting seminars to hundreds of students, Sajjad also spoke to a small group during a lunchtime question and answer session.
The College was decorated in bunting for the special event, and talented Catering students also produced some delicious European delicacies as part of the day. Other activities included students hosting a mock referendum outside the College’s Refectory, a passionate student debate and a “Travelling to Europe” student workshop.
During his talks, Sajjad described how his career all began at NCC where he studies A levels, going on to take a degree in Law in London, start several successful small businesses and be elected as a local councillor aged 23. He went on to be elected to represent the North West at the European Parliament aged just 33 in 2004.
Saj encouraged students to always believe in their ability. He also urged students to start thinking about whether they feel the United Kingdom should remain in the EU.
Addressing the students Sajjad admitted he found being back at the college a little surreal, with so many changes saying: “Every one of you that is sat here has the ability to reach levels you cannot imagine – it is about believing in yourself and taking advantage of any opportunity that comes your way. Thank you for the tremendously warm welcome you have given to me today.”
As part of the day, Sajjad was also given a tour of NCC’s impressive facilities, including the new £2million Engineering department, by Assistant Principals Alison Rushton and Paul Britton.
Principal Amanda Melton, who joined Sajjad and students for the Q&A session, said: “Thank you to Sajjad for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to return to his roots and speak to students as part of our fantastic Europe Day.
“The event has been a real success, and it has been an absolute pleasure to see so many students asking intellectual questions, sharing their own beliefs, and getting involved in the running of the day. Once again, they have been a credit to themselves and to NCC.”
Level 3 Public Services student Sam Diggins, 18, added: “It was really interesting listening to Sajjad and hearing what he had to say in response to questions.
“He didn’t expect he would end up as part of the European Parliament, so it shows how far you can come if you try. It has definitely given me motivation and inspired me.”
As well as providing a diverse curriculum, NCC also ensures all students are given opportunities to engage with enrichment days, like Europe Day.