"At the age of 16, I had to leave high school because the economic situation wasn't good," admits Ahmed, a student of Migrant Up, as he confesses that his only dream was to continue studying. And he left. "From the moment I left Ghana until I arrived at the center for minors in Barcelona, I went through things that I wouldn't wish upon anyone," he confesses.
"The first thing I told my educator was that I wanted to study," he emphasizes. And so he did. They prepared a study plan, and he started a vocational training program in computer science. "At first, it was very difficult because I didn't speak the language, but studying was all I had. It allowed me to escape and opened my mind," he explains. Upon completion, his strong determination to continue his education enabled him to enroll in a vocational course program in computer science.
While studying, he turned 18 and had to leave the youth center. But luckily, he was able to move into a shelter home. "Later on, I was able to rent a room because, thanks to the vocational degree program, I was able to do internships, and after finishing, I was offered a job at the company," he recounts.
"I wanted to give back to the community everything they had given me, and since I couldn't do it with money, I decided to do it with love," he explains. So he started volunteering, accompanying people with different abilities. It was there that many doors opened for him. And as if by chance, he came across the BarcelonActua Foundation.
"It's a space of opportunities. They support you so that you can study and not settle for just any job. They believe in you and believe that we all should have the same access to jobs," he explains, recalling the path that led him to BAC.
When he learned about the Foundation, he was determined to pursue an advanced course in programming. "I submitted my pre-registration, but I didn't know how I was going to manage the enrollment," he admits. But by the time the list of accepted students was published, BarcelonActua had already decided to grant him a scholarship. "They paid for my tuition, transportation, and assigned Yikai, a student from the U-BAC Scholarships, as my mentor," Ahmed recounts, jokingly suggesting that without Yikai's tutoring, he wouldn't have passed the course.
"I attend classes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., work from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., and study at home from 10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.," he explains. He earns just enough to cover his rent and prioritize his studies. If there's one thing that defines Ahmed, it's his perseverance and eagerness to seek opportunities that are not initially given to him. "I want to go to university and study computer engineering," Ahmed explains. He wants to study and occupy spaces reserved for qualified individuals to demonstrate that migrants can also reach those positions and dream of a future away from precarious jobs assigned to them out of necessity.