Young Llanelli dad in line for achiever prize
A LLANELLI man who left school at 13 has been shortlisted for a Prince's Trust award after turning his life around.
Daniel Hassan, who has been offered a place at university, is one of only three people in Wales to be shortlisted for the charity's Young Achiever of the Year award.
The 21-year-old was nominated by Coleg Sir Gâr mentor co-ordinator Kim Goodwin, who saw Daniel flourish from someone with low confidence and no qualifications, to a university history and politics student.
She said: "Through no fault of his own, Daniel had a difficult childhood from around the age of 5.
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"The situation affected his personality where he was constantly getting into trouble at school and with his teachers."
Daniel was referred to an alternative curriculum programme and was told by one teacher that he would "never be important in life", words which were often echoed at school and fuelled a lack of belief in himself and the education system.
The Prince's Trust XL Club was part of the curriculum programme, and with trust and support from staff, this is where Daniel's talents began to unfold.
"The staff were supportive and I found kindness in their approach," said Daniel, whose relationship with his family started to improve from his new-found confidence and evolving character.
For the first time in his life, he started to see a future for himself, became less angry and was highly regarded by the staff who voted him as group leader on many occasions, using his skills and building his self-esteem.
He decided to return to college to get the qualifications he didn't obtain at school and after the birth of his two children, armed with a part-time job, he decided to pave his career path by completing an access to higher education course which has secured him a place at university this year.
Ms Goodwin said: "I think Daniel is so deserving of this award as he's really turned himself around when he could have turned on his heels and chosen a different life path.
"He's a fine example of how the Prince's Trust can impact so positively on a young person's life and on the lives of the next generation."
The awards ceremony is being held on Thursday, November 8, at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff.