“When you have confidence, you can speak loudly, you can laugh…you have to be confident, and I think it’s the first step if you want to be successful.”

In the run up to the ICE Academy 2018, we wanted to reflect on last year’s programme and to introduce you to some of our awesome alumni. We kick off with Asraa, a budding photographer and ice cream lover. Since her arrival in the UK from Libya a year ago, she is always looking for new challenges. In just 12 months she completed the ICE Academy, studied for 6 GCSEs and has grown her online presence to become a social media influencer. We took the opportunity to ask her some quick-fire questions.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

So, my name is Asraa and I’m from Libya, and I’ve been here in this country for a year.


And Asraa, if you had to describe yourself in three words, the first three words that come into your mind, what would it be?

Kind, patient, strong.

So, when you first came to the UK, what did you find the strangest?

There’s a massive difference between my country and here. Here you’ll find lots of different nationalities, different people speaking different languages with different religions. It’s just different… And British people, they drink tea all the time!

And what about your favourite food?

That is the best question! Libyan food is my favourite. And Indian, I love Indian food! Ice cream, of course Ben and Jerry’s for sure, and Walls. Chocolate brownie is my favourite flavour.

Do you have a song that inspires you?

Three Little Birds, by Bob Marley, because it gives me a boost of energy, when he says everything’s going to be alright – it’s a lovely song.

And if you could have a superpower, what would it be?

To fly! [flapping arms] I don’t know, I just want to fly, and fly, like to travel around the world!

What would you say your biggest dream is?

Being a businesswoman one day. I would just like to have my own business, and to do it by myself, start from zero. That would teach me a lot of things, and to deal with challenges in life.

About the ICE Academy 2017 – why did you join the programme and why would you recommend it to others?

I thought it would give me a new experience – it was my first work experience that I’ve had in my life, working with ICE Academy selling ice cream, and it was a really good thing for my CV to start with… I learned more about business, and selling stuff, and I met lovely people there so, it’s nice, a lovely programme. [laughter] They’re a very supportive team and everyone should just have a go.

And what was your favourite part?

Favourite part? Last summer, Legoland! And the event in Birmingham that we did, because we graduated from the business course, we had a really great time at Drayton Manor theme park. Charlie screamed a lot! When your brother started telling you to stop screaming that was funny!

I was screaming? Well that question backfired!

Sorry Charlie I’m honest!

Okay Asraa, well you’re no longer being filmed, that’s the end of that! Joking, one more question. What did you learn through your time in ICE Academy?

So…um, I was quite shy, I couldn’t talk to people before but now I can speak. I have self-confidence now, and I think I found it helpful for my confidence. If I don’t succeed I can try another thing, if I fail I can try another thing, and another and another. This is the thing about opportunities!

Looking to the future, Asraa is looking to keep growing her base on Instagram. Follow her here to stay up to date with her new projects!

If you would like to follow in Asraa’s footsteps and be part of our 2018 ICE Academy, you can apply here: bit.ly/iceapplication

Alternatively, if you would like to make a referral on someone’s behalf – head here: bit.ly/refertotern




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