Minneapols: International Student Overcomes Significant Odds on Way to Graduation

InternationalStudentGraduationSuccessImagine surviving civil war in Yemen, only to flee to Egypt just before a revolution there and yet another deadly conflict.

“I was making a small joke, I said, ‘Maybe I have bad luck,'” laughed 20-year-old Zaynab Abdi. But the truth is, “bad luck” doesn’t do the situation justice. Abdi lost family and friends to war nearly everywhere she went.

Arriving in the United States less than a year and a half ago, she learned a lot more than English. A student at Wellstone International High School in Minneapolis, Abdi is now a straight-A student.

Asked how she’s able to do it, she answered simply, “hard work.” But at a school where all of the students are immigrants, Abdi stands out.

“A lot of kids maybe come with low self-esteem because they don’t know the language, they don’t know the society,” said Wellstone High Teacher Saleban Duale, “but she is very confident in herself and her abilities, and that’s what makes her very special.”

Abdi will go to college this fall, though she’s still not sure where. After that, she wants to give back as a defense attorney in Yemen.

“There is many people,” she explained, “they need help and maybe because their situation or maybe because they are immigrant or because they are poor or because of the racism around them, that they don’t get this justice and help.”

And yes, Abdidoes have other interests and goals too, like “being a perfect soccer player.” But if you suggest that maybe she’ll go pro in soccer if being a lawyer doesn’t work out, you’ll get an answer that only an immigrant whose overcome long odds, like Abdi, can give.

“I can be both,” she said sternly, before starting to laugh.

Given everything she’s been through, there’s no reason to believe she won’t.

Source: http://kstp.com/


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