“I knew him when…” You may be able to say that if Abdirahman “Abdi” Hassan achieves his goal to become President of Somalia. A senior at Como Park Senior High School, Abdi has already shown that he has the perseverance, drive and attitude to meet challenging goals that would be daunting to most people.
When Abdi was a baby in Somalia, thieves killed his mother and his father fled the country. Abdi was 10 years old when he saw his father again. The reunion was short-lived since Abdi soon left for the United States with his aunt and brother. Today, Abdi lives with and is grateful for his aunt’s loving care but misses his dad, who is still in Somalia, and his brother, who lives with other family members in Atlanta.
His losses have not deterred Abdi’s aspirations. “When I decided to be the president of Somalia in seventh grade I knew I had to be the best I can be.” By freshman year he had moved out of ELL classes and got on the A honor roll.
Getting those grades was difficult enough, but Abdi accomplished this while dealing with major health issues. Abdi’s right leg was shorter than his left, which resulted in surgeries, full body casts, and months of missed school. Abdi had a tutor bring homework to him in the hospital, working even when painkillers made him sleepy. Abdi achieved B Honor Roll status that quarter even while taking two advanced placement classes.
Involved and committed, Abdi is captain of the Debate Team, participating in the Tennis Team, Math Team, Robotics and Chess Clubs. Admission Possible and AVID have helped him prepare for college. He has applied to five universities including the University of Minnesota and hopes to double major in science and political science.