It had been just over nine years since Ardo Ibrahim immigrated, as a teenager, with her family from Kenya to Faribault, Minnesota.

By Philip Weyhe (Faribault Daily News) |

Though he could not be there, Ardo Ibrahim knew her father was proud as she accepted her diploma last May.

It had been just over nine years since she immigrated, as a teenager, with her family from Kenya to Faribault. She had to learn English, adjust to a new culture, battle adolescence. She overcame her challenges to graduate high school and eventually college.

And though she couldn’t share the moment with her father, who had died recently, Ibrahim could dedicate the accomplishment to him, the man who always stood behind her, and to her mother, who still does.

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“My father always pushed me to get a better education, be a better person than you were yesterday, because things are [going to] fall, but if you do it with all of your being, then at least you truly tried,” she said. “And my mom is my hero.”

Ibrahim, 23, currently works for Workforce Development Center in Faribault as a bridge mentor, helping youth in the area connect with resources. She also puts in hours for Growing Up Healthy as a community organizer in Faribault.

“I love this job,” she said. “I love working with kids ages 14-24. I think those are the students that I can help. It’s learning who they are, what they do, what they need help with. Being their mentor, it’s rewarding.”

Continue reading this story on Faribault Daily News
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