Fadumo was born in Kenya to parents who fled civil war in Somalia, and her story only begins there. Her family moved to Minnesota, later to the United Arab Emirates and then returned to Kenya for many years. Three years ago, Fadumo returned to Minnesota for college. Along the way she learned English, Arabic, Swahili and Turkish. Despite her varied experiences and multi-lingual abilities, she said, “When I arrived back in Minnesota for college, I had been out of the United States for so long that I had a lot of catching up to do.”
The first thing Fadumo had to catch up on was application deadlines. “I missed the deadline to apply for the University of Minnesota,” she said. “When I talked to my dad, he told me there was a college in downtown Minneapolis he attended when he was young, but he didn’t know if it still existed.” In truth, the college Fadumo’s father attended did not exist anymore. He attended Minneapolis Community College (MCC). In 1996, MCC merged with other institutions and became Minneapolis Community and Technical College.
Fadumo isn’t likely to miss another application deadline. Over the past two years at MCTC, she’s held a work study position the College’s Admissions department.
Looking ahead to her future, Fadumo decided she would build her extracurricular repertoire and professional skills. While attending high school in Kenya she had participated in a Model United Nations team; drawing on that experience, she decided to run for a position in the MCTC Student Senate. After a few interim positions, she was elected President in the fall of 2013.
“I didn’t intend to become President,” she said. “I don’t really like being in the spotlight. I just very much enjoy helping people, like I do in the Admissions office.”
Fadumo juggles more than just schoolwork and extracurricular commitments. She lives with her grandmother, who doesn’t speak English, and her mother, who has a chronic illness. “I had to grow up really fast, and when I started at MCTC I missed some school to be with my family,” she said. “Thankfully, I had some very understanding teachers, and I made it through that time.”
“Honestly, thanks to the Student Senate, I’ve learned how to be more patient. Part of being a leader is being fair, and I’ve learned how to better handle stressful situations.”
Fadumo was impressed with what MCTC had to offer when she arrived at the College. “There is an incredible diversity of experiences at this college,” she said. “At MCTC, even within my community—the Somali community—people have very different experiences. Even then, MCTC has a tight-knit, family feel. The longer I stay here, the longer I want to stay here.”
“Minnesota really is my home.”
Learn more about the history of MCTC—from its origins as Girls Vocational School to the modern campus nestled between Loring Park and Downtown Minneapolis—as we celebrate our Centennial year! http://www.minneapolis.edu/About-Us/Centennial