Education Is Something No One Can Take From You
STEP-UP Achieve Alumnus
STEP-UP Achieve Alumnus
When Hashim Yonis graduated from Edison High in 2006, he promised that one day he’d give back to the schools that had done so much for him. Now just five years later, he’s making good on that promise by serving as the School Administrative Manager at Roosevelt and Wellstone International high schools.
Hashim also travelled with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to Washington, DC last January for a national summit on youth employment. He met President Obama at that summit, and now serves as a national youth ambassador to the White House.
“All the good things in my life have happened because of the Minneapolis Public Schools and STEP-UP Achieve,” says Hashim.
Wellstone International High is home to 150 students who speak 18 different languages. Working with these recent immigrants reminds Hashim of his early years in Minneapolis. The civil war in Somalia forced Hashim’s family to flee their home when he was a small boy and live in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. The horror of his younger years remains with him still. “When we arrived in Minnesota, we could finally focus on things beyond survival. We had housing, electricity, food, and water, and my father got a job. We kids could go to school. That was our job.”
Hashim thrived. At Sanford Middle School, he was on the A honor roll and quickly moved into challenging mainstream classes. His success continued at Edison, where he led the Somali Student Association, participated in varsity sports, took classes at the University of Minnesota, and graduated at the top of his class.
“My family left everything behind when we left Somalia. But education is something no one can take away from you.”
Hashim’s life took another new course through several internships with STEP-UP Achieve, first at the law firm of Faegre & Benson, and then at the Minneapolis Public Works Department. At City Hall, Hashim got to know Mayor R.T. Rybak, who asked him to spend the next three summers working in the mayor’s office.
“STEP-UP Achieve introduced me to people and careers I would never have known otherwise,” says Hashim. “The program opened doors to a top law firm and City Hall, and I later went on to college at St. Olaf. I’m a proud product of STEP-UP Achieve and the Minneapolis Public Schools and I will always be thankful to these organizations that gave me so much.”