Bridging the Gap

man smiling

As President of the Somali Student Association, Abdullahi Aden saw first-hand the struggle many first and second-generation East African students face in navigating post-secondary education.

Looking to help bridge the gap between higher education institutions and East African students, Abdullahi founded East African Education, Inc. in 2010. East African Education serves students by providing counseling and advising, general college access information and mentorships. Aden began teaching Somali Language classes with Continuing Education and Workforce Development in 2016.

Of his teaching philosophy, Abdullahi says, “[teaching] Somali language, history and culture is a way to build [a] bridge and promote understanding [of] one another without assumption. The key to Somali language, history and culture is a way to build that bridge [and] learn other people’s culture and history to get an accurate picture and insight.”

Students who want to work for an organization that directly serves Minnesota’s Somali population or simply develop a deeper understanding of Somali language, culture and history, can enroll in Abdullahi’s Somali Class 1 and Class 2 in the fall and spring.

Abdullahi Aden is a graduate of Minneapolis College, where he served as President of the Somali Student Association (SSA) from 2007–2008. Currently, Abdullahi works for the College’s Public Safety department and has just completed his Master’s in Education at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He is also working with Minneapolis Public Schools as a Bilingual Program Assistant at Armatage Montessori.

Learn more about Aden’s journey to America.