20-year-old Abdisamad Adan is from Somali and 5 years ago, he could barely speak English but by a sheer twist of fate, he’s got accepted to study at Harvard University and with a full scholarship.
Here’s how it all happened – the dramatic change in his life occurred when he got into Somaliland’s Abaarso School, a very small boarding school, which was founded in 2009 by an American hedge fund manager turned headmaster, Jonathan Starr, who left his job in finance because he wanted to do something different.
Adan who was living with his grandmother joined Abaarso, on a scholarship, shortly after it was launched, said his grandmother had no idea a school called Harvard existed before he then.According to Adan:
“I’m not the smartest kid in Somaliland but I’ve had [the] opportunity [to attend Abaarso]. Harvard does not mean a lot to her, but when she realized I got into the one I wanted, she was very happy…
He initially received financial assistance to study for a year at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, New York.
“I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do the SATs if I hadn’t gone to America.
“I’m just trying to put myself day after day in a better position to help my country.
“People kept telling me that Harvard is really really competitive and everyone is trying to beat you. I was like, great. That’s what I want,” he said.
Adan who received his Harvard acceptance letter, along with a full scholarship, this month and will begin his undergraduate studies in September.