Earlier this month, the Mosaic Center for Students of Color (MCSC) gave out awards to recognize the achievements of students of color in the UVM community. We spoke with Fardowsa Ibrahim about the award she won, and how she sees her leadership skills growing in the years to come. Fardowsa was awarded the Lufuno Tshikororo Award. “I was very surprised,” Fardowsa said. “This wonderful opportunity motivated me even more to work with youth groups in my community. Particularly young Somali Bantu girls, knowing that I myself used and needed a lot support going through the education system.”
When asked what supports she leaned on this year in terms of developing her leadership, Fardowsa mentioned the TRiO Student Support Services (SSS), MSCS and her family. “I was pushed, motivated, challenged and most of all loved throughout the process.” Fardowsa credits SSS and the Mosaic Center for having helped instill in her a sense of confidence. She was able to rely on these supports systems, especially when she felt discouraged or disempowered.
“I hope to be able to help other youth fulfil their dreams,” Fardowsa offered when asked about her plans going forward. “I hope to be as supportive as I can. When I started at UVM, I was very shy, and now I feel like I have so much confidence to be able to stand up for what I believe in. I want everyone to know that anything is possible and never let anyone convince you that you can’t make it happen. I want to leave everyone with this John Quincy Adams quote that means a lot to me: ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.’”