Administration creates Somali liaison position

Goal is to help minority families integrate into schools


Jonah Kupritz

Tarabi Jama, Somali Liason, works at his desk in the district office.

Brita Hunegs

Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somali’s in the United States according to the 2010 Census.

According to Superintendent Rob Metz, the administration felt it needed a new position to help the transition of Somali families.

Metz hopes Tarabi Jama  will have an influence over the atmosphere of the high school.

“My overall goal is that every student feels like the high school is theirs. They feel valued, not like an outsider. The more we can communicate the more likely it is that this occurs and all students can contribute to the good things that happen in the school,” Metz said.

Jama said he sees a need for his position.

“If you look at the weight of the minority students, there is a need for someone to advocate for them,” Jama said. “I help parents understand their children’s education in their mother language.”

Jama said parents have provided feedback.

“The response is excellent. They feel they are being listened to, and there is someone in the district advocating for them,” Jama said.

Sophomore Saamiya Amin hopes Jama helps students get more involved.

“Minority students often don’t want to participate. They feel like they won’t fit in,” Amin said. “He might make them feel like they won’t feel out of place participating.”

Jama’s goal is for all to feel a part of the community.

“This is the land of opportunity. They are here, they should succeed. The sky is the limit,” Jama said.