Junior plans to graduate early

Transfer student Ayan Ali earns credits abroad


Samiya Mohamed

Junior Ayan Ali works on a packet during her IB English SL class Feb. 11 in C153. She was able to complete additional English credits by taking elective credits at her school in Somalia that are required credits at Park.

Sam St. Clair

Why are you graduating early?

My mom took me out of the country (before I went to Park), and I went to a boarding school (in Somalia), and my boarding school was very strict when it came to educational topics and the education system. So I guess I did a lot of requirements over there, but it was more of electives here. But major electives that could either go into my English (or) my other requirements in the Minnesota State.

What are the qualifications that you have to have in order to graduate early?

I technically have four years of English, ninth to 12th. I got an extra year because I took Native American Studies with a bunch of seniors when I was a sophomore. My counselor told me that I was very advanced.  I get bored in my other classes, and my parents didn’t want me taking any more electives because I already had a lot of electives, so she put me in that class. But at the time I didn’t know it was a senior class.

What made you decide to graduate early?

To start my career earlier, because the sooner I start, the sooner I will be close to finishing whatever I am majoring in. And not only that, but my mom is single, so I guess she has to do the hard work. I grew up watching my parents suffer. I wouldn’t say suffer because there are really poor people, not like that, but suffer like a refugee. My mother is a refugee from Somalia, and our parents are the second generation of Somalis here, and they are having a harder time learning the English language, working and providing for their families. I just wanted to step up and say (to myself), “You know what, you’re going to be working in a field you love, you’re going to have a career you are totally interested and crazy about, while helping your parents.”

Do you have any plans for after graduation?

Yes. I want to be the first in my family to attend a four-year university. I got the Golden Gopher ticket for the University of Minnesota, so I hope that goes well. I’m also applying to St. Thomas, Hamline and others that are out of the state, too. I’m from Seattle, Washington, so University of Washington, too. Some of them are offering me scholarships, but I want to go to a state university with a science and engineering field, not only for me, but to be the first one in my family to go to a four-year university.

Do you have any idea of  want career you would want to pursue?

Yes, chemical engineering. I really exceed in all my science classes.