Local Somali community looks to achieve the American dream

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – There is a large Somali population in Minnesota, but San Diego is also home to roughly 30,000 Somali refugees. One Somali man, Hassan, came to this country in 2004 in search of peace and a better life. Now at 26 years old, he helps other Somali refugees find the same.

Hassan volunteers at the Somali Bantu Association of America in City Heights, a non profit which offers resources like English as a second language classes, a computer lab, job training, a path to citizenship.

He knows what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land, facing so many cultural challenges. He cannot explain why some refugees make bad choices, but he understands. “A lot of people, they cannot stay here, no job, no other people to help, some don’t have no house at all,” he said.

The folks at the Somali Bantu Association seek to mentor young Somali’s, keep them close with after school activities. This is a community not used to being in the spotlight. Many here work hard at the jobs available to them, translating, driving a cab, housekeeping. They are trying not to let the actions of a few who choose terror, overshadow their attempts at making it in this country.

Hassan has a plan. To get a full time job, and continue to give back.

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