“Just like you need water, you need education,” says senior Maryan Garane. Her parents fled civil war in Somalia and came to the United States in 1993. Growing up in Minnesota, Garane and her family worked hard to ensure that college was in her future.
“Education is one thing that my parents and grandparents made an expectation for me to get,” she says. “It was a necessity.”
In high school, Garane applied to the University but was not accepted. She was working full time to support her single mother and two younger siblings. Without certain resources and motivation from her teachers and family, Garane knew she had potential but was missing the right kind of support during the application process.
“It’s not because I wasn’t smart,” she says. “It was because I had a lack of resources.”
After a year and a half at St. Paul College, Garane applied to the U again and was accepted, entering as a transfer student. Still, her journey wasn’t complete. She had to find new mentors, friends, and communities in a school larger than her last.
“When you’re a transfer student, it’s almost as if you start brand new,” she says. “It’s hard to find your identity in a big school.”
This spring, Garane will graduate with degrees in business and marketing education and human resources development. She has found opportunities in corporate internships that open her future to a wide range of possibilities. And Garane has plans for grad school.
“I’m thankful for all the opportunities CEHD has offered me. I worked hard in my undergraduate career to get to where I am today,” says Garane. “I strive to gain more knowledge and hopefully obtain a PhD someday. I want to encourage more kids that look like me to see how bright their future can be.”
Wherever her path leads, Garane hopes to lend her skills and life experience to the greater good.
“I want to use my perspective to make a difference,” she says. “I want to continue helping people, and I will use both of my degrees to do that.”
Learn more about the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.
Return to “The first-generation force.”
Story by Ellen Fee | Photo by Erica Loeks | Winter 2018