When Guled Ibrahim ’16 came to the U.S. as a refugee with his family over a decade ago, other students in his junior class at St. Louis Park High School were deciding which colleges to attend.
Ibrahim, who was born in Somalia but came to Minnesota from Kenya, wasn’t quite ready for that. First he had to learn English and decipher American culture. And because it was winter when he arrived, Ibrahim even had to master the finer points of safely walking Minnesota’s icy landscape.
He was a fast learner. While taking his regular high school courses, he was also enrolled in English language classes on evenings and weekends. After graduating from high school, he earned undergraduate degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
In 2013 Ibrahim started law school at Mitchell Hamline predecessor William Mitchell College of Law. While working toward his J.D., Ibrahim studied abroad in the school’s London Program, earned a Dispute Resolution Certificate, completed clerkships at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, and earned an international MBA from BPP University Business School in London. Ibrahim also became a Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellow in Human Rights and Law with World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline in 2014, where he focused on human rights and participated in the International Criminal Court’s annual meeting in The Hague in 2015. In 2016, Ibrahim represented both the U.S. and Somalia at the One Young World Summit in Canada.
Ibrahim took the bar exam in February, then a few days later, left for Australia. That’s because he was chosen for a prestigious Peace Fellowship through Rotary International. Ibrahim will spend 16 months at the University of Queensland Australia, where he’ll work toward a Master’s of International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolution.
“I hope to combine my legal education and the Rotary Peace Fellowship to get involved with peace and conflict resolution efforts in Africa,” he said. “Diplomacy, peacebuilding, and respect for the rule of law are three areas where I want to be involved in coming years.”
The Minnesota-based Bush Foundation recently selected Ibrahim to participate in multiple leadership conferences this summer and fall. He’ll attend the MCON conference in Washington, D.C., the Social Innovation Summit in Chicago, and the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colo.