Rashid Pursues His Goals with Unrelenting Effort

By Jesse Colman, Treehouse Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Leaving his family behind to escape war in his home country of Somalia, Rashid spent months being shuffled to shelters and hotels from one country to the next. Rashid traveled to more than five countries before he entered the federal foster care system; all of this happened before he turned 16.

“I escaped to Kenya, moved to Ethiopia and then flew to South Africa. From there I went to Brazil, then Costa Rica, and eventually Texas,” said Rashid, now 18.

Rashid was eventually placed in Tacoma, where he has been for the last two years. Now a Graduation Success student, he works with his Treehouse Education Specialist, Erica Chang. Wasting no time to prepare himself for the future, Rashid is enrolled in Tacoma Community College’s Fresh Start program, which allows students to earn their high school diploma while earning college credit.

“Rashid is an incredible student,” Erica said. “He and I meet once a week to talk about everything, from school to his progress on passing his driver’s test. We also wanted to make sure some of his basic needs were getting met, so I was able to provide him with a few gift cards for clothes.”

Recently, Erica pushed him to apply to become a Palmer’s Scholar. The program awards deserving students up to $25,000 of financial support for college and pairs the student with a mentor to help support them on the often difficult journey to college.

“Erica told me I didn’t have a choice,” said Rashid, laughing. “We worked on the application together and I got it.”

In addition to being a Palmer’s Scholar, Rashid participated in the four-week college prep program from the United Negro College Fund in the fall, earning an additional $2,000 scholarship.

Rashid pursues his goals with unrelenting effort, using every weekly meeting with Erica to work on homework, apply for jobs and strategize on next steps. Not one to take a break, Rashid plans to spend his summer at a paid internship that will earn him two college credits upon completion. By this time next year, he plans to be finished with the Fresh Start program and enrolled at Western Washington University to pursue his passion for computer science.

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About the Author

Jesse Colman is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Treehouse. He is passionate about building relationships, storytelling and community development.

Comment (1)


July 2, 2018

Way to Go Rashid!


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