Class of 2005
“I came to Sheffield with my mum, as a child refugee from Somali in 1994.
When I finished Fir Vale School, I went on to Tapton 6th Form to do my A-Levels. I failed everything in my first year and decided to go to Longley Park 6th Form College.
After doing my A-Levels there, I decided to take a year out before going to university. I worked 6 months in two warehouse jobs and saved up some money to go travelling.
I then went to Hull University to study Aquatic Zoology, got involved in student activism and got elected as Student Union President.
After university, me and two friends set up a business which failed but I learnt a lot from it. Then I went to work for a housing charity called Shelter.
I then got more involved in my community and then got elected as a local councillor then became Lord Mayor. This was the first time Sheffield had had a Somali, Muslim or Green Party Lord Mayor! And I was the youngest Lord Mayor ever.
Following this, I stood in the European elections last year and got elected as a Member of European Parliament, which came to an end with Brexit on the 31st of January. I’ve recently finished writing a book which will be published and I am working in climate justice.”
Message to Students
Everyone who has ever achieved anything has failed and failed hard. See failure as a lesson and not as a setback. And always remember that you are braver, stronger and smarter than you think you are.