My name is Edil Mohamed and I am a graduate of the Boston Latin School class of 2018. This fall, I will be attending Boston College as a Political Science Major. I was born in Boston and lived in Roxbury until I moved into the neighborhood of Mission Hill which I currently call my home. Throughout my childhood, and even now as I enter adulthood, I have experienced many “firsts” within my family. I am first generation: the first child of my parents and the first grandchild of my family as well. I am also the first to attend Boston Latin School and the first to attend a four year college. Growing up, I was considered the guinea pig of everything that involved education and cultural assimilation.

My family is from Mogadishu, Somalia, a country that is currently rebuilding its infrastructure after 20 years of civil war. My family fled from Somalia in the early 90s and took refuge in Ethiopia. They later came to the United States to start a new life. Although they had left many of their possessions behind, one thing they did not abandon was the value of education. As a first generation Somali woman, I was raised with the mentality that an education will take one many places. Fortunately, I’ve had the chance to experience the fruits of learning from attending the Josiah Quincy Elementary School. For seven years, I celebrated and learned about Chinese culture through numerous Mandarin classes, Lunar New Year celebrations, and Chinese brush painting. I was a minority in a minority setting, slowly becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. My moments there prepared me for a future of celebrating diversity and the different people surrounding me.

However, my time at JQES and BLS also led me to becoming aware of my own differences. I am a woman, black, and most importantly, Muslim. I also became aware of how inequitable opportunities are for students living in Boston. I applied for the Ward Fellowship because I want to expand the education system in Boston. I want to create education policies that would reform the public school system. From my experiences at Boston Latin School, I have come to learn that not every student receives an education like I do. I realized that many students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, are missing out on opportunities that will one day make them leaders, educators, activists, scientists, and more. I know that in order to accomplish this goal, education policies need to be improved so that access to a proper education is equitable. Public service means dedicating yourself to people who need you the most. It means changing the lives of others, one step at a time. I am interested in public service because I want to strengthen the bond between communities and leaders through courageous conversations and impactful actions.