Mahamud is a freshman at St. Cloud State University studying education. He was inspired by his high school geography teacher to enter the field.
In his first semester, he is doing well in his classes and has already figured out the secret of time management.
“If you want to hang out with friends or go play sports, you need to get your work done first,” he said. “Right now I just focus on school.”
He’s now preparing for his first round of finals.
This summer Mahamud participated in the Grow Your Own program at St. Cloud State. The program supports high school students in learning about the education profession with a focus of recruiting teachers of color.
The Minnesota Department of Education awarded St. Cloud State and St. Cloud Area School District 742 a $73,000 grant to create the program.
Mahamud was one of 13 students to participate in the weeklong program, which introduced students to college and teaching. The students spent a week at St. Cloud State taking a Teaching Cadet: Introduction to Education course, living in a residential hall and hearing from alumni and current students about what they’ve done with their degrees. Upon completion of the program each student earned three college credits to include on their transcripts.
“It was a good experience,” Mahamud said. “I would do it again if I had the chance.”
In addition to class, participants had a chance to eat lunch each day with a St. Cloud State leader including the university’s president, provost and School of Education Dean Jennifer Mueller. They also toured campus and participated in some fun activities like an Escape Room experience, bowling and reading to children at the Lindgren Child Care Center when they weren’t studying.
Mahamud credits the connections he made in the program with convincing him to attend St. Cloud State with Dean Mueller helping him complete his paperwork for his application.
Those connections have also opened up to new possibilities — including a winter break trip to Costa Rica in his freshman year. The trip will give him a hands on experience in geography as he learns in person about the culture, people and geography of the Central American country.
The Grow Your Own program received a second round of funding for summer 2020. The program is open to ISD 742 juniors and seniors and will begin recruiting participants soon. Those interested in the program can contact ISD 742 Executive Director of Learning and Teaching Lori Posch at Lori.Posch@742.org.
“If you’re in high school and staying around this summer, I recommend you to sign up for the program,” Mahamud said. “It’s just a week, and you’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s going to open your eyes.”