Rumbila Abdullahi was born in a refugee camp in Kenya; today she’s on her way to becoming a doctor. In many ways she was an outlier, and her school journey came with immense pressure to succeed. Many refugee children end up struggling in school due to trauma, the challenges of picking up a new language and long breaks in their education. Abdullahi’s family moved to the US when she was seven years old and, despite everything being unfamiliar, she learned English easily and quickly acclimated to school. This spring, Abdullahi, 23, finished up her senior year of pre-med at Smith College, an elite four-year institution in Massachusetts, and completed her Medical College Admissions Test. She is also married and a new mother. She succeeded through determination, genuine interest and her arrival in the US at a young age.

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