I first met Abdi about four years ago at a Blandin Foundation retreat for current and future leaders from the Mankato area. I had not known Abdi before then, but right away he impressed me as a thoughtful, considerate and intelligent individual with a ready smile and a natural penchant for leadership.
During that retreat and since then I have come to know him better, not only as a leader in the Somali-Sudanese community but as a leader for all of the greater Mankato community. And he has been recognized for his public service by winning the 2012 national Jefferson Award, which he received in a ceremony in Washington, DC. His community involvements are numerous, including:
- Member of the Region Nine Development Commission
- Member of the Mankato Public Safety Advisory Board
- Member of the Blue Earth County Child Protection Advisory Board
- Member of the Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee
- Former director of the after school program at East High School
- Former director of the Science Saturday Program (Summer Science Boot Camp) at South Central College
While our current school board has been doing a solid job, the board lacks specific representation of our growing minority community, which makes up about 22 percent of our public school students. Abdi Sabrie's experience working with the Somali-Sudanese community as well as other minorities makes him uniquely qualified to represent that segment of our public school families.
In short, while there are other excellent candidates for school board, Abdi Sabrie stands out among them by offering a special background and experience that the board is currently lacking. Thus, I urge everyone to vote Tuesday, Nov. 3, for Abdi Sabrie for school board.