Imran Mohammad, a student at Truman College and the recently-elected Student Trustee for City Colleges of Chicago, looks forward to representing his peers from every City College in his new position. The Uptown resident, who started at Truman in 2018 by taking high school equivalency courses, promises to bring a unique perspective to the role – one that reflects both his own journey to City Colleges, as well as the diverse experiences of countless other CCC students.

Imran arrived in Chicago in June 2018 as a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar. Prior to Truman, he had never attended school, leaving his home country when he was 16 in search of opportunities. After being detained in both Indonesia and Australia for a combined seven years, his refugee case was finally accepted by the U.S. in 2018, and he made his way to Chicago.

When he told his caseworker about his desire to go to school, she directed him to Truman, where he first enrolled in Adult Education classes in order to earn his GED. Several months later, with his high school diploma in hand, Imran still wasn’t sure if college was right for him. At the time, he didn’t know what subjects he was interested in or what he wanted to do for his career. But a transition specialist at Truman encouraged him to move forward and explore his options, telling him about the opportunity to take free credit courses through City Colleges’ Gateway Program.

Just about two years later, Imran has developed – and is well on his way to achieving – his academic goals. He was recently selected as a 2021 Pulitzer Center Reporting Fellow for his accounts of “the challenges faced by the Rohingya diaspora in the U.S.” and investigation of “the mental health consequences of trauma.”

Based on his experience as a refugee, Imran wants to earn his bachelor’s degree in political science and then attend law school to become a human rights lawyer. He’s already getting plenty of leadership experience through programs and activities like Phi Theta Kappa, TRiO, and now, as Student Trustee. And while he’s certainly busy, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Truman has shaped my academic life,” Imran said. As City Colleges’ Student Trustee, he wants to help ensure that others have access to the same positive experience.