I’ve always wanted to become a doctor. That’s been my end goal for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. Harry S Truman College has not only helped me carve out a path to make that dream come true, but it’s also pushed me out of my comfort zone to discover new passions and explore new subjects.

I’m a first-generation American. My parents emigrated from Somalia, and I’m the fourth of 11 siblings. My siblings drive me to be the best I can be because I know they look up to me. So, when my brother enrolled at Truman College and spoke highly of his experience here, I decided to check it out too.

My experience exceeded all my expectations. I’m currently the Student Government Association (SGA) Secretary, a STEAMbassador, and months away from graduating with my associate of arts. Next, I plan to transfer to a four-year university to study computer science. I was recently accepted into UIC.

I never thought about studying computer science until I attended Truman and learned that I can get any bachelor’s degree before I go pre-med. My friends introduced me to the STEAMbassador program, and I loved it. I spent the summer of 2023 learning how to code and build Lego robots. I then developed engaging ways to teach what I learned to elementary and middle school students. After that summer, I decided I wanted to learn more about computer science.

My experiences with both STEAMbassadors and SGA have helped me come out of my comfort zone. I was so afraid of public speaking and talking to new people, but both taught me how to be more open, patient, and confident. I now really enjoy talking to students and connecting them to resources. When I can help a student find a tutor or teach them how to purchase their books, it reminds me of the reason I joined SGA. I also don’t see too many Muslim hijab girls like me. I want to show that we do exist, and we do great things.

Truman has not only helped me unlock new passions but has helped me succeed in my courses and helped me make plans for my future. I struggle with math, but the math tutoring center at Truman became my home for a while. I went there every single day, and they go to know me and helped me with my math assignments. Because of them, I passed my math class.

I’m going to miss the tight-knit community at Truman, the support systems, and walking down the hallway where people know my name, but I am excited about transferring. My transfer advisor reaches out to me often to keep me on schedule and help me with essays.

I truly feel supported on my journey to transfer to UIC, study computer science, and go to medical school, and eventually become a doctor. I feel like that career path will benefit me and my family. Truman College laid the foundation for my dreams to become a reality.

– Written by Samira Ali, Truman College student, Class of 2024