City of Residence: Portland, Maine
Country of origin: Sudan
Arrival in the U.S.: 2005
Ms. Ekhlas Ahmed was forced to flee the outbreak of civil war in Sudan with her mother, father, and three younger brothers in 2003. Her family was resettled to Portland, Maine, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Sociology from the University of Southern Maine, and currently works for AmeriCorps as a high school ELL teacher. Ms. Ahmed is the vice president and co-founder of Darfur Youth of Tomorrow, an organization raising awareness in her community of the violence and needs in Darfur. This year, Ms. Ahmed organized an “Abaya Day” at her high school to combat the negative stereotypes of Muslims in the media. She says she is most proud of working with youth in her community through her service in AmeriCorps.
Word for US: Blessed