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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

Ahmed’s story: Nothing is impossible

Updated: Sep 23, 2021

I found inspiration recently in the story of a teen from war-torn Somalia who spent most of his life in refugee camps before fleeing with his family to Canada, settling in the city of Saint John.

I can only imagine how difficult the transition would be to a new land, adjusting to a new language and culture. Especially so for a teenager.

Despite it all, Ahmed drew inspiration from a simple sign he noticed hanging in his high school classroom.

“Nothing,” it declared, “is impossible.”

An inspiration to all

Amid the struggles of a new life and in his schooling, a friend mentioned the Teen Resource Centre in Saint John as a place that could help.

“It was a lot of fun and it felt like home again – having people taking care of you and always being there for you,” Ahmed says in a powerful short video for the United Way of Saint John Kings & Charlotte.

It was at the Teen Resource Centre that Ahmed met Cassandra, a case manager who found subsidized housing where he and his family could live. Staff at the United Way-supported centre helped them source dishes, furniture and settled them in with groceries.

Last year, thanks to the support of the centre, he was able to graduate from high school – the first in his family to do so.

“I was so proud of myself and it was great,” he says. “I’m happy that my brother and sister saw me graduate high school. I hope they will do the same thing and follow my lead.”

Forging better futures

His story stands as an inspiration to all of us – at times, we all need to be reminded that nothing is impossible.

I want to take a moment here to thank the United Way and my partners in the Million Dollar Pledge – including Hemmings House, which produced the video of Ahmed and other inspiring Stories of the City..

Together, we support organizations like the Teen Resource Centre, which provides a safe and encouraging environment for youth like Ahmed to explore their full potential. In the process, they are forging better futures and building stronger communities.

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