We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.



'We have to ensure our students feel seen'

Get to Know … Abdullahi Yusuf.

Abdullahi Yusuf
Abdullahi Yusuf.
We are part of The Trust Project.

Abdullahi Yusuf is focused on learning, and helping others learn. We sat down to ask him a few questions:

Are you initially from the Rochester area? If not, what led you here?

I have lived in Rochester for the last two decades. My journey began at Riverside Central Elementary, where I was poised to learn. Over the years, I valued education as the key to freedom, prosperity, and lifelong success.

Also Read
Acacia Ward founded Reach the Top MN, a nonprofit built to be a one-stop shop for help with food, education, legal and shelter needs, in February 2022.
The learning doesn't just go one way.

What do you like best about Rochester?

The DMC project will continue to bring many researchers, educators, and businesses for the betterment of the community. The city of Rochester offers a state-of-the-art medical and educational system. I want to leverage the city's resources to shape our children's future policies.


What changes do you think still need to be made?

It's been a tough last few years for everyone, especially our students. We must approach safety with new solutions that produce different outcomes. We have to ensure our students feel seen. We need to implement programs that help children develop interpersonal relationships in school and also an outlet to express themselves. We must have more wellness checkpoints implemented throughout the school year. We also need to have better emergency response systems in each school to help us avoid tragedies.

We should not politicize our children and instead provide them with the tools necessary to be successful. Each child should have individualized support to help them become all that they can be. When we provide a support system that advocates for culturally diverse staff, we can take a significant step in the right direction. Students seeing staff/teachers that look like them creates a better learning environment.

We must allocate more dollars to community resources in mental health and disability. These services would prove effective. Our children need a specialized focus that can lead to a fulfilling life. Ensuring every student experience is high-quality teaching and learning in a culturally responsive environment is a call to action and push for equity and equality at all district levels.

What do you do for a living? Why did you choose that for your career?

I work at the Mayo Clinic in the Center for Individualized Medicine. I chose this career because of my long-term goals in healthcare business.

What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue the same career?

Once you know the type of career you want, you should align yourself with experiences that will build your skills. For example, volunteering in departments you want to work in can develop your skills and establish lifelong connections. Finding a mentor can help you shape your career plans.


What do you consider your greatest accomplishment, and what has been the most significant challenge you've had to overcome?

I am no stranger to starting something or becoming a trailblazer for the youth. I am a product of Rochester Public Schools. My education from RPS and the community support system enhanced my educational career goals. I then stayed local and became part of the inaugural class of the University of MN Rochester. I am proud to be a doctoral candidate with a thesis emphasizing emotional intelligence. Sometimes it can be challenging to see the circumstances of people. For example, people would have placed you in a category before learning about who you are. This can be detrimental as you miss out on opportunities. Emotional intelligence learning is a crucial field that helps students, teachers, and parents learn from our past experiences.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?

I enjoy working with computer hardware and building concept desktop computers. I also enjoy conceptualizing web user interfaces. Finding solutions to problems motivates me to work with the community.

Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at www.postbulletin.com/rochester-in-color . If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at news@postbulletin.com

Roch In Color Banner

What to read next
Meet RISE Scholar Alizeh Rizvi.