Mohamed Malim's inspiration to tell the stories of refugees was rooted in a frustrating truth.
He was tired of how the stories were being told by the media.
“A lot of media outlets portray refugees in a bad way and it is my duty to tell my own story and my own people's story as a refugee perspective,” Malim said.
Before we get to how he is doing that, Mohamed's story is one hundreds of thousands of Somali families can, sadly, tell.
“It's a personal narrative for me because I am a former refugee from Somalia. I came to America to have better life, me and my family, fled from civil war back in the 1990s.”
He was 3 years old when his family won a lottery out of a refugee camp in Kenya, a camp his mother tells him, was one in which she had to fight, to keep he and his brother alive.
“It was tough, she had to sleep with cockroaches and snake and had to sacrifice every night to find food for us and for my little brother.”
She survived and made it here to this land of the free, and ever since Mohamed has thrived.
He is now a senior at the University of St. Thomas majoring in marketing. He also is on the Track and Field team.
“Having this opportunity and privilege growing up in America is absolutely amazing cause I am the first in my family to graduate from high school,” Malim said.
He will graduate from college next spring. But beyond his degree, is his drive to tell his story and their stories.
That telling is called the Dream Refugee project.
“With everything that is going on in our political climate we tell successful refugee stories around the local community to break the xenophobic and divisive hatred towards our community," he said. "We just want to reconnect the broader community through the refugees (stories).”