In 2010, Hannah Abdul arrived in the U.S. from Somalia. She traveled alone, knew no one in this country and was just 18 years old.
Abdul immigrated with help from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) after spending years in a refugee camp with her mother, father and five siblings. As the oldest child in the family with an education, Abdul’s mother believed that she could do and be whatever she wanted if given the opportunities that the U.S. offered. Her mother was right.
Upon Abdul’s arrival, she was placed with a local family to live and learn the ways of her new country. The IRC provided months of life- and job-related training, career counseling and continued support as she went through the Southwestern College Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, a collaboration with Sharp HealthCare. Through the program, Hannah completed her clinical training at Sharp Memorial Hospital and Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.
“I am so grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given,” says Abdul. “I loved every minute of the CNA program. I learned so many things and the nurses I worked with were so patient, kind and really hands-on in helping me.”
She worked diligently to make her family at home and those who helped her here in the U.S. proud. Abdul now works at several Sharp HealthCare campuses as a CNA while continuing her education; has her own apartment and car; and sends money to her family each month to help improve their lives in Somalia.
“I always wanted to make a difference in the world and give back,” Abdul says. “Working in health care allows me to do that. I am able to give patients the care we don’t have back home — the type of care I would give my own family if I could. It’s not just a job — it’s a rewarding life and it is magnificent!”
Learn more about Certified Nursing Assistant and other career opportunities at Sharp HealthCare.