– I have always been passionate to give back. So much has been given to me throughout my life and I wanted to be involved in our community since my last year at DU. I am from Eritrea, where I was born and raised. I emigrated with my family to the United States
To Denver, Colorado and that is almost 20 years ago today. For myself, it was hard to come in to a new community with excitement and at the same time leave everything behind. I remember asking that question to my mom, saying why, where, when and for what reason
As a 12 and a half year old then. And her answer was for opportunity to be educated and to have a better life. And the reason that we started Street Fraternity is to help address the wants and the needs of local young men. The majority of whom are former refugee young men resettled here. We attract young men who are 14 to 25 year olds. For the majority of them the pathway of education
To whether high school to college and career is not working out. A lot of them are struggling in high school, not having good grades. Many others have dropped out or are on the verge of dropping out. So we are able by having the space and the time
At Street Fraternity to at least take the time out when we’re having a meal together, when we’re playing ping pong together, or doing homework in the library, or just having a quiet time in the meditation room, we are able to reflect back on our lives and say here’s what’s going on.
On average, we see about 50 young men come in and out in the hours that we’re open. So we’re here four p.m. to nine p.m. Mondays to Thursdays. I remember my times getting to DU as a Daniels Scholar and in my first year I quickly learned that
There’s more to life and more education and more learning about our whole world, and I chose to study International Studies as a hope that I can give back in the world. My one suggestion to young men of immigrant or refugee background would be that keep dreaming, keep having aspirations, and work on them,
And the right doors will open up for you to get you there.