Ridwan Hassen: First-generation college student awarded Rhodes Scholarship

Brooke Metz
USA Today

Ridwan Hassen knows the power of hard work.

The son of African refugees, Rhodes Scholar Hassen is a first-generation college student. Both of his parents lived through war – his father in Ethiopia, his mother in Somalia . During these times, children were often not allowed to attend school.

“My dad was denied an education,” Hassen says. “They always say education is the most important thing.”

Determined to make his parents proud and set an example for his younger siblings, Hassen strived for excellence. He developed a passion for science and a desire to help others.

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