Hassan Yusuf- Consultant, Entrepreneur and Former Refugee

Mohamed Malim

My name is Hassan Yusuf. I came to the United States in 2005 with my mother and father. I remember like it was yesterday. We came here from the United Nations. My father worked for the U.N so it gave us a leverage to get ahead of the line. Ever since coming to the U.S, I've always had a passion to live beyond an average life. The reason is that coming from where we came from, I saw a lot. I was born in a refugee camp and it was tough.

When I arrived in the United States, I was about 6 years old. I really had to adjust the lifestyle because I moved a lot during my childhood. I really didn't have a stable life, but that helped me become more comfortable such as connecting with people and seeing different cultures. It seems like everywhere I went, there were so many similar stories like mine. Coming here as a refugee was very difficult because when I arrived in the U.S, my father wasn't around during my childhood so that was kind of hard seeing my mom struggle. Ever since it was me and my mom and it was amazing to see my mom overcome a lot of obstacles by herself and I am extremely proud of her.

As you get older, things get more difficult than education or business. There are always so many struggles, especially not coming from a background of wealth. We are writing our own stories and making our own paths. End of the day, we are trying to set up our future kids so they don't have to see us struggle in life and give them whatever they want. That's one of my motivation to keep going in life. 

Empowering refugees is important these days because they need us more than ever. The opportunities are there for them and I also want to thank Epimonia for doing an incredible job of telling these stories. We need people like Mohamed for doing such an amazing job of fighting for us and what's right. Telling stories is also important because we are fighting against hate and bigotry. These stories will help them be more open to refugees and literally have a heart for them. We are trying to provide for our families and become better people around the world. Empowering refugees and immigrants to understand that you don't have to live the way they tell you to live. You literally live your life and start a business, become a doctor, provide for your family. That is the beauty of refugees excellence. 

What gives me motivation and energy is empowering others. The fact that you can inspire others or guide people the right path is so transformative. I think that is so powerful, especially what I do. I love consulting people because I get to teach people the mistakes I made in life and how they can avoid that. Having a better direction with their life.

Some of the biggest accomplishments in my life happened the last 3-4 years. When I started my entrepreneurial journey, it made me realize that the opportunities are endless. Although getting a degree wasn't for me I had to make my mom proud. That didn't stop me from learning skills in life that allowed me to generate income outside of a regular job. I love creating things, seeing a business go  from nothing to something has been a great experience. That shows me that I can do it again and again.

America is so special because there isn't no discrimination in terms of opportunities. Like you can literally become who you want to be. Although there are so many people that discriminate, there's not a-lot of discrimination of opportunities. There are so many opportunities in this country that you can't find in most countries. I think that is a very special thing to see. You don't see that in a lot of countries. 

My advice to refugees is dont feel isolated because everyone in this country is from somewhere else. This country is one of the most diverse countries in the world. Although, you might run into a lot of discriminative  people but don't let that stop you from achieving your dreams. If people don't like us, remember you are not the problem, the problem is themselves.Don't feel like you don't fit in. 

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