My name is Saced Guled and I am from Somalia. I came to the U.S in 1999 due to the civil war that happened in the 1990s. When I arrived in the U.S, my family and I didn't have anything upon arriving. It was very difficult for me and my family. I didn't speak English, and it was very tough for me because I was 12 when I arrived in the U.S. There was a lot of perception that the ‘“U.S was the land of opportunity and everything is free.” That wasn't the case for me. I had to work hard and make a living for myself and my family.
I had to do something about that so I decided to go to college when I was 18. I attend Mankato University at that time. I graduated with Finance. Graduating from college was a dream come true, especially coming from nothing. After graduation, I started working at Wells Fargo and I was a banker for a few years.
That opened my eyes and I learned a lot during my work at Wells Fargo. After a few years passed, I started my own business called Co-horent bus transportation. This was one of the biggest risks I took because people didn't believe in me and I had to convince myself that this was my true calling of being an entrepreneur. It paid off and Im glad I took that risk. I own and operate a fleet of 50 yellow buses and minivans across the Twin Cities, largely serving charter schools. I am proud of myself and my humble beginnings.
One piece of advice I would give to refugees who come to the U.S is to be open and work hard. There are a lot of people who will guide you along the way but having faith and controlling your destiny matters. I was once a former refugee and I know the path it takes to become successful. It's very hard to arrive in a new country with no resources. I tell them to be open and work hard. There were a lot of challenges I faced during the road, including racism but that didn't stop me from achieving my goal.
Empowering refugees are very critical. For example, the work that Epimonia is doing with storytelling is super amazing. Changing the narrative is a prime example of shaping the way that people think about refugees. I am glad that Epimonia is doing amazing work in the community.
Success is being happy. Money is not success. Peace of mind is success and helping others along the way. I am a huge believer that the more you give the more you will get in life. Changing someone's life is a success!