It’s pretty incredible that in one generation, Raahmo has the kind of small-world Minnesota stories that weave together her life, family, and career. One of 11 children, she came to Minnesota with her family as a 12 year old. She completed her schooling in Mankato, and then completed a Medical Assistant program and worked in clinics. Throughout school and her work as a medical assistant, she did a lot of interpreting for family, friends, and patients that went beyond translating words to providing a nuanced cultural translation that helped make sense of the context.
Through a confluence of connections and work, Raahmo did some interpreting work for Mayo Clinic where she became aware of our Refugee Services Tapestry Project, where she also provided interpretation. Her brother- in- law is Mohamed Ibrahim, who worked with Mankato Refugee Services building our Community Health Worker program and trainings. While working in a part-time community outreach position at another Mankato non-profit, she learned of the Mankato Refugee Services opening for a full-time Community Navigator position and has since seamlessly integrated into a team she already knew well.
In her role as Community Navigator, Raahmo is helping to coordinate Tapestry Project sessions and serving as a bridge between county services, housing, health care, family services, and families being served in our programs. She handles the complex task helping families connect to the services they need in an integrated way.
Raahmo says the reward of this work is what inspires her. She loves to see the relief on someone’s face when they move from confusion to understanding. She recognizes that she has a talent for building understanding between Somali and American culture and she’s happy to use it. When not working, Raahmo is often spending time with her close-knit family. All 10 of her siblings still live in Mankato and she’s a popular aunt with her many nieces and nephews.