Abubakar Ali, Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Abubakar “Bakar” Ali is in his second year at Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in Urban and Community Studies and International Studies. Bakar, who is deaf, is a student leader and role model for deaf and hard-of-hearing students on campus and was a community leader and activist for deaf people in his home country of Somalia where he helped establish the Somali National Association for the Deaf, for which he currently serves as president. In Rochester, he volunteers through AmeriCorps, providing on-the-street services to at-risk youth, and volunteers as assistant to the director at St. Mary’s Place where refugees and their families go to ease their transition to living in the U.S. Bakar has first-hand experience with being denied entrance to schools because of his deafness, being homeless, and surviving war, violence and starvation, all experiences that have shaped his commitment to community activism and social engagement. With his passion and actions, he is a role model for students and the community at large. His positive attitude and work ethic are contagious and his motivation and leadership will continue to make significant contributions to public problem solving in this community and beyond.