Shanta Link is currently operated by volunteers. It’s very active board members are passionate about raising funds for scholarships, mentoring scholarship recipients, providing opportunities to connect with career experiences, and connecting with schools to help provide career and college information. Areas of focus include the following:
operates the only known, Somali-run, scholarship program which gives money to Somali immigrant high school seniors who plan on attending colleges and universities in Minnesota. In the past two years, Shanta Link board members have raised funds to provide five scholarships (currently serving two college sophomores and three freshmen).
Mentoring of Scholarship Recipients:
Board members provide ongoing support for scholarship recipients. These volunteers have graduated from college and are engaged in professional careers or graduate school, and are in a unique position to serve as role models and truly understand the unique challenges faced by Somali students. Because they have successfully navigated college and entered careers, they can convey the message, “I was able to do this, and you can do it too” – a powerful message for students currently struggling with navigating the complexity of college. These volunteers also help find professionals whom students can shadow to learn more about careers they may be considering.
Providing Information to High School Students:
Board members seek to partner with local high schools to give presentations and provide information for high school students as they think about choosing a college, seeking financial aid, and understanding that college is indeed possible for them.
Providing Information to Parents and Families:
Board members seek to partner with community organizations that work with Somali families around college access, adding their information and perspective to assure families that college is desirable and possible, making greater career opportunities available for Somali students.