Sakariya Mohamud

GateWay Early College High Student Seizes Opportunity, Earns Full-Ride to Princeton

For many students, the idea of switching high schools can be scary. For Sakariya Mohamud, this was no exception as he started GateWay Early College High School his sophomore year. "I dreaded being the new kid and losing all of my past relationships," he said, "But, my mother and aunt saw this as an opportunity to push me to my fullest potential."

It wasn't long after that Mohamud started to see some of the reasons his family had selected the school. Working with the teachers and staff, he took advantage of the small class sizes and resources available to enroll in dual enrollment classes to earn his associate degree early. "It started to feel like home," said Mohamud. "My teachers felt like family and always had my back and gave me sound advice."

But it wasn't just about having the resources available. Mohamud knew he would have to put in the work to go to high school and take college courses simultaneously. Immersing himself in his course work, he soon realized he had the drive to succeed. "My teachers really challenged my weaknesses and always made sure they never left behind a student," he said. "The small class sizes helped me learn more efficiently and be involved in the classroom."

This past May, Mohamud was part of two graduating classes. He graduated with his high school diploma from GateWay Early College High School and was one of 22 of his classmates that graduated with an associate degree from GateWay Community College. 

While that achievement alone seems impressive, it is what's next that is even more impressive. Mohamud was recently awarded a full-ride scholarship to Princeton University, the first in the school's history.

One of Mohamud’s future goals is to use his education to return to his home country of Somalia and help the country's citizens rise out of poverty by creating new economic and educational opportunities. 

A big dream from a bright mind with an even bigger heart.

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