In My Shoes - Dagahaley to Kakuma to Syracuse

Werdi’s journey from the oppressive environment of northern Somalia to a refugee camp where he spent nearly four years, then coming to Syracuse without knowing any English is one of great trials and upheavals, yet his laugh can warm a room an instant. While being an outsider is always difficult, navigating his constantly changing situation, and finding his own path through sports, clubs, religion, and the support of his family--Werdi has built a community around himself.
Werdi plays a starting position on the soccer team. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and DECA. Werdi prays five times daily, including during school in a prayer room. His faith as a Muslim plays a major role the shaping of his worldview. Much of his motivation comes from soccer--his dream is to become a major league soccer coach and lead his team to the world cup.
He is the oldest of nine children and takes a major role in watching and raising his brothers and sisters. Werdi’s journey is a wonderful example of how resilient a person can be, yet still smile brightly.