2016 40 Under 40 Honoree
Human Resource Director/Co-founder/Community Organizer
Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services
Abdikadir always knew he wanted to be a teacher, a social worker, and a leader. In the past, he served as a local youth soccer coach, taught English as a second language, and worked for LL Bean as a learning specialist. He was also employed with the Lewiston school system as a language facilitator, all the while working toward his degree in Social and Behavioral Science through the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn. In 2008, he co-founded Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services (MIRS) and currently serves as its human resources director. His responsibilities include regularly interacting with employees, clients and community members and attracting and retaining talent for the organization, as well as doing case management and closely collaborating with fellow award winner and executive director, Rilwan Osman.
Born in Somalia, Abdikadir lived in two different refugee camps for roughly fourteen years before he and his family were relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Like many others who share a similar history of immigration, he loves living in L/A primarily because it is a safe community with a “small town” atmosphere where he feels comfortable raising a family of his own. For Abdikadir, living in L/A is a privilege after enduring the difficulty, violence and hardships of both his home country and the refugee camps. His favorite thing about L/A is its sense of community—he is amazed by the accessibility of our teachers, government leaders, and the like. He is also a huge fan of the annual L/A festival and frequently enjoys meals with his family at local restaurants like Applebee’s, Margaritas, Denny’s and Mother India. The family consciously chooses to eat at places that are known for supporting L/A by participating in fundraising for local nonprofits and schools.
In his free time, Abdikadir enjoys being with his family, reading, playing soccer and running. He is passionate about local organizations that serve immigrants and refugees, as well as both the elder and youth populations. He serves on the boards of directors for some local nonprofits and lends a hand to his community as a volunteer whenever he can.
Abdikadir is proud of all he has accomplished in his career. He feels fortunate to meet great people through his work and is motivated by the love and support he receives from them. One of his most treasured achievements was witnessing the Lewiston High School soccer team win the State Championship, having coached and mentored nearly half of the players through a community sports program sponsored by MIRS. He hopes to continue his service to our community through MIRS and his personal efforts and to maintain a happy and sustainable life in L/A with his family.