Abdi was born in Somalia. He and his family fled the country during the Somalian civil war in 1991 and became refugees. During the conflict, Abdi’s father was killed and in 1999, Abdi, his mother and four siblings were granted access to Australia.
Abdi attended Debney Park Secondary College. He described himself as “a bit of a troublemaker” in the early days, but over time, he paid increasing attention to his studies. As a talented student coming from a single parent family, Abdi applied for and was awarded a Skyline Bursary.
The Bursary proved valuable on many fronts. The financial assistance it provided was as vital as helping to increase Abdi’s self-confidence and self-esteem. Skyline taught studying techniques and brought in former Bursary students to talk about their experiences which proved to be very motivating for Abdi: “It showed me that I could compete with kids in a whole range of other schools, built me up mentally and gave me a lot of confidence in myself.”
The Skyline staff also drew his attention to other post-secondary scholarships and bursaries that he could apply for. As a result he obtained a Kwong Lee Dow scholarship and a DOXA scholarship that helped to finance his subsequent tertiary study.
At the end of Year 12, Abdi got an ATAR of 93 and says that he would not have done as well without the Bursary. He also greatly values the friendships he cultivated with the other students in the program. He is still in contact with them several years after finishing VCE.
Abdi is studying a Bachelor of Bio-Medicine at Melbourne University and also works part-time coaching a local soccer team and acts as duty manager at the North Melbourne Community Centre.