Mursal Omar grew up as an avid reader. His curious mind sought information everywhere. With no TV at home in the early 1980s in Somalia, Omar found comfort in the words of Maya Angelou and Aldous Huxley. Those authors spoke of bravery, perseverance, and a dedication to making society better.
Finding Guidance through C3 Fellows
During his first year as a nursing student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Omar was introduced to the Central Corridor College (C3) Fellowship. The C3 Fellows program connects college students to healthcare providers along the Metro Green Line to gain entry-level employment and necessary experience to be successful health care professionals. The program is one step in the Partnership’s laddering approach to career development for Central Corridor zip code residents. To date, partners have collectively increased the percentage of their employees who are residents of the Central Corridor by over 5%.
Dedicated to Making a Difference
In 1989, Omar was torn away from his home due to the Somali Civil War. His family fled to Kenya seeking safety as political refugees. In 1993, Omar and his family moved to the United States. After a few additional moves, Omar came to live in Minnesota, a safe environment where he could finally begin to think about his future. He was quickly drawn to the health care field.
“Since my childhood was full of so much destruction, I found comfort in the order and structure of health care,” reflected Omar.
Once resettled in the United States, Omar grew up assisting his grandmother in daily activities while maintaining his own health care needs. Omar was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as a teenager. Since health care was central to his and his grandmother’s life, Omar found health issues very intriguing.
A few years following high school graduation, Omar looked back on his time caring for his grandmother. He had developed a strong passion for assisting others and soon realized that he wanted to move his career forward within the health care field as a nurse. In 2009, Omar became a Certified Nursing Assistant and began seeking higher education to become a Registered Nurse.
Realizing Career Aspirations through C3 Fellows
When still a first year nursing student, Omar met Brian Mogren, C3 Fellows Program Director, at a resume workshop held by human resource professionals from the McKnight Foundation at MCTC. Students learned the importance of highlighting sections within their resumes that would be of interest to employers. Following this event, Omar applied to become a C3 Fellow.
He reflected on how Mogren had become a foundational mentor for him, from alerting him of upcoming job fairs at MCTC to developing his interview skills.
“I am so grateful to have met Brian and be connected to his wide network of nurses who are so supportive of my career aspirations,” Omar noted. “As a C3 Fellow I am now confident that I can have a career within the health care field as a nurse.”
One of the most notable classes for Omar was “Human Lifespan” in which he studied why people act the way they do at different stages of their life. During this semester, Omar worked part-time at a long-term care facility for dementia patients.
The opportunity to stay engaged with his coursework inside and outside of the classroom encouraged Omar’s passion to care for others in need. His favorite part about the position was hearing the patients’ stories from when they were younger. They reminded Omar of his own grandmother.
Contributing through Care
Omar has applied and interviewed for a Patient Care Assistant position at one of the CCAP partner hospitals. Mogren provided a reference, and Omar hopes to hear back regarding the position within the next few weeks. Omar’s long term goals are to use his education and work experience in patient care at a long-term care facility to transition into a patient care position at a hospital or acute care facility.
In 2019, Omar will graduate from MCTC’s Professional Nursing Program with his Associates Degree in Nursing as a Registered Nurse. He has already completed the Central Services – Sterile Reprocessing program. Omar plans to give back to the community by using the skills and resources he has gained through his professional and academic experiences.
“There is a shortage of health care workers. I want to help my community by contributing my skills as a Registered Nurse. I want to help make society better.”
Omar has decided to dedicate his life to caring for others. The support of the C3 Fellows Program is setting him up for great success.