Born in Mogadishu, Somalia and raised in Minnesota, Leila graduated from Macalester College in 2014 with a degree in political science. At Macalester, Leila was a Chuck Green Civic Engagement Fellow, and helped start a social enterprise providing immigrant young adults with work and leadership experience. She promoted multiculturalism and civic engagement as a leader in the Institute of Global Citizenship Student Council, Macalester AFRIKA, and the Macalester Muslim Students Association. She also interned at the Minnesota House of Representatives and League of Women Voters, where she researched state policy issues including foreclosure prevention, felony disenfranchisement, and campaign finance reform.
Field placement: Adelante Development Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Leila supported the development of the Fiestas Grocery Buying Club, a neighborhood bulk buying club that seeks to improve food access in Albuquerque’s historic Santa Barbara- Martinez Town neighborhood. She also recruited volunteers to conduct benefits outreach and enrollment services for Adelante’s Benefit Connection Center.
Policy placement: National Conference of State Legislatures
Leila worked with the Hunger Partnership to research and produce content relating to key developments in federal and state anti-hunger efforts. She also assisted NCSL with tracking and summarizing state and federal immigration legislation.