At age 10, Abdulhafidh Ibrahim moved from his home in Africa to the United States to receive services from SSD’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing program. He grew up with little access to spoken or signed language in his home country, accessing language in a new country was especially challenging. Yet, today as a high school student at Parkway West High School and SSD’s South Technical High School, Abdi has proven more than up to the task.
Make no mistake, Abdi’s challenge was daunting. In 2015, as he started the ninth grade, Abdi was reading at a third-grade level. In less than three years, his reading comprehension was at over a ninth-grade level. Even more amazing, he advanced two grade levels in just six months.
“It is like a night and day difference watching Abdi read and discuss texts in English class today,” Zachary Jodlowski, an SSD teacher of the deaf, said.
As his progress has accelerated, so too has his exploration of other interests.
“All of a sudden, Abdi was asking teachers to help with post-secondary planning, instead of teachers leading the conversation,” Jodlowski said.
He seems to have found a passion at South Technical High School in the Construction Innovations program. He is asking the right questions about his post-high school plans and has become a role model for other students in the program.