Congratulations, Aden!

Aden Mabruk -- Photo by Tracy Glantz, The State

From the really, really Good News file.

OK, State paper, all is forgiven. I particularly enjoyed seeing the front-page story this morning about Aden Mabruk graduating from Richland Northeast High School today.

Remember the Somali Bantu? They started out as a faceless abstraction, rejected by Cayce, then literally embraced by Mayor Bob in one of the most heartwarming local news photos I can recall seeing in our community in the past decade. Then, for the most part, they were forgotten.

But not by my family — more specifically, not by my dear wife, who was for a time the team leader for our church’s sponsorship of a Bantu family (a position ably filled by our friend Emily Hero the last couple of years). The days, weeks, months she spent helping them get situated, getting the widowed mother of the family a job, acting as go-between with her employer, making runs to the one butcher she could find who would supply a goat for a taste of home, getting the younger kids to their doctor’s appointments and coordinating with their school to make sure they got their medication, taking the mother shopping…

And tutoring. Especially, tutoring the young boy who was now the man of the family since his dad was gone and his older brother had a family of his own, the boy who learned English ahead of everyone, the boy who was spokesman for his mother, who avidly consumed the copies of my Wall Street Journal that my wife took to him, the boy with the insatiable thirst to learn,  to soak up the world, to prepare for making the most of the opportunity that America provided…

That boy was Aden Mabruk. So my wife took off the morning from keeping our grandbabies today, and went to his graduation. I’m writing this just to say that I’m proud of her. And proud of Aden.

8 thoughts on “Congratulations, Aden!

  1. Susan

    It can take a huge amount of work to make a difference in the life of just one person — but it’s worth it.

    Congratulations, Aden, and thanks for the story, Brad.

  2. Phillip

    What a wonderful story. That’s the best of what this country is. Congratulations to Aden and bless your wife for the hours she spent helping him and his family.

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