When several Somali-American friends in Minneapolis recently discussed ways to give back to their community, they figured the most essential thing would be to contribute to the educational welfare of the community’s youngsters.

They brainstormed whether they should start tutoring programs for the struggling Somali students in the Twin Cities public schools, create mentoring opportunities or find ways to link the students with resources funded by local non-profit organizations and city programs — and how they would do so.

The group of friends wanted to do something unique.

After much discussion, they finally voted on one action: the establishment of Shanta Link, the first and the only known Somali-run scholarship program, which gives money to high school seniors who plan on attending colleges and universities in Minnesota.

Shanta Link has turned into a living legacy for seven passionate community activists and engaged citizens, who gave birth to the program: Osman Ahmed, Faiza Hassan, Sandol Khalaf, Fardosa Hassan, Sade Hashi, Omar Mahamed and Osman Calolgeel.

Atomic Data is proud to support the Somali Cultural Arts & Education Night.