Live, love, laugh. Inscribed in rusting black metal, these three compelling words changed Ubah Jimale Dimbil’s outlook on life from the moment she discovered the plaque handing on a wall of her new apartment in the Bay Area. Drained from a grueling day of self-inflicted math examinations, Somali lessons, and Qur’an recitations, a nine year old Ubah quickly regained her usual excitement as silently repeated the pleasing mantra until the words seemed to flow together. Amazed, Ubah recognized that no three words could better encapsulate her entire life. Today, nearly a decade later, she believes no different.
Live. Whether climbing to the top of a mountain or falling on her way down, Ubah has always lived life with no regrets, continuously attempting to reach the pinnacle of her success. In spite of the years spent in English Language Development classes as a child to better her speech, Ubah quickly caught up with her peers. Admittedly, the years she spent hunched over novels at the crack of dawn under the watchful eye of her strict father paid off as she now has well over a 4.0, is in the running to become a valedictorian of her graduating class, and has received a number of awards commemorating her academic triumph during both the school year, and the following summer months. Hoping to one day receive a degree in medicine, Ubah seizes opportunity in life to make her wish a reality, and therefore signs up for science programs during her leisure months hoping to gain a greater understanding of her career choice.
Love. Because she adores her Islamic religion, Ubah joined a local youth group early in middle school where she helped plan a fashion show to build a school in Sierra Leone, donated funds to support an orphan girl in India, and, as the head of the Social Chair Committee, organized dances for young Muslim girls to safely attend. In addition to providing her with chances to positively impact her community, Ubah’s religion provided her at an early age with an awareness of discrimination’s bearing on young students. Because of her cultural and spiritual differences, insensitive students ridiculed Ubah in both elementary and middle school. Hoping to protect those in similar situations, Ubah joined organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People where she serves as the Head of Publicity and the Vice President of the youth council in her region, and the Anti-Defamation League, to help to secure a safe and treasured environment for her community members by completing a series of activities with her peers in order to promote not only tolerance, but also acceptance.
Laugh. Through her positive outlook on life, Ubah tends to focus on the optimistic aspects of life rather than reflect negatively on the bad. Even though she continues to hear monthly news about deaths of family members due to the chaotic situation of her parents’ native country, Somalia, Ubah understands that everything happens for a reason, and endlessly spends her time honing both her academic and leadership skills so that she can help those less fortunate to enjoy life as well.
Now as the college looms closer, Ubah will soon move her aging plaque to a new resting home at Stanford University where she will major in biology, and always remember to live, love, and laugh.