For our first Community Narratives feature of this semester, we are highlighting Hibo Osman ’26! Hibo is an active member of the FLiSP program and comes from Seattle, Washington. She brandishes her Muslim, Somalian, and African American identities with pride and maintains an incredible presence here in the U-FLi community already, even as a first-year. Hibo is planning on studying Health and Human Biology.

When asked about her experiences integrating into Brown, Hibo recounted her time finding community through the Third World Transition Program (TWTP) and the UFLi Center’s First-Generation, Low income Scholars Program (FLiSP). She discussed how these programs allowed for her to stand in solidarity with students coming from similar backgrounds as they undertook the process of adjusting to the wider Brown community. 

“My favorite experience from FLiSP has definitely got to be the retreat. It was away from Brown and it gave myself and my peers the opportunity to bond and connect with each other in a different way, where we were able to understand each other better, very early on.”

These experiences posed as formative as well as generative in her ways of navigating the process of building connections with others on campus. This, compounded with her developed approach of honoring her identities, served Hibo well in the process of establishing a sense of groundedness in place.

Hibo says after coming to Brown, situating herself in her values through finding the Muslim community here, something she’s never really found in prior institutional spaces, has empowered her. Currently, she serves as the Communications Chair for the Muslim Student Association and says that a stronger connection to her faith has resulted from her involvement in the organization.

“I’m glad I found this space. This stronger connection is something I want to foster as I delve deeper into my academic pursuits.”

Hibo’s goals involve becoming involved in the medical field, which are informed by experiences in navigating the healthcare system as a Black, Muslim woman. 

“Bridging the gap and lessening the negative impacts of the system of healthcare on marginalized communities is something I want to contribute to. I always talk about how relieving it is to find Black women represented within the healthcare system and this is part of what fuels my desire to to become a part of it — to serve as a face of care and understanding and to demystify aspects of both sides as a bridge. This is especially because of the very real harms that the healthcare system has historically committed against Black women.”

She further spoke to how distrust among the Muslim community of the healthcare system is something that she wants to mitigate too, given her identity and experiences. Hibo’s academic interests are truly rooted and informed by her intersectional identities and the strength she has received from her stronger connection to her faith on campus.

Looking forward, Hibo hopes to maintain her understanding of self as it pertains to interpersonal relations and wider contexts of campus life. We are so excited to see how she will continue to grow and flourish as a member of the U-FLi community.