ST. CLOUD -- Even at a young age Sainab Gaal has always had a passion for helping people.

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That passion grew in high school and eventually led her to St. Cloud Technical and Community College, where she enrolled in the Paramedicine program.

Gaal says she's always wanted to work in the health field, but wasn't sure what career would best suit her.

I didn't want to be a nurse so I had to look up different careers. Then I took an EMR (emergency medical responder) class in high school and fell in love with that class and was like paramedic it is.

It was at SCTCC where she quickly knew becoming a paramedic was her calling.

Gaal says even though she was following her heart, there were a few cultural barriers she had to overcome.

She says her friends and family were nervous at first of her career choice as she is one of the first Somali women to go into the field of Paramedicine in the United States.

My mom told me she kind of figured when I told her I wanted to go into the paramedic program that there probably wouldn't be any other Somali people in the program, but she wanted me to have my own little thing.

Gaal says after weighting the pros and cons her family fully supported her decision.

She admits while it can be a little nerve wracking, she says it's important to find people with different cultural backgrounds willing to go into different fields.

If you want to go into the medical field or any other career, just do what your heart wants, there is nothing stopping you.

Gaal says she's still deciding where she wants to work after graduation, but is leaning toward a more rural area. She is set to graduate next May.

Next week is National EMS week.


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