From Refugee Camp to Miss Minnesota USA Pageant | The Refugee Center Hall of Fame

From Refugee Camp to Miss Minnesota USA Pageant
The first hijab-wearing model from refugee camp to runway

Halima Aden is the first hijab-wearing and first Somali-American to compete and become a semi-finalist in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant.

The Refugee Center Online features Halima Aden in the hall of fame for her role of being a great model for other refugees in the United States.

Halima Aden is 20 years old and lives in Minnesota. Aden was born in the Refugee camp in Kenya and moved to the United States with her family when she was six years old. In 2016, Aden competed in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant and went on to become the first contestant in that pageant to wear a burkini and a hijab: a move that some analysts saw as a positive change towards diversification in the modeling industry.

From Refugee Camp to Miss Minnesota USA pageant

Aden is noted for being the first Somali-American to compete and become a semi-finalist in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant. She received national attention and was signed to IMG Models agency in New York City. She has been invited to participate in multiple events internationally.

Aden made her debut at the New York Fashion Week for Yeezy Season. She has been featured in a number of notable magazines and has also posed for big-name industries such American Eagle. Currently, Aden is a first-year student at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. Aden hopes to be a United Nations (U.N.) ambassador after college graduation.

Recommended Refugee Center Hall of Fame: This DACA student is making a difference. Diego Corzo | The Refugee Center Online Hall of Fame

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About Hall of Fame
The Refugee Center Online Hall of Fame features refugees and immigrants from around the United States who are making a difference in their communities. At the Refugee Center Online, we believe newcomers make our country a better place. The individuals we feature show exactly that - they are examples of how immigrants and refugees contribute to our country. If you are interested in being featured or would like to nominate an individual to be featured in our Hall of Fame, email: wilson@therefugeecenter.org.