Alumni - Ahmed Baba | Cascadia College

Alumni - Ahmed Ahmed-Baba

May 23, 2024

“Bye, have a good day!” Ahmed Ahmed-Baba said with a smile as his last passenger on his Coach was leaving. He was finally on an hour-long break, but that didn’t mean it was time to relax. It was time to focus on homework and attending class on Zoom. Whenever he was on break, Ahmed-Baba would park his Coach, pull out his laptop, finish up his assignments, attend class, and meet with his English 101 tutor. 

He first started at Cascadia College in 2001, but dropped out because it wasn’t the right time. After years of owning various small businesses, his educational journey at Cascadia College began again in January of 2020, right before the pandemic hit. At the age of 44, he was a Coach Operator for the Community Transit and went to school to focus on getting his Associate degree to transfer to the University of Washington in Business. He diligently asked all the questions he could think of and talked to the instructors to understand the assignments. 

"A lot of people when I told them I was going back to school they started laughing. They said 'hey, you're too old, you can't do this’. I told them, 'watch me'."   

Ahmed-Baba remembers his Cascadia professors appreciating his non-traditional student status. Being a Kodiak reminded him why he liked education, and he felt he benefited greatly from the College’s support system. Cascadia set Ahmed-Baba up for his next chapter in education. Even though he already had experience in entrepreneurship, courses in supply chain and inventory management, for example, filled important gaps. Ahmed-Baba earned a Cascadia degree in two years, received his Bachelor’s from the UW Bothell, and is currently going for his Master’s in Business Administration from the UW Bothell while juggling his job with public transportation and his second job at Boeing. 

Recently, Ahmed-Baba posted on Linkedin how thankful he is for Cascadia, his prior instructors, including Natalie Serianni, Asefeh Houshyari, Lelia Olson, and Lisa Citron.

 “‘If you want to be a student, be the best. If you want to have a business, be the best. Whatever you put in your head that you want to be, make sure you be the best at it,’” Ahmed-Baba’s dad told him when he was younger. Carrying his dad’s words in his pocket, he passed them on to his 12-year-old son, emphasizing the importance of education. One of Ahmed-Baba’s greatest achievements was hearing his son say, “I’m proud of you, dad.”


Written by Zainab Alhassani