About Us

Metro Youth Diversion Center (MYDC) was officially established in the Twin Cities in June of 2018; however, our organization’s history far precedes this milestone year. Our story began as far back as early 2013 when we conceptualized it originally as a youth development program tailored to the East African community in San Diego, California. We created and refined it as a culturally responsive youth diversion and prevention program. In 2018, we assessed the needs of the East African community in the Twin Cities area and decided to launch our program with this official name.

Our Team

Abdifatah Ahmed

Abdifatah Ahmed is the Executive Director of Metro Youth Diversion Center. Abdifatah has extensive experience working in Program Management and in Educational Leadership roles. He is an advocate for youth and families, as he dedicated his career serving the people. Early in his career, Abdifatah has worked in the corporate world before turning to education and the nonprofit sector in order to enhance and advance the lives of underserved citizens. Abdifatah’s greatest strengths include his creativity, drive and leadership skills. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the organization’s mission. Some of his past roles included creating Strategic Partnerships, Development, and Community Outreach.  Abdifatah holds a Master’s in Organizational Management & Leadership from Springfield College in Massachusetts, as well as a Bachelors of Arts Sociology from California State University, San Marcos

Bashir Abdi

Bashir Abdi is the Program Director of Metro Youth Diversion Center. Bashir has over a decade of experience as law enforcement and as a restorative justice practitioner with an emphasis on juvenile delinquency. Bashir has tirelessly advocated for juvenile rehabilitation rather than incarceration. Through effective restorative initiatives, he hopes to spark discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of creative but controversial attempts to respond to criminal wrongdoing by emphasizing the needs of victims and communities. Bashir has worked with schools and understands the dynamics of educational institutions. He also has experience bridging the gap and building relationships between important stakeholders.  Bashir holds a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology from National University in California; and Certifications in Conflict Resolution and Restorative Practices.


Zahra Jama, Board Chair Hennepin County Child Protection
Arif Bakar, Board Member Executive Director of Tawfiq Islamic Center
Taska Welters, Board MemberHennepin County Dept. of Community Correction and Rehabilitation