Rilwan was born in Somalia and lived in a refugee camp in Kenya for more than 10 years prior to arriving to the U.S in 2004. In 2008, Rilwan led the formation of an organization to educate and empower Somali Bantus in the Lewiston-Auburn area. The organization started providing youth programs like soccer, academic support and juvenile justice workshops. Rilwan and his team realized the need to also educate the parents of the youth and started literacy and citizenship programs for parents. Rilwan’s organization, now called Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services, also offers behavioral health and other services. Rilwan earned his high school diploma through the Job Corps program, studied at Central Maine Community College, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maine at Augusta. He is now studying social work at the University of New England.