Mighty Blog

Employees celebrate Black History Month: Karima Benkhiija Hagen shares the significance

The month of February marks Black History Month, a time to celebrate the tremendous milestones and contributions Black Americans have made throughout history and continue to make today.

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting leaders, trailblazers and rising stars at Children’s Minnesota who make an impact each and every day. We are pleased to introduce you to Karima Benkhiija Hagen, dietary aide.

Get to know Karima

Tell us about your role at Children’s Minnesota.

For 15 years, I have been a proud team member of nutrition services. I am fortunate to never be bored, to always have things I can do to help others.

Karima Benkhiija Hagen, dietary aide

I travel the floors with trays for children, teens and their families, along with the nursing and professional staff members who are the heart and soul of Children’s Minnesota.

What do you want patients, families and staff to know about what you do?

At Children’s Minnesota, we are a team and a family. Everyone here matters. What we do every hour makes a difference. And we do this in honor of all the children and families we are fortunate to serve every day.

Do you have a favorite memory from working at Children’s Minnesota?

You know, I did not speak English very well when I arrived – I was shy and did not speak to anyone. But now, watch out! I talk to everyone, know most everyone and like being a walking welcome wagon for Children’s Minnesota. I am deeply grateful for a friend and co-worker (L.T.) who went above and beyond to help me learn. My supervisors and team continue to help me every single day.

What does Black History Month mean to you?

As a Moroccan American immigrant, I appreciate the U.S. openly appreciating the contributions of Black citizens and all they have and continue to contribute to this world.

How are you celebrating Black History Month this year?

I enjoy watching the celebrations and learning the U.S. history and contributions of Black people.

What do you think makes kids amazing?

Kids continue to shine their light and love their lives even when in the hospital or in clinics. It is so inspiring to see, and I think they uplift us every day. It is hard to complain when you work in a hospital dedicated to children and teens. The world looks better through their eyes.

Other Black History Month employee highlights

Alexandra Rothstein