Born in Mogadishu, Somalia to a Somali mother and an Ethiopian father, Siad grew up in Somalia with her mother and two sisters. Her parents divorced at a young age. She underwent female genital cutting when she was seven years old. Her two sisters were killed by the Somali army during the civil war. After her sisters’ deaths, Siad and her mother fled to the United States when she was thirteen for safety. Siad states that she lived in a shack and had low self-esteem when she was younger. While in high school she participated in the Boston University Upward Bound TRIO program. She was a Posse Scholar and went to Bryn Mawr College in 2004. She transferred to New York University to study pre-med and political science. She eventually transferred back to Bryn Mawr College to finish her education.