• Lead. Serve. Create.

    Welcome to the Fellows' Blog

    Every other week from August through December meet us back here to find a new post by our 2016-2017 cohort of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows.

  • Our Fellows

    Kidist Tesfaye

    Kidist Tesfaye is a recent graduate from the University of Minnesota where she has attained her Bachelors of Individualized Studies. She dedicated her undergrad studies in Public Health, Global Studies, and Strategic Communications with a minor Spanish. She has been affiliated with or served on the board for the, Ethiopian Student Association, Students for the Horn of Africa, Black Motivated Women, African Student Union, and the Undergraduate Public Health Association.

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    Sergut Dejene

    Sergut is currently a gift officer at the University of Chicago and works with alumni from the College to strengthen annual philanthropic support through the University's reunion program. Prior to that, Sergut served as a program manager at U. Chicago’s Career Advancement office, and has experience building and leveraging relationships with stakeholders both in the U.S. and in Asia.

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    Mariam Admasu

    Mariam Admasu is an Ethiopian-American from Portland, Oregon. She graduated from the University of Oregon in the spring of 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Family and Human Services. During her undergraduate career, she mentored high school students in the community through a program called ASPIRE. She also mentored incoming freshmen on her university campus through a program called IMPACT. She takes pride in mentoring and shaping leaders of the future.

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    Bethlehem Mesfin

    Bethlehem Mesfin received her BS in Management, with dual concentrations in Marketing and Leadership & Consulting from Binghamton University (SUNY) in New York. Since graduating, she has been employed at Morgan Stanley, and is currently working as an HR Operations Analyst where she works on the firmwide Performance Management system by processing the full lifecycle of annual performance evaluations.

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    Aster Mengesha Gubay

    Aster holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations specializing in African Affairs and a master’s degree in Public Policy (M.P.P) from the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs, at George Mason University. Alongside her studies, she served as the VP for the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA) and worked closely with faculty, the student body, and alumni associations to ensure adequate African diaspora representation in policy discussions concerning the continent.

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The Woman I Strive To Be

By Kidist Tesfaye

The amount of women in the nontraditional workforce and entrepreneurship roles in Ethiopia continue to inspire me to work harder and chase my dreams. Being an Ethiopian woman and growing up in the States my whole life has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I grew up trying to juggle the challenges of fitting into the cultural and traditional “norm”, per se, as an Ethiopian woman,

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Embracing the Unknown

By Bethlehem Mesfin

Road through the Unexpected


If you ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I’m a person who loves to plan and have things in order. I thrive on the concept of predictability and typically rely on those around me to provide a small dosage of spontaneity in my life. Without preparation, I’ll go through a process of questions that build up in my head, negative thoughts, and finally finish up with what may look like, to many, as a mini-panic attack. The thing is, the idea of the unknown has always stressed me out, and yet since being accepted into the Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship, this has been the one constant thing I’ve encountered.

Here’s what my journey has looked like so far…

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7 Habits of a Highly-Ethiopian Child

By Aster Mengesha Gubay

Mid sip of buna, I chuckled then froze. I couldn’t believe what was happening right before my very eyes. 5 girls huddled around around a round table, small remnants of injera left, and buna/shi in all their hands – the girls looked at me like I was crazy. They had no idea that in that very moment I had just realized something that would help us understand our parents more than ever before.



“I just realized something…”

“Okay… what?”

“We are a becoming our parents. We are literally our fathers and mothers…”

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