• Lead. Serve. Create.

    Welcome to the Fellows' Blog

    Every other week from September through February meet us back here to find a new post by our 2017-2018 cohort of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellows.

  • Our Fellows

    Saba Alemnew

    Saba holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Communications from the University of California, Davis. Upon graduation, she joined Triage Consulting Group as a Consultant providing reimbursement review services for some of the largest health systems in the United States.

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  • Our Fellows

    Maceda Alemu

    Maceda Afework Alemu graduated from Dartmouth College in June 2014. At Dartmouth, she majored in Geography with a focus on International Development, minored in International Relations and completed a certificate in Global Health Studies. After graduation, she served as a Program Coordinator with the Center for Health Equity at the Geisel School of Medicine.

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  • Our Fellows

    Meron Begashaw

    Meron Begashaw is a recent graduate of the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health - she graduated with a Master’s degree in Public Health. Prior to and during graduate school, Meron held a number of health-related positions, including program assistant at The California Wellness Foundation working in women's health and diversity in the health professions and an intern at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

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  • Our Fellows

    Eden Mekonen

    Eden Mekonen graduated from Occidental College where she majored in Critical Theory and Social Justice and minored in Interdisciplinary Writing. While at Occidental, Eden became passionate about equitable, multicultural education and diverse representations of underrepresented groups, through community-based learning classes where she applied identity-based theoretical frameworks to community social issues. She is interested in participating in the capacity building of programs and activities, and believes this allows for sustainability as opposed to dependency.

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Alem Kib New

By Eden Mekonen


unnamedAt the start of our pre-departure training in Los Angeles, we learned about the “Four H’s of Acculturation” – these being Honeymoon, Hostility, Humor, and Home. As someone who’s admittedly oscillated between humor and hostility, I sometimes feel as though a fifth “H” should be included for “Humbled.” Addis Ababa, and Ethiopia in general, has truly been a humbling experience for a compass-dependent and GPS reliant person, such as myself. I like to think of Google Maps as the reliable friend who you can always count on to help you out when you literally don’t know which way to turn; the friend you could always depend on to guide you whenever you take a misstep. However, as GPS isn’t widely used or accessible in Addis Ababa, navigating around the city has proven very challenging for me.

While this isn’t my first stay in Ethiopia, in previous visits I’ve often relied on directionally-savvy family members for geographic guidance. However, having come back to Addis this time around as an Ethiopian Diaspora Fellow,

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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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