Blog

  • 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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  • Our Fellows

    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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  • Our Fellows

    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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Coming to Ethiopia

By Bethlehem Mesfin

Many of us grow up in households that ingrain this idea of the stable life – getting a job, then marriage, and finally, a family. The End. It wasn’t until my trip to Ethiopia in November of last year, that I realized I needed something different to happen in my life. As I boarded the plane to return to the States, I had a strange feeling that I would be returning very soon. It freaked me out. My only other experiences with the country had either been for the burial of my mother or the illness of her mother.

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Addis Perceptions

By Aster Mengesha Gubay

 
It’s a Thursday. I wake up to the sounds of neighborhood roosters (my new alarm clock), gather my things, and proceed to my morning stroll through our top view neighborhood to catch a ride to work. All the while, ignoring stares at my fire red rain boots and smiling to myself because I couldn’t believe I was really back in Ethiopia.

In a span of thirty minutes my smile disappeared, I had accidentally stepped in a big puddle of chika (mud), and gotten into a “friendly” argument with my taxi driver. He couldn’t understand why I left America for Ethiopia – apparently saying I wanted to serve my country was not a fitting answer. Then, I slipped on the front steps of my office building with everyone around me reaching out and yelling “ayezosh!”

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The Hero’s Journey

By Tewodros Asfaw

Bole, Addis Ababa

There was one resolution that I held for 2015. I didn’t know how I would make it happen, when it would happen, or how long I would stay, but I knew I had to go to Ethiopia. After more than a decade of being away, I just knew I had to go back. Life was calling me home. With the start of a new year, I opened my heart to welcome new possibilities in my life and to embrace what came my way with no resistance.

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