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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    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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New Year, New Perspective

By Liat Desta

My journey of self-realization started a few days before the Ethiopian New Year, Pagume 3rd or September 8th. My coworker was explaining to me the significance of this date, the Orthodox holiday of Rufael. This holiday is eagerly awaited by believers of the Orthodox faith because it is said that this day’s rainfall is holy water. It is a blessing where you should not cover yourself, but instead, get wet and receive the blessing. Then a few days later, it (finally) became 2008 in Ethiopia. Every New Year is seen as a chance for one to start over, to break old habits, start a healthier lifestyle, and set goals to become a better version of oneself. Yet, there have been three times in this past month that have given me more clarity on me and my identity than I have ever had in my entire life—this fellowship, Rufael, and Enkutatash (New Year’s).

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More than Just a Number

By Eden Mesfin

It’s hard to describe my connection with Ethiopia as a Diaspora. I was raised to love my Ethiopian culture, history, and heritage since the day I was born. Yet, my only memory and my first trip to Ethiopia was five years ago – when I went to bury my mother. My tie to Ethiopia was embedded in my mother’s passing. However, I found that although returning to Ethiopia would be painful, it was something I desperately wanted and needed. Coming to Ethiopia would begin a new chapter of my identity as an Ethiopian.

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