Meet Ermias Tadesse. He is a senior at West Potomac High School. He was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, lived in Uganda after which he moved to South Africa then returned to Ethiopia and ultimately immigrated to the United States. Ermias has a passion for serving his community and is a member of the Salvation Army, an international charitable organization. He enjoys playing basketball in his county league as well as being a part of school/community clubs such as Spanish Honor Society, FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America), and United Community Ministries. He aims to use these organizations to promote a diverse yet integrated society. He is a very adaptable student having worked extremely hard to motivate himself despite lack of concerted guidance at school.
Williams College, MA
Meet Blain Solomon. She is a first generation Ethiopian immigrant and a senior at Northwestern High School. Blain spends her time leading various school organizations, currently serving as the Service Committee Chairwoman of her school's College and Career Pathways organization and National Honor Society, becoming its head of tutoring and later President. Under these organizations, as well as through Mu Alpha Theta, STEM Club, and her school administration, she serves as a math tutor to fellow classmates. Blain also loves literature, and in an area populated by mainly first generation immigrant and migrant youth, she has headed school-wide local foster home book donations as well as coordinated volunteer tutoring/reading groups for children at a local library. On top of this, she is a lead mentor for a cluster under the Junior Youth Empowerment Program, where book readings promote expression and community engagement in adolescents. She is no doubt one of the best student writers we've ever admitted. Blain's resolve to take care of her disabled brother and heading her school’s Medical Club has empowered her to pursue a career in medicine, where she hopes to devote herself to science, service, and care.
NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE
Meet Waad Abrahim. She emigrated from Syria with her family at the age of two, but is originally from Sudan. She is a senior at Jeb Stuart High School and will be the first of her family to attend college. She hopes to set an example for her two brothers and make her parents’ dreams come true. Waad is a highly driven and motivated member of her community, both in and outside of school. She is involved in a number of extracurricular activities including being President of her school’s Interact Club, President of Cultural Awareness, leading member of the Muslim Student Association, Secretary of Psychology Club, member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society and many more. Waad’s communication and critical thinking skills have allowed her to network with many different people, often landing her many beneficial opportunities. Her internship with UA has helped her develop workforce readiness skills necessary for the real world. Waad’s passion for learning new things and helping others pushes her to achieve her goals and set higher standards for herself. She plans on entering the medical field after college and hopes to be an active voice for Muslim youth in the future. Waad ultimately plans on never giving up on what truly matters, which is the future and the legacy we leave behind for those to come.
Boston College, MA
Meet Brukutawit Mesfin. She was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States when she was just five years old. She is currently a senior and attends J.E.B Stuart High School as an IB Diploma Candidate. She is passionate about the Spanish language and plans on mastering the language while traveling abroad. Bruktawit is part of her school’s Spanish Honor Society and has been selected to be Co-President of the Girl Up school organization. She is an active member of the Black Student Union, Stem Impressionists, a Model United Nations student with many other involvements. Last summer she participated in a program known as STEMbassadors and will be returning, as it was an enriching experience to help younger kids foster interest in the sciences.
Franklin & Marshall College, PA
Meet Hermela Assefa. She emigrated from Ethiopia to the United States with her family at the age of two. She is a senior at J.E.B. Stuart High School in Falls Church, VA and is currently an IB diploma candidate. Hermela is a loving and highly devoted individual who continues to extend a helping hand to everyone in her community. She will be the first in her family to attend college and works extremely hard to make her parents’ dreams come true. Hermela’s attachment to her culture and heritage has molded her long-term goal of establishing a medical based nonprofit to aid impoverished communities in Ethiopia and well beyond. Hermela’s motivation and work-ethic allows her to immerse herself in a variety of organizations. She is currently co-president of Girl Up, a club that focuses on empowering women around the world. She is also secretary of a club named Student Training in Advocacy and Responsibility (S.T.A.R). In partnership with this club, Hermela is working attentively to begin an exciting new literacy and math program for elementary students and their families. This program will ensure that students improve their reading and math fluency at a younger age. In addition to this, she is a member of her school’s National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Black Student Union, Key Club, and Lion’s Club International and more. Hermela is also volunteer at the INOVA Alexandria Hospital and a member of the Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program and will be interning at the Fairfax County Public Schools Department of Communications and Community Relations.
Grinnell College, IA
Meet Tinsae Degu. Born and raised in Ethiopia, he is one of the most adaptable students we’ve ever admitted. He is currently a senior at Bethesda Chavy Chase High School and has attended 9 different schools while living in Ethiopia. Tinsae's unique ability to excel in drastically different environments are one of his notable traits, yielding him great success in the four years he’s been in the United States. With his parents incessantly reminding him to become an example to his two younger siblings, the value of education was ingrained in his heart and mind at a very early age. More importantly, his parents leaving a world of success in their native country to afford their children an education was an indelible truth Tinsae always derived inspiration from. As an assistant soccer coach at YMCA, Tinsae also volunteers at his church, participates in competitive cycling competition, aspires to be a medical doctor, and is altogether a very kind and humble person.
Harvard University, MA
Meet Moti Heda. He is a senior at Springbrook High School. He immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia in 2005 -- along with his younger brother and parents. Serving as SGA President and as Service Chair in the National Honors Society, he has taken great interest in service and outreach. Moti has also worked with the Special Issues Committee of the Montgomery County Student Government Association to understand and expose the distinct causes of mental illnesses and the achievement gap among students of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. Besides English, He is fluent in Amharic and the Oromo language, and is currently learning Spanish.
Georgetown University, DC
Meet Wegahta Habtemichael she is the oldest daughter in a family of six, first generation immigrant from Eritrea and currently a senior at at Robert E. Lee High School in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is currently an IB Diploma Candidate and well known for her outstanding academic performance throughout her school community. She participates in a myriad and diverse set of activities such as the Spanish Honor Society, Lee’s Chamber Orchestra and Sunrise Senior Living to name a few. Wegahta is also Secretary of our school’s Key Club, a club that manages community service events such as raising money for Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF, and the Thirst Project. She is currently in charge of the Public Relations for her school’s English Honor Society. She has received numerous admissions to colleges such as Johns Hopkins, NYU Abu Dhabi, Grinnell, Williams and many more.
University of Chicago, IL
Meet Natnael Alazar. Born of Eritrean parents, he makes sure to wear the culture on his sleeve. Natnael currently attends Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia where he is President of the school’s National Honor Society and Science Honor Society while also serving as debate team captain. He is most proud of being the Founder and President of the first-ever NAACP chapter in Fairfax County Public Schools, serving as President of the Fairfax NAACP’s Youth Council, working to ensure that the fight for civil rights wages among individuals from all walks of life in schools and communities across the county. Natnael is truly a political junkie and passionate to help those who are most vulnerable. Motivated by the struggles of his parents, he has carried this passion for politics and support of good causes by interning on political campaigns in the Virginia House of Delegates and in career-related work in the Fairfax County Government, running for class office at his high school, and taking on thrilling political programs such as Virginia Boys State. Natnael hopes to continue his love for politics and policy by majoring in political science or international affairs and minoring in African American studies.
Meet Noah Yared. He is a Senior at School Without Walls High School in Washington, DC. Noah is extensively involved in STEM, having joined and gained leadership positions in nearly all the STEM clubs at his school. Noah’s passion for STEM exceeds the walls of his high school, as he’s currently taking classes with university students at the George Washington University (GW) and concurrently working with professors as a research assistant at the university’s transportation engineering lab to help develop intelligent driverless cars. His extensive involvement and avid work in STEM allowed him to hold several internships at Yale University, most recently having partook in their rigorous China program this past February, as well as in their on-campus Engineering program during the summer. Outside of stem, Noah is President of Latin club at his school, teaching his peers the essentials of the latin language, going so far as proficiently reading contemporary news events in the latin language.
Swarthmore College, PA
Meet Tinbite Kelemwork. She is currently a senior at Osbourn Park Senior High School in Manassas, VA. Tinbite is the eldest child of two Ethiopian immigrants and was born in Washington DC. Tinbite spends her time volunteering with her church and school, and engaging in extracurricular activities, such as her soccer team and assorted school clubs. She stood as President of the Prince William County Human Rights Student Leadership Council which dedicates itself to addressing the issue within PWC by working with the local government to help spread awareness of the rights each human has. Tinbite was also the Vice President of her school’s Junior State of America chapter. She is an incredible speaker, a prolific writer with unique attributes of a future global leader.
NYU Abu Dhabi, UAE
Meet Marafi Badr. Daughter of two Sudanese immigrants and a senior at JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church, Virginia. Marafi is currently an IB Diploma candidate, passionate and extremely hard-working who strives to positively impact her peers as well as her community. She is President of her class, President of Student Government Association, President of Stuart’s Muslim Student Association (MSA.), co-founder and Vice President of the Black Student Union. In addition to these leadership positions, Marafi is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Key Club, Leo Club, Student Training in Advocacy and Responsibly (STAR), and Girl Up. Marafi speaks Arabic currently learning French and hopes to make her parents proud by being a first generation college graduate.Marafi interns at a non-profit organization called Islamic Relief USA, a community of humanitarians working to educate, inform, and raise awareness about a variety of different relief/development projects through seminars, banquets, concerts, and other means of public awareness. Marafi is also a volunteer at INOVA Hospital in Alexandria, as she loves helping those in need.
University of Rochester, NY
Meet Samuel Teshome, a senior at Montgomery Blair High School and an only child. He is the president of the Minority Scholars Program at his school, a club that advocates for minority students to achieve higher levels of academic success. He is also a very active student at his school participating in: The National, Math, and W.E.B honors societies, and is also a member of the Biology team as well as green club and the SGA. Sam is a summer intern at the National Institute Health (NIH) and hopes to pursue a career in the medical sciences in the future.
Bucknell University, PA
Meet Bitseat Getaneh, a senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. She was born and raised in Ethiopia and immigrated to the United States nearly a year ago. Her story has touched the lives of many people, receiving numerous publications and news coverage all around the country, including on the Washington Post, NBC, Fox5 etc. Bitseat’s tenacity and continued hope in her future, despite everything she has undergone, has truly been inspirational to everyone who knows her. She is actively involved in her charity & fundraising club, and loves giving back to her community. She is fluent in Amharic and English, and currently learning Spanish. As the eldest in her household, she actively supports her mother who recently joined her here in the States. She plans to major in Neuroscience and hopes to one day open a nonprofit organization in developing countries, providing free treatment for impoverished communities.