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Class of 2017
This is a SAMPLE Student Chart
and does not include the entire class for 2017

Sarah Acolatse

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Meet Sarah Acolatse. She  currently attends C.D. Hylton High School. Sarah has a passion for learning languages and has studied Japanese, Korean, Spanish and French. Sarah is her school’s international events dance team’s choreographer. She had held several leadership roles in several of her schools science clubs and actively participates in science conferences across the country. Sarah will be attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) fall of 2017. Other notable admissions include Columbia University, Amherst College; Georgetown and mor

Rackeb Mered

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Meet Rackeb Mered. Currently a senior at Hayfield Secondary High School, Rackeb spends her time leading various school organizations. She is President of the Spanish Honor Society and Secretary of the National Honor Society. As a first-generation Ethiopian-American, she is greatly immersed in the nonprofit sector where she has previously spearheaded a foundation dedicated to tackle homelessness nationally and internationally. She has been admitted to numerous elite colleges and universities including Middlebury College, Georgetown University, Grinnell College and more. Rackeb will be attending Duke University in the fall of 2017 and hopes to pursue a degree in law and business. She has received a myriad of scholarships in recognition of her extensive work and leadership. 

Judy Tsegaye

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Judy Tsegaye is currently a senior at C.D. Hylton High School. She immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia at the age of four with her family. Judy has a passion for learning other languages and has studied both Spanish and Korean in school while also teaching herself Japanese. She is also a leader for Inspire Virginia, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that aims to strengthen democracy by giving voices to the youth population and promoting civic engagement. She will be attending Stanford University next year and is planning on majoring in Economics.

Abraham Mascio

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Abraham Mascio is a senior at Montgomery Blair High School. Born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea, he moved to the United States when he was fifteen years old. In high school, he serves as President of Liberty’s Promise, a group dedicated to help immigrants better adjust and realize the opportunities available to them in their new environment. He has been an avid advocate for immigrants at Montgomery Board of Education to propose and implement solutions towards aiding immigrants to adjust academically and socially. Abraham is  also part of other clubs such as Minority Scholars Program and W.E.B Dubois Honor Society that both aim to help students best achieve their potential academically and socially. He will be attending the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in the fall of 2017.

Samuel Kebede

Sewanee University of the South, TN

Meet Samuel 'Sam' Kebebe. He is a Senior at Montgomery Blair Senior High School. With his ardent passion in the sciences, he aspires to become a surgeon in the future. Sam is also an active member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and has won several city-wide chess tournaments. As an Ethiopian immigrant, Sam is devoted to helping other immigrant students. He consistently voiced his support for such students through peaceful demonstrations and through numerous speeches at the Montgomery County Board of Education. Sam has also been featured in various newspapers such as The Citadel and CNN for his work. Currently a recipient of the Posse Scholarship, he will be attending Sewanee University of the South in fall of 2017.

Bemnete Niftalem

 Lafayette College, PA (1).png

Meet Bemnete Niftalem. She is a Senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. She is the co-founder of an international initiative called Project Joseph where she helps homeless people domestically and internationally. Through her initiative, she has distributed cloth and other goods. Bemnete has a passion to learn different languages. Fluent in Amharic and English, she is also proficient in Spanish. In addition, she is also learning Arabic in school and German at IEA Councils. Currently a Posse Scholar and attending Lafayette College fall of 2017, she hopes to become a multilingual surgeon in the future to better impact the international nonprofit sector.

Winta Ghirmai

Middlebury College, VT


Meet Winta Ghirmai she attended C.D. Hylton High School. She is an Eritrean American who resides in Virginia. Proficient in Tigrinya, Winta also hopes to become proficient in Arabic as she is currently learning it in school and IEA Councils. She believes that mastering the Arabic language will open the door to the Middle Eastern culture as she strives to work and give aid in that region. She has received her second degree black belt in Taekwondo and taught students at the academy in which she attended. She strives to make an impact in this global society with her acquired leadership skills and communication skills. She will be at Middlebury College fall of 2017.

Ruth Goshu

College of William & Mary, VA


Meet Ruth Goshu, a senior at Hayfield Secondary School. She is president of her school's National English Honor Society and a member of several other honor societies at her school. Ruth has a passion for science and aspires to become a Pediatrician in the future. Dedicated to serving others, she spends her summers volunteering at Inova Fairfax Hospital. She is also proficient in French and has passion for foreign languages. Ruth will be attending College of William & Mary in the fall of 2017. Other notable acceptances include Grinnell College, Scripps College and Boston College and more.

Habeke Bekele

Gustavus College, MN


Meet Habeke Bekele, a senior at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School. She was born in Addis Ababa and immigrated to the United States at the age of nine. Currently, she works as the outreach coordinator at the DC Youth Advisory Committee by educating youth in the District of Columbia area about health issues. She has a  passion for educating others and working to improve her community. She wants to study the bio field. She joined IEA Councils in August 2016 which she says has helped her with gaining confidence and being able to speak in public. She hopes to someday practice bio-chemistry and business management. Habeke will be attending Gustavus College in the fall of 2017. Habeke has received admission from 30+ colleges.

Xavier Sims

Middlebury College, VT


Meet Xavier Sims. He is currently a senior at The Maret School. He is both of South Sudanese and Ethiopian descent. Xavier has a passion for spreading the English language worldwide and creating a close-knit international community. He has taught English professionally to children in the Dominican Republic as well as to hotel staff in Beijing, China. He currently acts as an English tutor for orphaned Ethiopian children and teaches Chinese martial arts at a local Chinese school. In addition to his community service, Xavier is active in musical theater and is a starting outfielder on the Maret Varsity Baseball team. Xavier is proficient in Spanish and fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He will be at Middlebury College fall of 2017.

Sal Girma

 University of Richmond, VA


Meet Selamawit ‘ Sal’ Girma. Sal is a senior at Wheaton High School. Sal enjoys learning about other cultures. At  Wheaton, she is a part of the Biomedical program and also an officer at her school's Student Government Association. She hopes to start her own non profit organization to aid developing countries in gaining resources to structure their people and government.  She currently interns at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in an analytical biology lab. She will be attending University of Richmond in the fall of 2017. Other notable acceptances include admissions from Colorado College, College of Wooster, and Northeastern University.

Rahel Mideksa

St. Lawrence University, NY


Meet Rahel Mideksa, a senior at Bell Multicultural High School in DC who is an empowering woman on the pursuit to change the world. Rahel wants to double major in bioethics and international human rights. She hopes to someday open a non-profit organization that allows access to basic healthcare in developing countries.  Rahel is one of two students to have won the Presidential Scholarship at St. Lawrence University where she's chosen to attend. In the fall she will be at the University of London for a study abroad before returning in the spring to St. Lawrence. Her scholarship not only covers her + room and board, but also her personal expenses. Other notable acceptances include admissions from Wittenberg and Claflin University. 

Tselot Aklilu

Scripps College, CA


Meet Tselot Aklilu. She was born and raised in Nazareth, Ethiopia but immigrated to DC when she was nine. She attends The Field School. Tselot  has a passion for social justice and community organizing. She works with a program called SMART (Student Multiethnic Action Research Team) to tackle issues faced by ESL immigrant students in the DCPS system. In school, she is the leader of AWARE club which is a discussion-based club that also works to tackle cross-sectional issues of identity. She is also the student-leader of Field’s People of Color Affinity Group. Tselot will be attending Scripps College in the fall of 2017 with a prospective major in International Relations. Other notable acceptances include admissions from Grinnell and Bard College.

Samuel Merga

College of Wooster, OH


Meet Samuel Merga. He was born and raised in Ethiopia, but immigrated to the United States at the age of six to Washington DC. He attends Archbishop Carroll High School and is a Full International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate. With a passion in chemistry, Samuel plans to become a medical doctor and hopes to work for Doctors Without Borders. Besides his academic life, Samuel also partakes in the Peer Ministry and Peer Tutoring program. He is the president of the National Honors Society and secretary of the student body government. He is also the co-captain of the baseball team. Samuel will be attending College of Wooster in the fall of 2017 as a chemistry major. Other notable acceptances include Drexel, Wheaton College, and St. John's College.

Eden Mekuria

Lycoming College, PA


Meet Eden Mekuria. Eden is a senior at Wheaton High School. Throughout her high school journey, she has been part of the engineering academy where she hopes to pursue it professionally. Eden is also the co-founder of a foundation called 'The Angel Project' which raises money for orphans and teen moms in the DC, Maryland and Virginia area, as well as internationally in countries like Cameroon. She hopes to travel all around the world, learn about the different cultures and languages such as French and Arabic while spreading joy. Eden will be attending Lycoming College in the fall of 2017. Other notable acceptances include admissions from Allegheny College and Morgan State University.

Miheret Hassenu

College of the Holy Cross, MA


Meet Miheret Hasenu. She is currently a senior at Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington D.C. She has served as class president for the past three years, concurrently involved in the National Honor Society and Philosophy Club inside of her school. Miheret hopes to major in Pre-Law and minor in International Business next fall to eventually help minorities, including women, who face injustice in developing countries. She hopes to become an agent of change within the international law spectrum to help individuals whose hopes have vanished. Miheret will be at the College of the Holy Cross this fall.

Bezawit Tefera

St. Lawrence University, NY


Meet Bezawit Tefera. She is on a vigorous pursuit to be a pediatrician. After watching her doctors conduct compelling work to those close to her, she knew at a very young age that she also wanted to go into the medical field. Bezawit currently volunteers at Washington Adventist Hospital, in the radiation oncology department. This experience has shown her the many sides of the medical field from the administrative side to the patient - doctor relationships. This will later on help her pursue her goal. Bezawit also hopes to one day travel across the world to get an international experience, with hopes to learn  French and Korean. She will be at St. Lawrence University next fall. 

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