ETHIOPIA: Don Bosco graduate heads to Harvard University
Graduate of Don Bosco Mekanissa admitted to Harvard University’s class of 2025
(MissionNewswire) Yeabsira Tofik Mohammed, a 12th grade student at Don Bosco Mekanissa, located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has been admitted to Harvard University’s class of 2025. She is excited by her achievement. Mohammed started at Don Bosco Mekanissa in 7th grade. Her father knew the quality of Catholic schools and wanted her to study with the Salesians.
Mohammed’s brother also took a similar path. He studied at St. Joseph School in Addis Ababa and then went to Columbia University in New York City, where he is now working.
Mohammed is still feeling a little overwhelmed by her accomplishments. She said, “To be honest, I still can’t believe this news that I have been admitted to Harvard University. It was always my dream, but now the dream has come true. I am really happy that I have made my parents proud of my achievement.”
When reflecting on how she got where she is today, Mohammed noted, “Of course, first of all, my gratitude goes to God my Creator. Without his help, I am nothing. Then I owe a lot to my parents and my brother who supported me throughout the process. Next, come my teachers, and in a special way my teacher, Abebayehu Belete, who was always of great help to me. Then I am also grateful to the CTP team who mentored me and gave me the necessary support, and last but not least, my friends who have been cheering me on from the beginning.”
Mohammed also reflected on her time in high school. “The Don Bosco campus is always unique. The diversity and the family spirit that exist here have never ceased to amaze me. Here you have people of different personalities and that always gives one a lot of exposure to many things. There is so much insistence here on your overall human development. I really like it. As long as you are ready to work hard, achievement will be yours. It might take time to see the fruits, but you need to have patience but things will eventually work out.”
In addition to the Don Bosco Mekanissa High School, there is the main Don Bosco Center that provides education, nutrition and health services to 400 poor youth. Most of the youth, aged 2-15, are street children who have no place else to live or anyone to take care of them. The Don Bosco Center also offers a small medical dispensary, which is managed by a nurse. Youth receive first aid, routine health check-ups and medicine when needed. Youth are able to take a hot shower, and hygiene and sanitary supplies are available.
Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world with more than 38 percent of its population living in poverty, according to Feed the Future. Close to 85 percent of the country’s workforce is employed in agriculture but frequent droughts severely affect the agricultural economy leaving more than 12 million people chronically, or at least periodically, food insecure. In addition, more than two-thirds of the population is illiterate.
The country has 4 million orphans which account for nearly 12 percent of all children and according to UNICEF, more than half a million of these were orphaned as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis that has affected the country. Thousands more children run away each year seeking a better life on the streets.
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Salesian Missions – Ethiopia
UNICEF – Ethiopia