Meet the Ethiopian-American Graduate who Created a Scholarship to Help Students of the Black Diaspora
Attending college can be cost prohibitive for U.S. students who don’t want to incur thousands of dollars in debt, and for students from immigrant families, the prospect is even more daunting or in some cases impossible, but one woman is seeking to change that for students of the Black diaspora with a special scholarship fund.
Genet Lakew is an Ethiopian-American student who managed to graduate with a journalism degree from Howard and a Masters degree in Africana-Studies from NYU debt-free. The 27-year-old is now in digital communications with the National Urban League, and in a recent interview with Vibe, she discusses how she is giving back by creating her own endowment, The Mekonnen Family Scholarship, to help immigrant high school students from the Black diaspora pay for college.
Genet Lakew set up a fundraising campaign on Generosity titled “Help Black Immigrants Pay For College,” and she says “the scholarship is named in honor of the humble, hardworking immigrant family I come from, who poured their hopes and dreams into me. I want the names and memories of the souls who are no longer on earth to live on through this scholarship.”
“My working class Ethiopian immigrant mother emphasized education as a gateway to opportunity and success,” Lakew wrote. “But she did not have the economic and social access to help me apply to colleges, visit campuses, pay for application fees, tuition, and housing.”