22 July 2013

SOS Youth Wins Scholarship to Harvard

7/22/2013: For many, studying at a university as prestigious as Harvard is only a pipe dream. For Mekidem, a young Ethiopian man who grew up at the SOS Village in Hawassa, that dream is now a reality. Through his hard work at the Hermann Geminer International College in Ghana, Mekdiem was able to secure a scholarship to Harvard to study mathematics and psychology. Here, Mekidem talks about growing up at SOS and his plans for the future.

SOS Children's Villages Ethiopia
Mekidem will be attending Harvard in the Fall.
It has been 12 years since I joined SOS Children’s Village Hawassa. I had great unforgettable memories in my stay in the village. The sport tournaments I participated in, the clubs I got involved in, the trips I enjoyed with my friends, the academic hurdles I climbed, the friends and families I made there, the laughter I shared with my brother and sisters, mother, as well as my teachers. Tutoring my brothers and sisters every week was among the most rewarding experiences, and I was pleasantly surprised by the creativity my brothers and sisters displayed. They became independent at a very young age. When I saw them studying in the classroom, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment and pride. I will truly miss my childhood.

The moment I read my acceptance letter from Harvard, I celebrated the news with a great joy. However, I also acknowledged the great responsibility associated with the opportunity. My experience at SOS has taught me that life is not only about the mind but also the heart, which initiated my passion to study education studies in my university life. Programs on education, child and family services and youth development are among the areas that I am currently interested in.

I am planning to minor in Education Studies or Psychology at Harvard University. Through this education I hope to be able to research methods on improving education. I will strive to change the lives of children in poor communities. Furthermore, my studies at Harvard will give me the skills and experiences necessary to make changes in my community after my university life. Hopefully, I will return to the SOS village where I grew up to help children shape their character and develop emotional, social and academic competency. With this, I hope they will become active and productive citizens in the future.

Growing up, I also had a great interest in math and sciences. In fact, I took part in several mathematics competitions in our school and in my community. I was also consistently one of the top mathematics students in my school. In university, I want to use my mathematics skills creatively. Moreover, the fact that mathematics can be applied in various fields appeals to me, as it should provide numerous advantages in my future life and career.

I am so grateful for SOS for making my dreams possible. I believe in the motto “Success is a journey not a destination”. I will be working hard in the years to come.

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