Education was my powerful tool in engineering my future

My name is Worku Mulat and I currently live in Bellevue, Washington. I was born in Ethiopia and attending school there was viewed as a luxury, so education was my powerful tool in engineering my future. While I was pondering how to give back to my community, serendipity made it possible to meet Ellenore Angelidis who has been devoting her time, energy, and resources to bring positive change in the lives of kids in Ethiopia.

I was excited the first day I met her during the 2018 Open Hearts Big Dreams fundraising gala, Adventures in Literacy. Throughout that evening I worked my way through her digital identity to learn more about her profile and discovered that Bahir Dar, is a favorite city of Ellenore’s because it is the birthplace of her daughter, Leyla. Ellenore is not alone in glorifying Bahir Dar. Herodotus wrote 2300 years ago:

“Wisemen occupying the Upper Nile, men of long life, whose manners and customs pertain to the Golden Age, those virtuous mortals, whose feasts and banquets are honored by Jupiter himself.” For a long time, I was eager to help a non-profit organizer who garnered trust among the donor communities. Someone with the capacity to implement successful projects in Ethiopia. I found that person in Ellenore Angelidis and joined OHBD soon after.

Unlike many of her peers growing up in Ethiopia, Ellenore and Michael’s daughter, Leyla has already started to dream big because she has all the resources she needs to excel. But Ellenore’s principle is that dreaming big should not depend on the place where a child is born. Thus, she launched OHBD projects to support K-12 education throughout Ethiopia.

A week after we first met, Ellenore asked me to lead the effort of establishing Innovation Centers in Ethiopia. I accepted the offer without hesitation and have been leading that effort since. Learn more here: Thank you, Ellenore, for giving me the opportunity to serve!