The freshest news and views from the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Friday, January 25, 2019
Road from Ethiopia to Grossmont College Leads to Success
Mikre believes in creating your own destiny. With the help of Grossmont College
– and a deep faith in God – he’s creating his.
whine and complain when things aren’t going right, but only you can change your
path,” said the 23-year-old finance major. “Nobody else can.”
speaks from experience. After an aimless first year of community college in
Kansas, Mikre moved to San Diego, enrolled at Grossmont, found the support he
needed, became a straight-A student, will graduate this spring, and is hoping
to transfer this fall to San Diego State University en route to becoming a
accomplishments resulted in Mikre being honored with an Osher Scholarship from
the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges. It is an award that is
“Amanuel is an awesome human being,”
said Jason Allen, a member of the counseling faculty and the Umoja coordinator
at Grossmont College. “He works very hard to be successful
both academically and in all other facets of his life. But what is really
impressive with Amanuel is that giving back and helping his fellow students
comes as second nature to him. He is always helping students on campus and
referring them to every known service for students that he is aware of. When I
asked what motivates him to serve others like this, he responded by saying it
was his calling to do. He is a special young man indeed.”
road to Grossmont College has been a long one. Born the Ethiopian capital of
Addis Ababa, Mikre moved when he was 6 years old with his family to the Kansas
City suburb of Shawnee, Kan., where his father, a worship director, found a
home ministering at the Ethiopian Christian Fellowship Church. Mikre enrolled
at Johnson County Community College in neighboring Overland Park, Kan., but
Mikre concedes he was not committed to his studies and was placed on academic
probation. After a year of missing class and not finding a focus, he withdrew.
point in my life I thought I would never finish college because of my weak work
ethic at the time,” Mikre said.
changed after his family moved to California in 2016. Mikre resolved not only
to return to school, but to excel. While taking a year off for what he calls a
‘mental refresher,’ Mikre, who lives in University City, began researching
close friends from my church spoke highly of Grossmont,” Mikre said. “I kept
asking people about the other colleges in the area, and they all said they were
good schools, but that Grossmont was excellent.”
disappointed when he enrolled that fall.
“It’s a community,”
Mikre said of Grossmont College. “The resources are plentiful and the teachers
are willing to talk to you about their life experiences and help you find your
his way at the El Cajon campus led him to the Umoja program, which provides
peer mentoring, counseling, cultural field trips, educational planning,
community service opportunities and more. Shortly after involving himself with
Umoja, Mikre took part in a statewide conference in Sacramento and was hired as
an Umoja ambassador. He also works as a guest services clerk at a La Jolla
hotel and volunteers at his church in San Diego.
the only reason I am here,” Mikre said.
the demands on his time, Mikre’s focus has not wavered. He is determined to
become financially independent by the time he’s 35.
to focus, you have to keep your head down and work hard, stay dedicated when no
one is looking, but if you do that, you will succeed,” Mikre said. “Ten percent
of life is what happens to you. The other 90 percent is how you react to it.”