Kaskaskia College is pleased to host guest speaker Mawi Asgedom to its campus on Wednesday, April 23, as part of its Celebration of Diversity.
A former Ethiopian refugee turned Harvard graduate, Mawi knows that all students — no matter their backgrounds — have leadership potentials they might never have imagined.
Mawi's bestselling memoir, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, has been read as a one-book, one-community reading selection by hundreds of schools and communities including within the cities of Philadelphia and Green Bay. His teen-success guides, The Code, Win the Inner Battle, and Nothing is Impossible, have also been used in thousands of classrooms. Citing the impact of his work, The Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Mawi the 2006 Illinois Author of the Year.
Mawi helps kids and adults recognize that even the smallest actions can turn into huge results. Although Mawi faced many hardships growing up, including financial challenges and language barriers, as he began to recognize the transformative power of leadership skills, he found he had much more in him than he imagined. From the age of 14, he tracked his personal goals each school semester, and his increased confidence and skills led to a Harvard scholarship.
Since graduating from Harvard, where he gave the commencement address, Mawi shares his powerful journey with others. He has written eight books and spoken to more than a million students and educators. Mawi believes that every student has vast power inside and should have the opportunity to unlock and harness this leadership potential. That is why he shares lessons for educators as well as students – to ensure that adults can help students of all backgrounds develop and succeed.
Mawi says, “When I first started inspiring students thirteen years ago, I thought it was all about the students. And you really can do some incredible things by going straight to students and showing them how to unlock the full range of their internal powers.” However, he adds, “About five years in, though, I realized that adults are the greatest leverage points for helping students. One inspired parent can have stunning, super-hero impact on their [sic] child’s long-term success. One educator who is passionate and well-trained can help tens of thousands of students in their career.”
Kaskaskia College students and faculty have been reading Mawi’s book, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, this year as part of a campus-wide common read. Prior to the public event, Mawi will be speaking to a student group on “Finding the Leader Within,” and to a faculty group on “Recognizing the Invisible Student in their Classrooms.”
The speaking engagement entitled, “Journey from Ethiopia to the U.S.” will be held in the Jane Knight Auditorium and will be held free of charge beginning at 7:00 p.m. Also included will be songs performed by the KC Choir.
Participants will also be able to taste food samples from around the world provided by the KC Culinary Arts students. The scattered buffet will be held from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. with the program being held immediately after in the Jane Knight Auditorium.
Ticket prices for the food portion of the event are $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children under 12. Tickets for the food are being limited to 225 people. For further information or to have a dinner ticket mailed to you, please contact Cathy Karrick at 545-3182 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.