Early on Sunday morning a group of students travelled to Wallingford, CT to the Choate campus to participate in the 9th annual Student Diversity Leadership Conference. SDLC is a diversity conference for students (grades 7-12) and faculty and administrators from CAIS schools. The conference features student entertainment, afternoon workshops, small group discussions facilitated by and for students as well as workshops for adults. Our goal is to connect students of color and students committed to diversity with peers in other schools to: strengthen our informal network of those committed to diversity in CT; supplement national activities (POCC/SDLC) with a regional activity; facilitate conversation between students and teachers; and give our student leaders a forum for dialogue and action with other students representing the diversity of CAIS schools.
The students particularly enjoyed listening to the keynote speaker, Mawi Asgedom. When he was 3, his life in Ethiopia was torn by civil war. With his mother and two young siblings, he trekked hundreds of miles to Sudan, dodging hyenas and slave traders, to join his father in a refugee camp.
Three years later they started life over in a small town near Chicago. At 16, Mawi fell into depression after his brother, Tewolde, was killed by a drunken driver — as was their father five years later. How Mawi overcame poverty and self-doubt to graduate with honors from Harvard University is an inspiring story he shares with 100,000 teens and parents each year as a motivational speaker.
One of his books, Of Beetles and Angels, has been added to our library.