University Transition Awards – Abayneh’s Story

Meet Abayneh. He graduated from university in June and now has a full-time job! Just six years ago, this outcome seemed all, but impossible.

Abayneh grew up near Dangla town. After successful completion through grade 8 at Abiyot Godana primary school (a school supported by Project Ethiopia starting in 2007) and then high school grades 9 and 10, Abayneh’s family had no more resources to support his education.

Abayneh took the courageous step of admitting to Dangla Preparatory School officials how much he wanted to enter 11th grade, and the financial situation of his family that made it impossible. After hearing his story, school officials agreed to hire Abayneh as a night guard at the school; a job he maintained throughout his two years at the school.

After working hard both in and out of the classroom, Abayneh successfully passed the university entrance exam and was offered the opportunity to study at Wollo University approximately 450 km from Dangla! The pathway to a university education and the opportunity to support his extended family was now open to Abayneh. The staff at Dangla Preparatory School, knowing his situation, worried that all his hard work would go unrewarded due to financial barriers.

Abayneh is one of the students whom Project Ethiopia targets to receive a University Transition Award consisting of support items such as a suitcase and book bag, clothing, bedding, a cell phone, and a round-trip bus ticket to their university. This critical assistance makes it possible for students to make the difficult transition from the countryside to university.

When Abayneh and the school staff received word that he would be one of the recipients of a 2013 Project Ethiopia University Transition Award, “All the school community had tears of joy!” says Project Leader, Workineh Genetu. Abayneh, too, was filled with gratitude for all of the ways in which he had been supported to reach what, at one point, seemed like the unattainable.

Abayneh graduated this past spring with a degree in Sociology. He is now employed full-time as a trade inspection officer at a sugar factory in Tilla about 50 km from Dangla town. While he is more than four years beyond his time studying and working at Dangla Preparatory School, his story of hard work and perseverance in the face of hardship continues to inspire students at the school to aim high and dream big!

To learn more about the Project Ethiopia University Transition Awards, visit our website at:

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