IIE Blog Opening Minds
IIE Blog Opening Minds

Mentors and HER Girls in Ethiopia Give Back

By: Edie Cecil on Monday, April 28, 2014

This past September, 100 underserved girls in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia—50 from Addis Ketema School and 50 from Fitawrari Abayneh School—were awarded the Higher Education Readiness (HER) Scholarship. The scholarship provides the girls with financial support combined with innovative leadership and life skills training to help them complete their secondary education and equip them with the tools needed to continue on to university.

As part of the enrichment experience for the HER program, each girl has been assigned a mentor. The mentors are all young women who have recently graduated or are enrolled in university. They meet with the HER girls at least once a month and discuss academic topics such as study and communication skills, time management, and public speaking. They also discuss personal development skills such as creating effective social relationships, self-knowledge, and over-arching personal health and self-esteem topics. HER mentors recently participated in a survey on what they hope to achieve in their meetings with the girls. All the mentors indicated that they feel they can strengthen their mentees’ commitment to continue their education beyond high school, help them set short and longer-term academic goals, increase their overall self-confidence, and create a safe and open environment for communication.

HER Mentors meeting with Mentees in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

One mentor stated, “First and foremost, IIE invited me, it was an honor, then it was my dream to help others especially girls not to face the challenges I have been through. The benefit and skills I got from the mentorship program that I previously participated in through IIE totally changed my way of thinking, so this positive change I brought on my life, I wanted to share with others.”

We want to thank all of the mentors for their dedication, devotion of time and energy, and most important, their willingness to give back to the HER girls. We look forward to hearing more about the impact they are having on the HER girls' educational growth!

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For more than nine decades, the Institute of International Education has been at the forefront of international education. The Opening Minds blog is IIE’s take on how this field continues to change. Here the Institute’s leaders will explore international educational exchange, global student mobility, institutional partnerships, international development, and other topics and trends that are shaping higher education around the world.


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