“We want to bring you here so you have better opportunities in school – so you can become whatever you want to be.” Those words of inspiration have been at the core of Yared Asmelash’s foundation. At the young age of age 5, Yared’s parents brought his family to the United States from Ethiopia, with a goal of instilling a love of education in their children.
As a senior at South High School, Yared is currently deciding which college to attend, and his top choices span from the University of Washington to Xavier University of Louisiana, with several Colorado universities in between. As an aspiring electrical engineer, the choice will be difficult, he says, but college has always held a top spot on his priority list. He’s excited to finally take the leap that will get him to the large corporation he hopes to join in the future.
Yared and his older sister, Almaz, are the first generation in their family to graduate from high school and pursue a college degree. Yared says having an older sister to help him navigate the challenges has helped, but his parents have always made it clear that education was an expectation.
“My sister told me to apply for the DSF Scholarship, and to keep up with my grades. As a first generation student, my parents push me—especially my dad—and motivate me to have good grades. Because of that I’ve always had the mindset to go to college and graduate with a good stable degree that can help me get a career after college. Since they didn’t have the opportunity to graduate from college or even high school, they always push me and my sister to take our education seriously,” Yared said.
Yared is also grateful for the Future Center at South High School. “I come to the Future Center frequently to get my college essays reviewed and revised. If I have any questions about applying to colleges, my college advisor, Miss Meredith is always there to help. It’s been beneficial to have the extra support and guidance.”
As an immigrant to the United States, the transition was made easier by his young age, but the language barrier made communication difficult.“It was easy to adapt since I came here at a young age, but I still had obstacles. I had to take elective classes to perfect my English since it isn’t my first language. Because of that, school was difficult. Communicating with other people was difficult,” Yared said.
With the right mindset and motivation, Yared has indeed succeeded in school. He has immersed himself in student life and is an active member of the Muslim Student Alliance, Black Student Alliance, Special Olympics Unified Sports, Student Senate, Gear Up, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, and is also a member of the school’s track team.
Yared is one of the 14,000 students served by the Denver Scholarship Foundation each school year. To learn more about how the Denver Scholarship Foundation helps to make college possible, click here to see how you can get involved with our organization.