As a first-generation Ethiopian-American, Tsega Gebeyehu’s first visit to Ethiopia didn’t come until he was 19 years old. Although he was raised to love and appreciate the country’s culture and history, he wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the experience. However, it didn’t take long for him to feel a sense of belonging and a deep connection to his roots.
“That sense of finally being home was so powerful. This is one of many reasons I’m so passionate about Jegna’s mission. Our programs give the diaspora the opportunity not only to visit Ethiopia but also fully immerse themselves with a unique work or internship experience.”
As Tsega traveled the country, he couldn’t help but recognize the tremendous potential it had for continued growth. This feeling sparked a fire within him, growing with every visit back home, and inspired him to find ways to give back to his country.
After earning his B.A. in Accounting from Governors State University, he started a career in sales and marketing that eventually led to his current role with Dell Technologies as a regional partner manager. As he advanced in his career, Tsega sought ways to engage with the Ethiopian community. He eventually was given the opportunity to join the Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago (ECAC) Auxiliary Board, which hosted events for young Ethiopian professionals in the Chicago area.
With this experience, he was able to meet and form friendships with other Ethiopians in the area. When Aman Ayalew invited him to join the Jegna team, it was a no brainer. Jegna, a flagship program of People to People (P2P) that recognizes the potential of the Ethiopian diaspora in driving true change in Ethiopia, had a mission that connected with Tsega. Serving as the communications director, he aims to tell the stories of the diasporas that take the opportunity to give back to Ethiopia.
“As we share the stories of talented members of the diaspora community contributing their expertise to drive change and innovation in Ethiopia, I hope it inspires and empowers countless others to do the same.”