Policy & Research Associate
Meheret (Mimi) Woldeyohannes was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but somehow found her way in the great state of Texas, where everything is truly bigger—including her hair! Prior to joining 50CAN, Mimi served as a Teach For America corps member teaching fourth grade in San Antonio, Texas. After spending two years in the public school system, she moved back to her hometown of Dallas to teach fifth grade at KIPP.
Inside the classroom, she quickly learned of the inequities and discrepancies in the education system and has since dedicated her life to ensuring that every child receives a quality, equitable educational opportunity. She is currently working towards her master’s degree in public administration at American University and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!).
I aspire to be like Michelle Obama. Here’s why:
Michelle Obama is the epitome of elegance, intellect and grit. She constantly empowers those around her to achieve their fullest potentials as she strives to do the same. Throughout her tenure as FLOTUS, Michelle Obama served as a champion for youth by relentlessly advocating for pertinent issues affecting our society such as education, women’s rights and health reform.
What I admire the most about Michelle Obama is that she is absolutely unapologetic about who she is and where she came from. She gracefully and fearlessly addresses controversial issues, while remaining true to herself.
One of my favorite quotes by Michelle Obama was from her speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, when she left her audience with these wise words: “When they go low, we go high.”
Why I love my job:
I love my job because I get to work alongside and support individuals who have one common goal: to provide excellent educational opportunities for all children. I’m constantly inspired by the amazing work that everyone does and how personal the issues of education are to each and every individual in this organization.
My connection to public schools:
I had the privilege of attending one of the highest ranked public middle and high schools in our nation. After teaching in the public school system, I was devastated to find that most public schools were failing our kids and families. Now, I feel the need to pay it forward and help support public schools provide excellent educational opportunities for all kids.
What I’m bad at:
I’m extremely terrible at relinquishing control, which is probably why all of my friends and family weren’t the least bit surprised when I became a teacher. I promise I’m working on rectifying this.
The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:
I think back to when I was younger and how I relied heavily on my family, teachers and mentors to advocate on my behalf and help me successfully navigate the world around me. This picture serves as a reminder to pay it forward because our kids deserve champions who can empathize and advocate for their best interests.