Hawi Safara, a 17 year-old Ethiopian immigrant student of Oromo background from Dunbar Senior High School in Washington DC, won a Posse Leadership Scholarship of $100,000. She is one of the 10 students selected from Washington DC, Virginia and Maryland for this prestigious award. Ranked first out of Dunbar's graduating class of 230 students, Hawi also received a $7000 scholarship award from comedian Bill Cosby in addition to a medal and a cup of honor. As the student with the highest academic rank from her class of 2007, she delivered the valedictory speech at her graduation. Hawi is planning to go to Grinnell College in Iowa to study science.
Her father, Commander Safara Jibitu, is a former Ethiopian navy officer. He lived in Yemen for 10 years before resettling in the United States and, two years later, was able to reunite with his family who had immigrated from Ethiopia. Hawi, who came to the United States five years ago, attended grades 8 through 12 in Washington DC. Jalene talked to Hawi Safara and her father for a Tuesday feature in Afan Oromo.
(Click the link above to listen to Jalene Gemeda's interview in Afan Oromo with Hawi Safara and Commander Safara Jibitu)