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Meet Maceda Berhanu

Bachelor of Arts in Public Management, Leadership and Policy Student

I am dedicated to ensuring that individuals have access to the necessary resources for success.

As a first-generation college student who grew up in a low-income household, I have personally encountered the inequalities that disproportionately affect people in similar circumstances. 

While attending a large, diverse high school with over 3,000 students I did not expect to witness much, if any, racial inequality. Nevertheless, Black students were being suspended at a significantly higher rate than other students when committing similar transgressions — a quantifiable fact that sparked my advocacy to fight for racial justice. 

As President of the Student Government Association, I founded and facilitated the first committee for restorative justice at my school. There, I consulted with county officials, the Parent-Teacher Association, and school administrators to determine action plans for institutional change, increase cultural competence, and enrich student lives. Through surveys, I also gathered valuable feedback from students about their sentiments toward skipping classes and in-school suspensions to foster a supportive environment. 

This experience nurtured my ability to lead. I learned how to embrace change by motivating others while projecting aspirations and positivity to better the world we live in. Being of service to others gives me purpose and engages me through my interactions and discussions with my peers and those I come across.

Through my involvement in Empower Mentoring at Ohio State as a Morrill Scholar, I’ve further addressed inequalities in collegiate settings and expanding economic opportunities. I have committed to supporting high school students in the Columbus City School District by building strong relationships, engaging in meaningful dialogue, and taking practical action toward educating students on financial literacy and career goals. This programmatic experience has provided me with the platform to equip urban youth to believe in themselves, navigate the financial decisions of adulthood and prepare for their post-secondary journey. 

As a junior double majoring in Public Management, Leadership and Policy and Sociology, I am exploring the intersections between race, gender, sexuality, class, history and politics and how they shape our lives. This experience has taught me how to identify social, political and economic problems and find solutions to increase efficiency that will strengthen business processes. I am determined to study real-world economic systems and learn how to lead and manage people with an entrepreneurial mindset in order to become a valuable asset to others. 

I hope to help people find success — however they define it — and support organizations and leaders to show up for people of all backgrounds and be the change agents this country needs. 

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