The Rapidian

Putting Education First - Nebiat Mengsteab's Journey to Graduation

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

Nebiat Mengsteab's involvement in school is extensive with extra curricular activities.
Nebiat Mengsteab wants to continue to make her family proud when she attends the University of Michigan

Nebiat Mengsteab wants to continue to make her family proud when she attends the University of Michigan /Believe 2 Become

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“In order to do what I wanted to do, I had to do what I needed to do first.”

Nebiat Mengsteab was the first person in her family born in the United States… just one year after her parents and three older brothers immigrated from Eritrea. They may not have had deep roots in the U.S., but they had high expectations for their American daughter.

Nebiat exceeded her family’s expectations on several fronts. An outstanding math student, Honor Society member, and winner of multiple scholarships, she also competed with the swim team for all four years of high school, participated in Teens Against Tobacco Use, and worked with the National Society of Black Engineers. She said it was challenging to fit everything in, but her parents made it clear that education always comes first, and fun activities follow.

In August Nebiat will begin her college studies at the University of Michigan. She has not yet chosen a major, but whatever she does, she hopes to make her parents and oldest brother proud. “When he tells me that he’s proud of me, it’s meaningful to me,” she says. “Because I know he thinks I’m making positive decisions in my life.”

Check out more stories from the GRPS Class of 2011 and tell Grand Rapids students that you believe in them by visiting


*Contribution from Joe Jones/Believe 2 Become

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