The Student News Site of Taipei American School




Mawi Asgedom visits TAS


On Sept. 7, motivational speaker Mawi Asgedom spoke to Upper School students in the Guy Lott Jr. Auditorium. His speech focused on wellness, finding success, and Asgedom’s personal journey.
Throughout his presentation, Asgedom emphasized the importance of students being proactive and working to improve themselves. “I think that his talk was very eye-opening,” says Charlotte Chou (’19). “He talked about being proud of ourselves and taking control. Those are areas of my life I want to work on.”

Dr. Catriona Moran introduces students to Mawi Asgedom. (Shereen Lee / The Blue & Gold)

The English Department assigned Asgedom’s book, Of Beetles and Angels, as the community-wide required reading text for this summer. The book had also previously been assigned as summer reading in 2010. Upper School librarian Dr. Candace Aiani was the first to read “Of Beetles and Angels” and recommend it to the school. “Asgedom’s message is really strong,” says Dr. Aiani. “His story is really compelling, and it’s relatable to young students as they read about the author’s journeys throughout high school.”
This speech is part of a wider wellness initiative pioneered by the Assistant Head of School, Dr. Catriona Moran. Asgedom cites this initiative as one of the primary reasons why he decided to lecture at TAS. “Because it’s part of a larger wellness initiative, I can know that this isn’t just a hit-and-run,” says Asgedom. “I feel like I’m having a bigger impact. [Students] can read the book, they use my strategies: it’s part of a grander scheme. The audience won’t forget about it the next day.”
Two TAS clubs, Amnesty International and Walk for Syria, teamed up to create a fundraiser for the International Rescue Fund. (Photo courtesy of Amnesty International TAS)

In addition, students have begun to act on Asgedom’s words. Inspired by his speech, students from TAS’ Amnesty International club and Walk For Syria club created a joint campaign called “Stand With Ethiopia.” The campaign will consist of a fundraiser running from Sept. 8 to Sept. 15, between 10:35 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. in the Upper School Courtyard.
At the booth, students may donate money via their TAS ID cards. The group will also sell potstickers and other food sale staples as part of their fundraiser. All donations will go to the Selamta Family Project.
Featured image: Mawi Asgedom stands on the stage of the Guy Lott Jr. Auditiorium. (Shereen Lee / The Blue & Gold)
UPDATE 9/23: A previous version of this article stated that donations would go to the International Rescue Fund. Amnesty International has decided to donate their proceeds instead to the Selamta Family Project.

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