Our Teachers

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Abogida Roots is a program of Ethiopian Kids Community. The program provides Ethiopian dance and Amharic language classes. This dedicated group of young adults are passionate about teaching our students Ethiopian culture. 

 

Our Board

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Lelna Desta |    ethiopiankidscommunity@gmail.com    Lelna is the Program Director of   EKC's Abogida Roots program and became Board Chair of Ethiopian Kids Community in 2018. She has been a part of the board for over three years and have served as the Program Director of EKC & Abogida Roots program, which provides Amharic and dance classes, for about seven years. “This is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. So I am privileged and humbled to be sitting in this position today.”

Lelna Desta | ethiopiankidscommunity@gmail.com

Lelna is the Program Director of EKC's Abogida Roots program and became Board Chair of Ethiopian Kids Community in 2018. She has been a part of the board for over three years and have served as the Program Director of EKC & Abogida Roots program, which provides Amharic and dance classes, for about seven years. “This is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. So I am privileged and humbled to be sitting in this position today.”

Afiya Aminu |    honeye.aminu@gmail.com    Afiya has been working with EKC for the past three years. She has helped introduce Ethiopian culture and traditions to adopted children and their parents who reside in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. “I strongly believe that providing entertaining and enjoyable experiences to children and parents, in addition to its educational benefits, also provides a great sense of connection between the children, the parents, and the Ethiopian community.”

Afiya Aminu | honeye.aminu@gmail.com

Afiya has been working with EKC for the past three years. She has helped introduce Ethiopian culture and traditions to adopted children and their parents who reside in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. “I strongly believe that providing entertaining and enjoyable experiences to children and parents, in addition to its educational benefits, also provides a great sense of connection between the children, the parents, and the Ethiopian community.”

Yeshiwas Bitew |    yeshbitew@gmail.com    Yeshi has been with the organization since 2011. “What makes EKC great is the incredible people I get to work with; from instructors, to parents, students and the entire family as a whole. To know that we are making a big difference in each and every kid’s life is something I cherish every day.” Yeshi grew up in Ethiopia and came to the US at a young age. His love for Ethiopian music, language and history has grown with him. He hopes the kids in EKC will feel the fire and passion that he has for Ethiopia and it becomes contagious.

Yeshiwas Bitew | yeshbitew@gmail.com

Yeshi has been with the organization since 2011. “What makes EKC great is the incredible people I get to work with; from instructors, to parents, students and the entire family as a whole. To know that we are making a big difference in each and every kid’s life is something I cherish every day.” Yeshi grew up in Ethiopia and came to the US at a young age. His love for Ethiopian music, language and history has grown with him. He hopes the kids in EKC will feel the fire and passion that he has for Ethiopia and it becomes contagious.

 
Tanya Oetken |    treasurer.ekc@gmail.com    EKC has been a part of her life since 2007. “We were excited to find an organization that helps foster connections to Ethiopia for our daughter who was born there.” In the past she has helped with the Mehabers and organized two Genna celebrations. She has served on the EKC board as Treasurer for just over 2 years. She is an accountant, so the role aligns with her skills perfectly. She keeps the financials organized and helps ensure that all funds and resources given to EKC are used responsibly. “My favorite EKC activity is Family Camp...the campfires, gaga ball, and friendships made are the best.”

Tanya Oetken | treasurer.ekc@gmail.com

EKC has been a part of her life since 2007. “We were excited to find an organization that helps foster connections to Ethiopia for our daughter who was born there.” In the past she has helped with the Mehabers and organized two Genna celebrations. She has served on the EKC board as Treasurer for just over 2 years. She is an accountant, so the role aligns with her skills perfectly. She keeps the financials organized and helps ensure that all funds and resources given to EKC are used responsibly. “My favorite EKC activity is Family Camp...the campfires, gaga ball, and friendships made are the best.”


Tamara Schryver |    tamaraschryver@gmail.com    The Schryver family has coordinated field games for four EKC Camp Out and are most known for their bubble gum blowing contests, 3-legged races, and tug-of-war. Tamara has served on EKC’s BOD for two years and is looking forward to moving into a Communications role. Her day job consists of translating nutrition science into relevant business and consumer applications. She is excited about the addition of young Ethiopian leaders to the Board of Directors and is ready to support new initiatives.

Tamara Schryver | tamaraschryver@gmail.com

The Schryver family has coordinated field games for four EKC Camp Out and are most known for their bubble gum blowing contests, 3-legged races, and tug-of-war. Tamara has served on EKC’s BOD for two years and is looking forward to moving into a Communications role. Her day job consists of translating nutrition science into relevant business and consumer applications. She is excited about the addition of young Ethiopian leaders to the Board of Directors and is ready to support new initiatives.


Laurie Gilmore |    gilmorelaurie@gmail.com    Laurie is the newest board member to join our team in 2018. She decided to join the board because she wanted to commit to this journey. To be held accountable to something larger. To build stronger relationships with other board members. To increase her circle of friends with Ethiopian and adoptive families. “My favorite activity is the adult Amharic language class. It pushes my brain in ways I can’t believe. Although I feel like I’m starting all over each time, the other parents and teacher make it a fun, relaxed atmosphere.”

Laurie Gilmore | gilmorelaurie@gmail.com

Laurie is the newest board member to join our team in 2018. She decided to join the board because she wanted to commit to this journey. To be held accountable to something larger. To build stronger relationships with other board members. To increase her circle of friends with Ethiopian and adoptive families. “My favorite activity is the adult Amharic language class. It pushes my brain in ways I can’t believe. Although I feel like I’m starting all over each time, the other parents and teacher make it a fun, relaxed atmosphere.”

We would love to hear from you!

 
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