The first time Samrawit Girmay sat behind a computer was in ninth grade. The under-funded little computer lab in her school had outdated Commodore PET computers – those ancient machines that have a small monitor attached to the keyboard, resembling a space-aged cash register. It had limited graphics and was very slow by today’s standards, but she didn’t know that. And as she played simple games and learned basic word processing skills, Samrawit became obsessed with the idea of programming and technology. When she started a new school in 10th grade, some of her new friends had their own computers at home, so she spent a good chunk of high school familiarizing herself with technology in their houses.
When Samrawit was 12, both of her parents passed away. She was sent to live in an orphanage in Addis Ababa, along with her younger two brothers and sister. Despite this terrible tragedy, she directed all of her energy into her studies, focusing on being a supportive big sister to her siblings. Samrawit’s passion for business, marketing, and technology grew, and she now dreams of owning her own tech-based business. She is in her fourth year at St. Mary’s College in Addis Ababa studying Business Management. Samrawit said, “I am not afraid to try something new and fail because I believe that is an education in itself. So I will use my own skill set to push myself out of my comfort zone in order to find my own place in the business world."
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