Seble Asefa

From: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  Current City: Minneapolis, MN
"The biggest thing is that sense of belonging. You can try but there is always that moment you think that you don’t belong."
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Ms. Asefa never applied for a visa to the United States; she only wanted to complete her college degree and become a journalist in her native Ethiopia. However, when relative secured a visa for her, Seble found herself halfway across the world and sponsored by a family she hardly knew.

Seble had a great childhood that fostered her passion for journalism and literature, but her adolescence was brutalized when her father was sent to political prison right as her mother developed cancer. When her mother passed away, she decided to attend college and to live out her dream of studying journalism.

It was during her third year of school that Ms. Asefa’s cousin applied for diversity visas on both their behalves, claiming sponsorship under distant relatives she hardly knew. After months passed and everyone assumed she was rejected, the letter awarding her visa arrived. Upon receiving her degree, she flew to Houston, the home of her sponsors, and left behind her family, friends, and future husband.

Longing to feel at home, Ms. Asefa soon moved to Minneapolis, where a friend had promised a life to which she was more acquainted. The Seward neighborhood has since provided her a community, and the Seward Co-op has provided a rewarding career where she feels her decisions will impact and improve the world.

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