The son of Ethiopian immigrants, Gemechu Abraham, wants to give students in his parents’ native land the same educational opportunities that he has in the U.S. The SDSU management/ entrepreneurship redshirt junior and midfielder for the Aztec soccer team began collecting donated books from his teammates last year with the intention of taking them to Ethiopia when he visits there during the winter break.
“My inspiration came from my uncle who recently built a school in Ethiopia,” Abraham said. “Although he had built the school, he was having a hard time purchasing books. I just wanted to start collecting books to eventually give to him.”
The Oregon native came to play for the 30th-ranked Aztecs not only for their excellent men’s soccer program (“San Diego State plays in the Pac-10 Conference which was a perfect fit for me”), but also for the business school. “I knew San Diego State was one of the best academic institutions for business, which is what I planned to major in while I was in high school,” said Abraham.
Abraham is focused on life after SDSU with plans to work at Oregon-based Nike and, eventually, planning to establish his own business. “Most importantly,” he said, “I want to build schools throughout Ethiopia. When I go to Ethiopia this winter, I plan to conduct a feasibility study so I know exactly where I will need to build the school. I’ve already been contacting people to get this project started.”