“My ambition is to have an NGO that helps young mothers and children pursue their goals in developing countries.”
Born and raised in Ethiopia until the age of thirteen, Ahniyah-Hiwot Kebede ’15 moved with her family to the Philippines to attend high school. Since her youth, she has been consistently on the move, exploring and interacting with different environments.
She was originally interested in becoming a biologist, so her high school counselor suggested that she pursue an environmental liberal arts degree. Through online research she quickly realized that Green Mountain College was the place for her, especially given her interest in community service.
Once enrolled at GMC, Ahniyah shifted her major to business. “I found out the challenges and the risk opportunities that comes with business, which later became a motivational goal,” she said. “I really like marketing because the thought process of trying to think and act creatively is really challenging.”
In 2015 she graduated in sustainable business with a minor in entrepreneurship. While the decision to pursue business is recent, her desire to support sustainable business practices has been growing steadily since childhood. “Living in the Philippines has showed me that environmental problems don’t just occur in modern and polluted cities, but also in forested areas. The place where I lived, Subic Bay, is a rain forest area, but every day I saw all the species and trees in danger, which led me to start a recycling club in my neighborhood.”
Her life experiences have served as sort of a catalyst for choosing her short-term and long-term future career goals. After graduation she intends to use her degree to pursue a career as an international marketing manager. Eventually she wants to extend her efforts towards social change. “My long-term goal,” Ahniyah adds, “is to have an NGO that helps young mothers and children to pursue their goals in developing countries.”