The Wegene Youth Club (WYC) is a branch of the Wegene Ethiopian Foundation dedicated to improving the lives of Ethiopia’s underprivileged families.

If you are between the ages of 10 and 19, Click HERE to become a member

Benefits of Youth Club Membership

  • Build social responsibility skills
  • A gateway to becoming a WYC leader
  • Build leadership skills
  • Network and develop lasting friendships
  • Increase your sense of belonging to the Habesha community
  • Earn community service hours

Upcoming Events and Activities for 2023/24 

Stay up-to-date with our event locations and dates by following us on social media.

  • September
    • WYC Members and Community Meeting
  • October
    • WEF Anniversary Gala
  • December
    • Annual Brunch with Santa
  • January
    • Winter Coat Drive for the Homeless/WYC Members and Community Me
  • February:
    • WYC High School  Formal 
  • March:
    • Poetry Competition and Spoken Word event
  • June
    • WYC Homecoming/Reunion Picnic

Sponsorship Request

  • If you’re interested in sponsoring any of our events, click HERE to complete the form.
  • If you want to sponsor a child’s education through our Tesfa Campaign, click HERE.

Volunteers and Tutors Needed

  • Click HERE to Volunteer

Do you need a tutor for your elementary and middle school students?

  • Click HERE to register.

Scholarship and Internship Resources

  • If you want to access the scholarship and internship resources we’ve gathered, click HERE.
  • If you have information you’d like to contribute to our resource platform, please send us an email at [email protected], and we will add it to the list.
  • If you are a youth seeking connections with professionals for guidance, click HERE.
  • If you are a professional interested in becoming a resource or mentor for our youth, please email us at [email protected].

Leadership opportunity:

  • If you are interested in joining the Wegene Youth Club leadership team, please click HERE to learn about our leadership structure and responsibilities.  The term is 12 months which starts yearly in July. Applications will be posted in April for every term.


Emnet Dagnachew
President and WYC Board Member

Emnet Dagnachew serves as Wegene Youth Club’s president and is in her senior year at School Without Walls High School. With a long history of involvement, Emnet admires Wegene’s mission of aiding the less fortunate in their homeland. Following two recent trips to Ethiopia, her goals for the final youth club year involve boosting funding for learning centers and expanding membership.

Samara Alazar
Vice President and WYC Board Member

Samara Alazar, a WSHS senior, is passionate about STEM, piano, and travel. As Vice President of WYC, she manages operations and
fosters board communication. In 2022, Samara’s trip to Ethiopia included donating 1,000 books to schools, igniting her dedication to aiding underprivileged children. She’s a tutor at Habesha Kids
Tutoring, DECA Vice President, a national DECA and National History Day qualifier, and actively participates in Student Government at her school.

Gabriella Mariam
Secretary and WYC Board Member

Gabriella Mariam, a high school junior, serves as WYC’s secretary, responsible for email correspondence and assisting the president, VP, and treasurer with youth events. In her second year as secretary, she’s eager to support the club’s expansion. Gabby aspires to study biochemistry upon high school graduation.

Samaria Kasahun
Assistant Secretary

Samaria Kasahun, a West Springfield High School sophomore, holds the role of Assistant Secretary at Wegene Youth Club. She collaborates closely with the Secretary and fellow leaders. With a background in the National Junior Honor Society and past Equity Leadership, her focus is to elevate the club and aid Ethiopian children in need, driven by her love for Ethiopian culture and a desire to connect with new people in this journey.

Zayma Negussie
Treasurer and WYC Board Member

Zayma, a junior at Jackson-Reed High School in Washington, DC, transitioned from being WYC’s Director of Fundraising in 2022/23 to the current Treasurer. His Wegene Knowledge Center in Ethiopia inspired his commitment to giving back. Zayma co-founded Dinoscholars Mentoring Services, a non-profit promoting children’s literacy, and co-authored “Dino Boys’ Tales.” He is also a dedicated student-athlete, participating in high school football and basketball while belonging to the Jackson-Reed Sports Medicine Academy

Anabella Abraham
Assistant Treasurer

Anabella Abraham, an active student at Bishop O’Connell High School, immerses herself in soccer throughout the year. She participates in club soccer during the spring and summer while proudly representing her school in the fall. Her excitement about joining the Wegene Youth Club is palpable, as she is eager to contribute to its mission and vibrant community

Abigail Tsegaye 
Director of Fundraising and WYC Board Member

Abigail, a high school senior set to graduate in 2025, is an active and passionate community member driven by a deep connection to her cultural heritage. As the Director of Fundraising for WYC, she adeptly secures the necessary funds to support the organization’s goals. Having grown up in a vibrant Ethiopian community, she holds her heritage dear and cherishes the opportunities she has been afforded. Joining the Wegene team has given her an unexpected opportunity to give back to her country in a profoundly meaningful way.


Naomi Bisrat
Co-Director of Fundraising

Naomi Bisrat, a Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology senior, serves as Treasurer in the Assistive Technology Club. She tutors for the Ethiopian Eritrean Alliance for Education and actively participates in the African Diaspora College Access Program.

Barcot Kumilachew
Co-Director of Fundraising

High school senior Barcot Kumilachew holds the Co-Director of Fundraising/Sponsorship position at WYC. She actively cultivates current sponsorships and forges new partnerships. Driven by Wegene’s mission, Barcot eagerly contributes to its progress and growth.

Bitania Samuel
Assistant Co-Director of Fundraising

Lake Braddock Secondary School junior Bittania Samuel serves as Assistant Co-Director of Fundraising. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, music, and playing basketball and tennis. In her role, Bittania’s objectives include efficient budget management, creative fundraising concepts, and fostering strong teamwork within the organization.


Kaleb Getachew
Assistant Co-Director of Fundraising

Kaleb is a rising junior at Independence High School interested in computer science and finance. He enjoys engaging in conversations with others and is open to meaningful discussions. Kaleb became aware of Wegene Youth Club before high school and was deeply drawn to its mission of community service and supporting Ethiopia. He resonated with the club’s dedication to fostering a thriving society through community involvement.

Lucas Selassie
Director of Education and WYC Board Member

Lucas Aemro Selassie, a junior at Washington International School, has served as the Director of Education at Wegene Youth Club for two years. He’s an engaged student involved in multiple school clubs and initiatives. Lucas co-founded Dino Scholars Mentoring Services and co-authored the children’s short story book “Dino Boys’ Tales.”

Hannah Ayele
Co-Director of Education

Hannah Ayele, a Senior at Freedom High School, serves as Co-director of Education/Mentorship at Wegene Youth Club. She contributes to the development of educational programs and the management of related activities. Beyond her school
commitments, she enjoys reading and actively participates in community and church volunteer work. With a keen interest in science, she aspires to pursue a career in the medical field.

Natania Daniel,
Co-Director of Education

Natania Daniel, a Junior at Lake Braddock Secondary School, serves as Co-Director of Education at Wegene Youth Club. She plays a vitalrole in shaping and executing educational programs. Natania’s commitment to WYC stems from her fervor for enhancing education and empowering young minds. When she’s not engaged in academic pursuits, Natania dedicates herself to year-round soccer with her academy team and harbors aspirations of studying physical therapy post-high school.

Kidus Yosef Belay
Assistant Co-Director of Education

Kidus, a high school senior at Stone Bridge High School in Northern Virginia, is deeply involved in extracurricular activities, such as Track and Field, Cross Country, and membership in the National Honor Society. As Co-Director of Education, Kidus will design impactful lessons, foster new relationships with educational partners, and work closely with other departments. Drawing from his experience as a tutor with the Ethiopian Eritrean Alliance for Education (EEAE), he aspires to contribute to the Wegene Foundation and Ethiopia positively

Ethiopia Asenafi
Assistant Director of Community Outreach/Networking

Ethiopia Ashenafi, a rising senior in her second year with Wegene, holds the Director of Community Outreach role. Her goal is to foster stronger connections with the community. Ethiopia is committed to expanding its platform that connects professionals with high school and middle school students. She eagerly anticipates another year at Wegene, where she can collaborate with her peers to support youth in Ethiopia.

Alem Desta 
Co-Director of Community Outreach

Alem is a 17-year-old from Fairfax, VA, and a senior at Fairfax High School. She’s passionate about making new friends and cherishes time with loved ones. Alem also dedicates her summers to volunteering at a culture camp, fostering kids’ cultural connections while working and enjoying life.

Lena Birye
Co-Director of Community Outreach

Lena Birye, a Lake Braddock Secondary School sophomore, serves as the Co-Director of Community Outreach at Wegene Youth Club. She actively participates in soccer and basketball, showcasing her athletic talents, and finds joy in artistic pursuits like drawing and piano playing. Her responsibilities encompass managing networking platforms, recruiting young professionals, event coordination, and fostering interdepartmental collaborations, all aligned with WYC’s mission. Lena’s dedication to WYC stems from her passion for community service, aiming to enhance engagement, raise awareness, and create enjoyable, purposeful opportunities for young professionals to connect, grow, and positively impact their communities.

Elias Mekuriaw
Assistant Co-Director of Community Outreach

Elias Mekuriaw is a junior at Paint Branch High School, known for his unwavering enthusiasm and commitment to community
service. He is the Assistant to the Co-Director of Community Outreach at Wegene, where he aspires to translate the organization’s mission into tangible actions. Elias collaborates closely with the Co-Director of Community Outreach, offering extensive support to various organizational roles to realize Wegene’s mission.

Makdalena Solomon
Director of Communications and WYC Board Member

Makdalena is a Senior in High school who loves STEM. She is the Director of Communications, Marketing, and
Recruitment. She helps develop communication strategies and channels for leaders and members and establishes Wegene’s mission and brand to the public. She’s an officer for DECA, Model UN and a mentor. Wegene advocates for education, self-improvement, and equity for all Ethiopians. This is her third year as a WYC leader, and she’s excited to participate in the club’s growth!

Naolee Makonnen
Co-Director of Communication

Naolee is a Rock Ridge High School senior in Ashburn, VA. She is the Co-Director of the WYC blog, and her responsibilities are updating members on upcoming events within the community. Inspired by WEF, Naolee wants to ensure every child has an opportunity for growth and success. Outside WYC, Naolee is a student-athlete and is active in her school by holding various leadership positions such as DECA Co-President, Student Council, and Yearbook Editor. After her high school career, Naolee plans on studying Digital Marketing and Sports Management.

Hylay Assefa
Co-Director of Communications

Hylay is a Rock Ridge High School junior. As Newsletter Manager, he is deeply committed to disseminating information about Wegene’s mission and values. He has traveled to Ethiopia, visiting the Wegene Knowledge Center, where he provided valuable assistance to children, particularly in improving their English skills. Hylay’s dedication knows no bounds and remains unwavering until the objectives are met.

Rebecca Solomon
Assistant Co-Director of Communications

Rebecca, a Lake Braddock Secondary School junior, has actively engaged in DECA since her freshman year. Additionally, she holds the role of Service Project Coordinator in the Black Student Association (BSA). Rebecca takes pride in representing her cultural heritage by participating in her school’s international night and attending EESA meetings. Outside of her academic pursuits, she enjoys playing volleyball with
friends and family.

Anabella Befekadu
Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology, WYC Board Member

Anabella Befekadu is the Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology. Her role is to develop marketing and media strategies, assess social media trends, manage relationships with traditional media outlets, and collaborate with other departments to advertise events and promotions. Anabella is also a board member of the foundation.

Maryam Atikem
Co-Director of Media, Marketing, Technology and WYC Board Member

Maryam Atikem, a senior at Bishop O’Connell High School, is not only a dedicated year-round competitive swimmer but also holds the role of Vice President in her school’s Habesha Student Association. Maryam is enthusiastic about building connections with fellow members of the Ethiopian community and collaborating to create a positive influence, not just within the DMV area but also in their homeland.

Maya Solomon
Co-Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology

Maya is a senior at Oakton High School and has been an active member of Wegene since elementary school. Maya is on her school’s Varsity Tennis team and an officer in their Thespian Honor Society and cabinet. She enjoys playing guitar and listening to music in her free time. As the Co-Director of Marketing, Media, and Technology, Maya strives to create social media campaigns and messages that effectively connect with the youth in the Wegene community and wants to encourage them to get more involved with the group and help work towards more success for Wegene and the Ethiopian community as a whole.

Obsie Teshome
Assistant Co-Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology

Obsie, a junior at Lake Braddock Secondary School, serves as the Assistant Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology, responsible for capturing the club’s events through photography and videography. Beyond her role in this organization, she actively participates in clubs like the National Honor Society and Key Club. During her leisure hours, she finds joy in listening to music and immersing herself in the world of

Mikal Berhe
Assistant Co-Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology

Mikal Berhe attends Lake Braddock Secondary School as a junior. Her role as an Assistant Co-Director of Media, Marketing, and Technology is to help Wegene capture and advertise its mission and objective through media and technology. She is grateful to be a part of this organization to help spread awareness and be a part of an influential group. Mikal enjoys reading, playing soccer, and playing the viola in her spare time. She is also a leader/member of various STEM clubs such as Women In STEM, Doctors of Tomorrow, and STEM 2 Inspire.

Our 2023 Gala Sponsors