- Issayas Tesfamariam
Would you tell us briefly about yourself?
My name is Lewam Dejen. I grew up in the DC metropolitan area. Because I grew up near the nation's capital and my family experienced life as refugees, I have always been passionate about politics and the way Africans are portrayed in the media. Now, I'm a college senior at Stanford University graduating with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Film & Media Studies. I hope to one day direct a film and do something positive for the Eritrean community. Otherwise, I like to paint, write, read, and travel when I can.
Congratulations! Since you are graduating soon, what advice do you have for young high school age Eritreans?
What I like to do is find strength and character through my Eritrean identity. We have been through a lot but many of our ancestors have been through even more, and it gives me hope knowing we come from such principled and compassionate people. I try to be selfless, spirational, and strong in the ways my culture has taught me.
Another piece of advice: if you have an inner voice guiding you to a particular path, don't ignore it. You should listen to what your parents, family, or guardians advise because they have a lot of wisdom that is easy to ignore as a high school-age kid- but the best thing you can do now is carefully consider and value both your passions/purpose and your family's advice.
Any short time and long term plans?
Short-term, I will be in NYC and Berlin after graduation working on ways art can be used to create positive social change. Long-term, I'm not sure! Graduate school may be in the future- perhaps a Masters in Media Studies or Master of Fine Arts to study film.
Lewam, Thank you for your time. Congratulations, and good luck on your future plans.