Mawi Asgedom

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General Information

Asgedom Mawi.jpg
Name: Mawi Asgedom

Pen Name: None

Born: 1976 in Adi Wahla, Ethiopia



Illinois Connection

Asgedom grew up in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton.

Biographical and Professional Information

Mawi Asgedom was born Selamawi Haileab Asgedom. He is an author and a successful inspirational speaker for students, community groups, and businesses.

Mawi was a refugee of Ethiopian. For about two years of his childhood, he was separated from his father and had to flee to Sudan to avoid the war in Ethiopia. Mawi was seven years old when he and his family arrived in the U.S. in 1983, sponsored by World Relief. They had spent the previous three years in a refugee camp in Sudan.

He grew up in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton, Illinois. He graduated with top honors from Harvard University, receiving a degree in American history and giving the commencement address at his graduation in 1999. Since graduating from Harvard, Mawi has dedicated himself to uplifting teenagers. He is the bestselling author of Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy's Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard and The Code: The 5 Secrets of Teen Success.

He is a very popular speaking guest at middle and high schools. He has spoken to over 500,000 students in more than thirty states. He has trained educators at The Harvard School of Education, The Midwest Principal's Center and many teaching conferences. Mawi is also the founder of Mental Karate, an organization that helps youth take positive action.

Oprah Winfrey named her interview of Mr. Asgedom as one of her 20 Unforgettable Moments in October 2005.

He has developed a suite of online student courses to increase student efficacy and achievement.

He has created a professional development program for educators to put Growth Mindset into action to inspire student achievement called Powerful Educator.

Published Works

  • Of Beetles & Angles, A Boy`s Remarkable Journey From a Refugee Camp to Harvard, Megadee Press, 2001
  • The Code, Megadee Press, 2002
  • Win The Inner Battle, Mawi Publications, 2003
  • Nothing Is Impossible, Mawi Publications, 2004
  • The Success GPA: You are more than Your Grades and Test Scores, Mawi Books, 2011
  • The Third Harmony, Mawi Books, 2011
  • The 5 Powers of an Educator, Mawi Books, 2014

Titles at Your Library

The Code: The Five Secrets of Teen Success

ISBN: 0316736899
Release Date: 2003-09-03

Find on World Cat

Win the Inner Battle, The Ultimate Teen Leadership Journal

ISBN: 0974390186
Release Date: 2003

Find on World Cat

Nothing Is Impossible: Dozens Of Inspiring Stories, The Best Strategies For Teen Success

ISBN: 0974390119
Release Date: 2005-04-30

Find on World Cat

The Success GPA: You are more than Your Grades and Test Scores

ISBN: 0974390151
Release Date: 2011-10-26

Find on World Cat

The Third Harmony

ISBN: 0974390135
Release Date: 2011-12-15

Find on World Cat

The 5 Powers of an Educator

ISBN: 0986077208
Release Date: 2014-10-17

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

Body of Work

  • Illinois Author of the Year, Illinois Association of Teachers of English, 2006

Of Beetles and Angels

  • 2013 ILLINOIS READS Book

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: Yes, contact via:


US Postal Service:

Mawi, Inc

PO Box 679

Elmhurst, IL 60126

External Links

Mawi Asgedom on WorldCat

Mawi's Mental Karate Website


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