Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Mawi Asgedom  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1976 in Adi Wahla, Ethiopia

-- Mawi's Mental Karate Website --
-- Website --
-- Mawi Asgedom on WorldCat --

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

Selected Titles At Your Library

Of beetles & angels :
ISBN: 0316826200. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown, and Co.,. Boston :. 2002.

An autobiography of a boy who, at the age of three, fled civil war in Ethiopia by walking with his mother and brother to a Sudanese refugee camp, and later moved to Chicago and earned a scholarship to Harvard University. Includes recipes and discussion questions.

The code :
ISBN: 0316736899. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. New York :. 2003.

A guide intended to assist teens in setting goals, building friendships, and overcoming challenges.

Win the inner battle :
ISBN: 0974390186. OCLC Number:

Mawi, Inc.,. [Chicago, Ill.] :. 2003.

Nothing is impossible /
ISBN: 0974390119. OCLC Number:

Mawi Asgedom,. [Place of publication not identified] :. ℗2004.

Dozens of inspiring stories with the best strategies for teen success.

The success GPA :
ISBN: 0974390151. OCLC Number:

Mawi Learning,. [Place of publication not identified] :. ©2011.

The third harmony /
ISBN: 0974390135. OCLC Number:

Mawi Books,. [United States] :. ©2010.

The 5 powers of an educator :
ISBN: 0986077208. OCLC Number:

Mawi, Inc.,. [Place of publication not identified] :. ©2014.

As an educator or parent, you have tremendous power to inspire students. Reminds you of your power and gives you practical methods you can use immediately. You will learn how to leverage the latest research on mindset, grit, executive function, and non-cognitive skills to profoundly impact the youth in your life.


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

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

    , contact via


    US Postal Service

    Mawi, Inc PO Box 679 Elmhurst, IL 60126