When we last caught up with Abel during our 2020 Sip & Celebrate, he had just announced that he had accepted his admission to UCLA. Brimming with pride, Abel recalled sharing the life-changing news with his father. “I was able to call my dad, who is currently in Ethiopia. He was so excited,” he said. “You could hear it in his voice. That was a really precious moment.”
Now a second year Business Economics major at UCLA, Abel is also a member of the Black Business Student Association on campus and serves as their Co-Director of Communications. “The Black Business Student Association was the only primer black business club with diverse and ambitious student leaders [with] similar passions as me,” Abel said.
He made it clear that he is in no hurry to rush through his college experience. Abel noted the stability, and stress, that comes with going to college and that he wouldn’t change it for the world. “I am close with my family, I have friends I can rely on, I’m as motivated as ever, and have genuinely been enjoying my time here so far,” he admits.
The past two years have been filled with moments of victories and losses. However, I have sharpened my skill sets, my vision moving forward, and have grown overall as an individual.
With his mind focused on his studies and goals, the importance of self-care and rest are not lost on this Fulfillment Fund scholar. Abel goes out of his way to make time for fun, especially if Korean BBQ with friends are involved. Anything from weekend day trips, playing chess and pool, or simply playing basketball with friends are all activities that rank high on Abel’s list when it comes to taking a mental break.
It is impossible to interact with Abel and not have his impressive enthusiasm and optimism for the future rub off on you. He is well aware that the goal of his time in college is not just to study and learn, but to evolve and thrive. With each step he takes on his path to graduation, Abel holds fast to his belief that only good things are born out of personal and academic growth.
The best thing about the concept of growth is that is never-ending, and that pushes me to be better one day at a time. Growth is always the outcome.