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Meet Mawi Asgedom

Mental Karate was founded by Mawi Asgedom, an educator who has written six books, spoken to over 1,000,000 students, and trained educators at the Harvard School of Education and many international conferences.

As a child, Mawi fled civil war in Ethiopia and survived a Sudanese refugee camp for three years. After being resettled in The United States, Mawi overcame poverty, language barriers and personal tragedy to graduate with honors from Harvard University.

For the last decade, Mawi's mission has been to inspire students and educators. Mawi's bestselling memoir, Of Beetles and Angels: A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard, has been read as a one-book, one-community reading selection by hundreds of schools and communities including the cities of Philadelphia and Green Bay. His teen-success guides, The Code, Win the Inner Battle, and Nothing is Impossible, have also been used in thousands of classrooms. Citing the impact of his work, The Illinois Association of Teachers of English named Mawi the 2006 Illinois Author of the Year.

Many prominent media outlets have recognized Mawi's contributions including:

  • The Oprah Winfrey Show: "Top 20 Interviews in Oprah's 20 Years"
  • ESSENCE, one of "The 40 Most Inspiring African-Americans"
  • Ebony, one of "30 Black Leaders Under 30"
  • Chicago Tribune, The Boston Globe, Harvard Magazine

You can learn more about Mawi at



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