“Being Better for the World, and for Each Other”

Misgana Mamo ’25 is a neuroscience major and member of the first cohort of The 25—a program designed to empower young women from all backgrounds and majors to grow into the leaders and world-changers they were created to be.

By Cherie Suonvieri '15, GS'21, content specialist

June 21, 2022 | Noon

Bethel student Misgana Mamo

Ever since she was young, Misgana Mamo ’25 has been picturing her future. Within The 25 community, she’s continuing to imagine and discover what that could look like.

“I felt like my heart was pointing to Bethel,” says Misgana Mamo ’25. She lived the first 10 years of her life in a city in Ethiopia called Bethel, and her parents nearly named her Bethel—two factors that made Bethel University stand out in her college search. Then she visited campus, fell in love with the community, and everything began to “click.” 

Mamo lives with her parents and two younger sisters in Andover, Minnesota, and commutes to Bethel where she’s studying neuroscience. She started at Bethel during her senior year of high school through the PSEO program, and she chose neuroscience because there is much about the brain that remains unknown. She’s especially interested in conducting research around Alzheimer’s disease and the effects of strokes. “Neuroscience drew my attention more than anything else,” she says. “And I figure, if I go into the field as a person of color, it will encourage more people who are like me to dream big.”

For years, Mamo has maintained a futuristic perspective, beginning when she moved to the United States with her family at 10 years old. They came seeking better educational opportunities and first settled in Little Canada, Minnesota, before moving to Andover during Mamo’s high school years. All throughout middle and high school, Mamo participated in AVID, a college and career readiness program, which provided her a community of peers who were also future-focused. Then, when she returned to Bethel after her PSEO experience, she found a similar community within The 25, Bethel’s four-year leadership program for young women.   

“We’re all very encouraging of one another,” Mamo says about The 25. “It’s a space where we can all grow—a space where women of all backgrounds can come together and be better for the world and for each other.” Mamo has found some of her closest friends in her cohort. They’ve moved together through the program, which has featured opportunities for personal growth, guest speakers, field trips to local corporations, and a variety of other experiences that empower the students to realize their potential.

The first cohort of The 25 at Bethel University

Misgana Mamo (bottom right) with other members of her cohort at The 25 Christmas party.

Through The 25, Mamo visited Media Minefield, a public relations company founded and run by Kristi Piehl ’97, a Bethel alumna and founding member of The 25. “I hadn’t seen women in CEO roles until The 25,” Mamo says. “I’d always thought of men in these roles, so seeing women who lead companies has been refreshing and encouraging.” 

A key component of The 25 is the mentoring program, which pairs each student with a founding member of The 25. “My mentor wrote a book, is a CEO, and is a mom,” Mamo says. “She’s shown me that there are so many different avenues to take in life, and that I don’t have to just follow one track.” 

While she has three years left yet at Bethel and in The 25, Mamo says this is one of the greatest lessons she’s learned so far—that there are many paths that can lead to a fulfilling future. “There are many opportunities to grow and change,” she says. “It might not look like what I’d imagined as a kid, but either way it can make me happy and help me get to where I want to go.” 

Empowering the next generation of female leaders

At Bethel, we believe we can do more to unlock the value and potential women bring to the table, at Bethel, in the workforce, and in society at large. That’s why The 25 exists—to empower young women of all majors and interests to use their strengths, passions, and skills to be the leaders and change agents our world needs.

Learn more