Mileati Melese

“Receiving a scholarship showed me the impact someone’s kindness can have and inspired me to be kind in return.”


It’s one thing to move to a country where you don’t speak the language. It’s another to decide to go to medical school there. A challenge to be sure, but not beyond reach, as Mileati Melese can attest. After earning her high school diploma in her native Ethiopia, Mileati left her parents’ home to join her sisters in making a new life in the US. The language barrier was a tall one, but Mileati overcame it by studying hard and repeating two years of high school – in English. 

A biology teacher ignited her interest in the intricate workings of the human body, while the kindness of others inspired her ambition to have a positive impact on those around her. The scholarships that allow her to study full-time at CU Denver only reinforced her commitment. “Receiving a scholarship showed me the impact someone’s kindness can have and inspired me to be kind in return,” she says. “It also showed me that moving to America is not just about the chances, the opportunities, and the open doors you have, but about the people who are accepting of you, no matter who you are or where you are from.”

Mileati appreciates culture of the inclusivity she finds at CU Denver. “No matter what your situation is, your community is behind you,” she explains. “There is someone who can help you reach your destiny.” Mileati’s destiny is to help others, first as a medical professional and then perhaps as an educator. She appreciates the role the Reischer Scholarship and Robert Stuart Graham Scholarship are playing in making this possible. “I am grateful for how these donors are dedicated to helping the community,” she says. “They are giving us the foundation for our lives.”