Oakland Rotary’s Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee selected Meron Benti as a scholarship recipient two years ago. Under our Saroni-Lena program, we distribute scholarship in quarterly allocations and match each scholar with a Rotarian mentor, with regular communications throughout the scholar’s college career.
Meron is completing her sophomore year at Middlebury College and is featured in the current issue of Middlebury Magazine (Spring 2017). Meron is an amazing young woman, with a unique background. Born in Ethiopia to black parents, Meron has albinism, which carries a social stigma (especially in Ethiopia) and impairs her sight. She spent much of her childhood living with adult siblings in Italy where albinism is better understood and better treatments are available. She moved to Oakland to live with a brother and finished her last 2 years of high school at Oakland Technical High School.
For much of her life, Meron has been seen as being different. How she views herself is another story. You can read about this amazing young woman at this link: http://sites.middlebury.edu/middmag/2017/05/10/through-the-looking-glass/