Home 15th-Anniversary Lidya Etissa
Lidya Etissa

Class of 2017, National Capital Region
Internship: Strayer University
Current Job: Student at Virginia Tech

Lidya Etissa 2

At just 10 years old, Lidya made the long and treacherous journey to America. Her mom, dad and two younger brothers all came with her from Ethiopia in 2009. Her parents wanted a better life and better educational opportunities for their children. Although the United States seemed like an idealic change, it came with many hardships for Lidya. The language barrier was huge for her, and the culture change was just as difficult. At first, she shared a bedroom with both of her brothers in her extended family’s household.

Lidya persisted and never gave up hope that her life would get better. She was always interested in computers and when she heard about the Genesys Works program, it seemed too good to be true. Lidya joined and was accepted into the first class of interns in the newest Genesys Works location – National Capital Region. Genesys Works began in Houston, Texas, in 2002 and has since expanded to four additional major metropolitan areas across the country.

“Genesys Works showed me I have potential.”

Lidya represents a major milestone in the organization’s history: the first program on the east coast. She was placed at Strayer University and will finish her internship this summer. At Strayer, she is doing more than typical IT entry-level work. Strayer customized her internship to include a unique marketing rotation. In this role, Lidya supports the many aspects of the University’s marketing strategy (graphic design, web services, social media and the campus store).

“Genesys Works showed me I have potential,” Lidya said. Eight years after their journey to the United States, Lidya and her family are living in their own home, where Lidya has her very own room. She recently gave it up for the short-term, however, since she has been accepted to Virginia Tech and is attending classes to major in Business Information Technology.

To support students who are currently participating in Genesys Works, please click here to make an online donation.