Win the Inner Battle with Mawi

You have more in you than you can imagine.

Upcoming Conference Keynotes

by Mawi on September 28, 2016

Here are some conferences I’ll be keynoting in the coming months:

1) Illinois Association of School Boards: This will be to about 2,200 school board members and school leaders in my home state.

2) Arizona Department of Education: This will to about 1,000 ELL educators at the annual statewide conference.

3) New Teacher Center: This will be to about 1,000 educators at their annual conference in February.

4) Florida Student Council: This will be to about 1,500 student council leaders across the state of Florida.

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My Ted Talk on Immigration

by Mawi on July 22, 2016

I gave this Ted Talk with the hope of helping our country and world come together on the tough issue of immigration from a place of love.  


Interview with Kwame Simmons

by Mawi on February 26, 2016


What are the keys to turning around under-performing schools? How do school leaders and educators build trust and goodwill in their community? In this stirring audio interview,  Kwame Simmons shares best practices and key lessons from his work with students across the United States.
Kwame Simmons is an award-winning principal who has won widespread recognition for his work in schools. He is presenting at our summer conference. Learn more about the conference and register to hear Kwame in person today!


Karen Van Ausdal photoKaren Van Ausdal is the Executive Director of the Office of Social and Emotional Learning at Chicago Public Schools. In this interview, Mawi asks Karen to share her best practices and innovative techniques around restorative practices and SEL programming.

Karen is one of the Keynote Speakers at our Powerful Educator Conference this July. Learn more about the conference and register to hear Karen in person today!


Powerful Educator Sneak Peek with Coach Pat

by Mawi on December 18, 2015

Have you registered for the Powerful Educator Summer Conference yet? During this two day conference you will learn from industry experts. Check out this sneak peek of Coach Pat’s presentation on the Turbo Button and Victim Button. At his session during the conference you will learn concrete skills and tools to change school culture and performance.

Learn more and register today:

In my twenty-five years as an educator and now as the Director of Training at Mawi Learning, I have had a front row seat to watching young people succeed and struggle. It is encouraging to watch a young person grasp a new concept or gain a new skill, while it’s heartbreaking to watch that same young person become discouraged and quit. So, what is the difference between the kids who are successful and those who do not find success? While there are many factors that contribute to success (family, support, ability, resources etc.), there is one question that is the best predictor of whether a student is successful.

The question is, How do I respond to setbacks, rejection and/or failure?

All of us have a choice when things go poorly. We can face the difficulty head on, work through it and look for opportunities to grow or we can blame others, avoid the situation or shut down and become angry. In those critical pivotal moments in life, we have a choice how we want to respond.

At Mawi Learning, we say you can either hit your Victim Button or your Turbo Button in life’s toughest situations. The Victim Button sounds like this: Why did this happen? This is totally ruined! I am just not good at math. Who is to blame? The Victim Button erases all hope of progress being made.

The most successful students hit their Turbo Button during their most difficult times. The Turbo Button sounds like this: What happened? What can we learn from what happened? What is the way forward? The Turbo Button focuses on taking initiative, moving forward and growing.

We are excited to teach students the Turbo Button and launch them on their way to successful lives.


3 Summer Speaking Engagements

by Mawi on June 21, 2015

OC12_Mawi_Asgedom_9 Here are three of my upcoming presentations for Summer 2015.

1) Chicago Public Schools Summer Principal Summit: I will be delivering three keynotes to all 600 Chicago Public School principals this summer on how to increase student success by leveraging both “Heart” and “Mind.”  Really excited for this opportunity to inspire principals in my home state.

2) Leon County Teacher Leader Celebration: I will be keynoting in Leon County (FL) at a celebration for teacher leaders who are having a distinct impact in the district. This will be my second time speaking in Tallahassee this year, and I’m really looking forward to it.

3) Orland Park (IL) Teacher Institute: I’ve spoken to students in this Chicagoland district before, and I’m excited to return to inspire educators this August.   I love presenting at teacher-back-to school Institute Days because the positive energy is exhilarating.  


Teacher Appreciation Week

by Mawi on May 30, 2015

May 4th – 8th, 2015 is Teacher Appreciation Week. The Mawi Learning team took to the streets to learn how teachers are making an impact on students’ lives. Here is a short video of how YOU are inspiring YOUR students!


Critical Thinking and Study Skills

by Mawi on May 12, 2015

Mawi Learning is excited to introduce our new course, Critical Thinking and Study Skills! This course was designed to deepen student learning, raise grades and increase test scores.

Study Skills Avatar

Throughout the course, Mawi coaches students in 19 videos, where he shares how he went from a C/D students in 8th grade, to a scholarship to Harvard by his senior year of high school.

To create the course, we reviewed the best research available, as well as Mawi Learning’s own proprietary tools from our work with over 1,000,000 students. It can be taught online or in a blended format to students in grades 8 – 12.

Preview two lessons of the course today!


Mawi Honored as Youth Advocate of the Year

by Mawi on April 21, 2015

Mawi Asgedom will receive the 2015 Advocate for Youth Award from SCOPE-Midwest. The Advocate for Youth Award is presented annually to an individual or organization that demonstrates a special commitment to improving the lives of children.

Since 1991, over 20,000 financially disadvantaged children, many from the Chicago area, have attended summer camp through SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) camp scholarships. The award ceremony is dedicated to raising funds for SCOPE’s summer camps scholarship program.

“We are thrilled to present Mawi with The Youth Advocate Award at this year’s SCOPE benefit. This award goes to an individual who demonstrates a special commitment to improving the lives of children. The work Mawi does with today’s youth and teens will help them become productive, successful, and happy adults. We are fortunate to have Mawi as an advocate for how important a camp experience is for all children regardless of their socioeconomic background,” says Dayna Hardin, President of CampGroup LLC.

The award will be presented at SCOPE-Midwest’s annual fundraising dinner on Friday, April 24th at Viper Alley in Lincolnshire, IL. Please visit to learn more and register for the event.


Mawi will keynote The National Partnership for Community Training National Symposium on April 27th. The Connecting Leaders, Impacting Communities and Sustaining Programs: Strengthening the National Torture Treatment Network Symposium features leading experts in the torture treatment and refugee fields who will share tools and techniques for creating robust programs and networks.

Mawi’s remarkable journey took him from a Sudanese refugee camp to a full scholarship at Harvard University and then to training over 1,000,000 youth in life-changing success skills at his own company, Mawi Learning. At the National Symposium, he will deliver an inspiring and uplifting message to refugee and torture victim professionals about the importance of their work.

The National Symposium takes place on April 27th and 28th, 2015 at the University of Miami Student Activities Center. Please visit for more information and to register for the event.


Super ELL Earns Finalist Honors at SIIA CODiE Awards

April 14, 2015

We are very excited to announce that our Super ELL course is a finalist in the prestigious Software & Industry Association (SIIA) annual CODiE Awards. The CODiE Awards are the premier award for the software and information industries, and have been recognizing product excellence since 1986. Super ELL is honored in the Best ELL/World Language […]

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Restorative Practices in the Chicago Public Schools: Interview with Amy Mart

January 27, 2015

Welcome to part two of our exciting interview with Amy Mart, Manager of Universal Supports, in the Chicago Public School’s Office of Social and Emotional Learning.  Today, Amy and Mawi discuss the meaning of restorative justice and what it looks like in a school setting.  Drawing upon a growing research base, they explore how restorative justice can improve learning outcomes, […]

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Social Emotional Learning Best Practices: Interview with Amy Mart

January 20, 2015

How can Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) transform school culture and academic success? How do you introduce (SEL) to skeptical colleagues and friends?  What does it look like to build sustainable structures to support SEL?   Amy Mart is the Manager of Universal Supports for the Office of Social and Emotional Learning for Chicago Public Schools, […]

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6 Fall Speaking Engagements

August 25, 2014

Here are six of my presentations for Fall 2014.   Some are public events that anyone can attend. 1) Hinsdale Central High School:  I just presented to 3,100 students and staff at Hinsdale Central in Illinois.  Hinsdale Central can feel like a high achievement, high pressure school and I challenged the students to go beyond their test […]

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Meb’s 90/10 Rule

August 4, 2014

At my conference last week, 2014 Boston Marathon Winner Meb Keflezghi said something I’ll always remember: “Before race day, it’s 90 percent physical and 10% mental; on race day, it’s 90% mental and 10% physical.” If grit is a coin, Meb’s 90/10 rule covers both sides. One side of the coin is the steady, disciplined […]

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New White Paper on Social and Emotional Learning Research Base

June 4, 2014

After a decade of focusing primarily on testing, schools across North America are prioritizing Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Researchers like Angela Duckworth and Carol Dweck have shown that grit, growth mindset, goal-setting, and other internal qualities drive student achievement and student well being. There are two things that confuse many people regarding Social and […]

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Stop Talking About the Achievement Gap

November 26, 2013

The proverbial “Achievement Gap” describes the academic disparity between white and black/Hispanic students in our country.  I wonder sometimes: Has  the term “Achievement Gap”  gotten to the point where it is no longer useful, and might actually worsen the predicament it’s meant to fix? Talk of the Achievement Gap might be compared to talk of […]

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Differentiated Learning through Technology: Interview with David Vinca and Maya Lopuch

November 7, 2013

David Vinca is the Founder & CEO of eSpark Learning, which partners with schools to create a personalized learning plan for each student that utilizes iPads and hand-picked educational apps. Before eSpark, David spent four years teaching and four years as a management consultant. David has a BS from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from […]

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Where is your Secret Ocean?

October 24, 2013

Several times in my career, I’ve talked with inner cities kids who live just a mile from an ocean or a Great Lake, but have never visited. I’m always stunned and saddened when I meet these students.  I think, “How could you be so close to something so amazing, and never go?” What if the […]

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The Unexpected Benefits of Music: Interview with Elizabeth Frascoia

September 17, 2013

Listen in as Elizabeth Frascoia shares some of the unexpected benefits engaging in music can have, and what this can mean for youth. Elizabeth Frascoia is a dedicated educator working in New York City and Los Angeles, committed to helping students of all ages gain greater confidence through music.  She has worked with over 10,000 […]

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