Win the Inner Battle with Mawi

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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.  

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Teacher Appreciation Week

by Erika Emerick 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 Erika Emerick 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 Erika Emerick 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 to Keynote at National Symposium for Refugees

by Erika Emerick on April 20, 2015

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

by Erika Emerick on 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 Acquisition Instructional Solution category.

Preview a video lesson in the course!

98 percent of ELL students recommend Super ELL to other students, while 94 percent say the course helped them with their other classes. The lessons, which are accessible on computers and tablets, cover topics such as time management, goal-setting, community impact, social networking, college readiness and pride in one’s heritage. Students learn through interactive tools, videos and engaging examples.

Winners in the Education category are announced at the Education Information Summit on May 3rd, 2015. We look forward to updating you on the status of our award!


Amy+MartWelcome 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, build strong faculty/student relationships and redefine our vision and goals for student accountability.

Check out the resources Amy mentions at the International Institute for Restorative Practices, and the Illinois Balanced and Restorative Justice.


Amy+MartHow 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, a district with over 600+ schools and 400,000+ students.  In part one of this two part series, Mawi asks Amy to share her insight on how SEL can help students and schools succeed.  In part two, Amy will delve deeper into the concept and best practices of Restorative Practices.

Check out the research Amy cites in her interview at the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning.




6 Fall Speaking Engagements

by Mawi on August 25, 2014

Hinsdale Presentation - More than a Test Score

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 scores. Their principal made the above poster after my presentation.

2) Regional Superintendent of Schools:  I’m doing a keynote for 1,200 educators with the  Illinois Regional Superintendent of Schools on December 9.  This is a public event. 

3) Florida Virtual School Annual Conference: Am really looking forward to this keynote to 2,000 educators on October 1. FLVS is the largest online high school in the country with over 220,000 students last year; they offer three Mawi Learning classes. This is a public event.

4) Latin School: This will be my third year in a row presenting to the Latin School in Chicago; they read my memoir each year in their middle school, and I also train their high school student leaders.  For my student speeches, I mainly speak at schools that read one of my books or use one of our  leadership classes.

5) Oneida-Madison Counties: On November 13, I’ll train teachers from nine districts in New York. This will be a professional development keynote based on our 5 Powers of an Educator book/framework.

6) Princeton Schools:  Mawi Learning has worked with the Princeton, NJ schools for about ten years now.  This year we will focus on integrating the research on Growth Mindset and Grit into their schools.


Meb’s 90/10 Rule

by Mawi on August 4, 2014

Conference Interview - Meb

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 grit that is not flashy but provides a strong foundation. The other side is pure courage; grit at its most raw, as we push ourselves beyond our preparation to new heights.


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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The Power of Perseverance through the eyes of an Olympian: Interview with Meb Keflezighi

March 20, 2014

Long-distance runner Meb Keflezighi came to the United States with his family when he was 12 years old after feeling to Italy as a refugee from war torn Eritrea.  Early on, Meb discovered a passion for running that would lead him to win a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics Marathon competition and win the […]

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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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Creating the Community We Desire: Interview with Allan Davenport

May 28, 2013

Allan is the Principal of Crone Middle School (Naperville, IL). Allan’s interview shares specific strategies for building a culture of success and respect in a middle school of 1,000 students.  You will also learn what he means when he says, “The Crone Way.”

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A Cultural Shift Reduces Bullying by 1/3: Interview with Elizabeth Carswell (Conference Sneak Peek!)

May 21, 2013

Meet Elizabeth Carswell, one of our keynoters for our upcoming Summer Conference. In this interview with Mawi, Elizabeth shares best practices from her work with 1,000 schools as the director of Core Essential Values, including the story of how one school reduced bullying by 33%. Hear more from Elizabeth at our Mawi Learning Summer Conference: The […]

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It’s a Lifestyle, Not a Program: Interview with Clayton Muhammad (Conference Sneak Peek!)

May 17, 2013

Meet Clayton Muhammad, one of our keynoters for our upcoming Summer Conference. In this interview with Mawi, Clayton shares how his city reduced homicides from 25 in 2003 to 0 in 2012. Clayton also describes how his innovative Boys II Men program achieves 100% graduation rates. Hear more from Clayton at our Mawi Learning Summer Conference: The Power […]

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Class Act: Interview with Jon Hallmark

May 7, 2013

If you’re looking for innovate ways to build character and leadership in your students, do not miss this interview with Jon Hallmark, Principal of Highland Middle School in Libertyville, IL. Among other things, you will be inspired by how Jon’s students are helping to build schools in Uganda.

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