Frew’s Story

IMG_2344Co-Founder and President

Frew Tibebu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He had a normal and uneventful childhood until the time the Emperor was overthrown by a military junta in 1974.  At that time, he was a senior in high school and he was required to participate in a National Literacy Campaign. Without completing the two year program, he returned to Addis Ababa and later joined a youth resistance group against the military rule. He later got arrested and was detained for a year and half in two different prisons in Addis Ababa. After being released from prison, he fled to neighboring Djibouti on foot, wearing makeshift sandals (Berebaso) made of rubber tires. He stayed in Djibouti for a year and half as a refugee while working as a stock supervisor at Mobil Oil and later immigrated to the United States in September of 1980, and settled in the Washington, D.C. area. He earned a degree in August of 1986 from the University of District of Columbia in Business Administration (BBA) while supporting himself holding several part time jobs. He moved to California in September of 1989 and currently works as real estate professional with Coldwell Bankers in Tracy, CA. He is married to his wife Debbie, and between them they have three kids and four grandkids. In addition, Frew has been working as a board member for Ethiopia Reads since January of 2009, and outside of work he enjoys playing soccer, basketball, biking, hiking, travel, reading, and running.

Read a detailed version of Frew’s story in his own words here.