Dr. Obsinet Merid is a board-certified Internal Medicine physician. She received her doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wisconsin. She then went on to complete her internal medicine residency at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Illinois. She Subsequently accepted a faculty position in the department of Internal Medicine (Hospital Medicine) at the University of Michigan where she worked for three years. She is currently employed by Emory University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Medicine (hospital medicine) at Grady Memorial Hospital. In addition to her passion for clinical medicine, she has special interest in community service, serving the underserved and global health/tropical medicine. Dr. Merid is an active member of American college of physicians (ACP) and society of hospital medicine (SHM). In her spare time she enjoys running, bicycling and spending time with her 3 young children.
Shelly Dollar has been CEO of MTG since 2013. Prior to this, she served as CFO and Project Manager for Children’s Cross Connection International. She spent four years working with Ethiopian youth, directing medical and educational projects both in the US and in Ethiopia with CCCI. In 2013, she and her husband decided to open a new non-profit- Making the Grade: Hope for African Youth, in response to the growing needs of students they were mentoring.
She trained at University of Maryland and received the degree- Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Although working professionally as a hospital nurse lasted only a few years specializing in post- partum care and all levels of nursery, she continued volunteering with various organizations in a nursing and caretaking capacity.
She and her husband, Allen Dollar (a cardiologist) live in Atlanta and spent years hosting patients in need of medical support. In 2008, Shelly went back to Maryland to activate her RN again, studying in psychiatry.
Alternative activities have included owning an art gallery- Raymond Lawrence Gallery and the Zebu Center for the Emerging Artist (1999-2001) , managing Rey Vargas’ gallery in Norcross, GA (2014-2015), and managing various artists over a 10-year period. She also works and volunteers at various other non-profits related to fair housing and inclusion. She has worked in the field of fair housing for over 20 years. Currently (2023) she chairs the Inclusion and Belonging committee at Ahavath Achim Synagogue in Buckhead.
Jessica has a passion for doing good in the world. Working with MTG is giving her a great opportunity to enter the world of non-profit work giving back in a way that she is proficient. She is a wiz at customer service and interacts well with everyone in our organization as she uses her skills to help keep our records professionally maintained.
Adam Winder received his his MBA from McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University, graduating Beta Gamma Sigma. He is an entrepreneur and strategic executive passionate about giving back and helping others. Adam began his career in financial services with banking experience leading strategy for a large bank and 8 years advising middle market companies. Since fatherhood Adam has become a successful entrepreneur; he has launched a restaurant, tech, and service business.
Mariham Abraham completed her Bachelor's degree at Louisiana State University and her PhD at the University of Georgia in chemistry. While working in the chemical industry for a few years she also undertook various roles in building a family-owned startup distribution business. She eventually joined the business full-time as a finance and administrative officer. She has extensive experience in building strong customer rapport with clients and devising new strategies to maximize retention. In addition, she is also involved in content management system (CMS) implementation and maintenance which continues to accelerate the company's growth and market presence.
Russ is a licensed Lawyer in the states of Alabama, Georgia, Texas and New York. He has experience practicing before federal courts in Texas and Georgia and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Sandy Springs Bar Association, the Georgia Association of Justice, and the American Association of Justice.
He recently purchased Lodge and kayaking outfit in North Georgia.
Claudine Baker is a healthcare IT professional at Mercy Health Services in Baltimore, Maryland. She is a recent graduate of Georgetown’s Executive MBA program where her capstone project focused on healthcare business models in Ethiopia. Claudine has joined MTG through Georgetown’s EMBA21 girl’s house project.
Dr. Stan graduated from Emory College and the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. He and his wife practice together in Atlanta, GA. Separate from his own practice, Dr Eisenberg is an adjunct professor for Georgia State University mentoring and teaching dentistry students. Additionally Stan volunteers with the Ben Massell Dental Clinic, providing dental care to those in need without coverage.
Girum Mekonnen, MD, MPH, FACC, is a practicing cardiologist at Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta, GA. He received his medical degree from Addis Ababa University. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania State University before completing his Cardiology Fellowship at Emory University. Dr. Mekonnen holds a master's degree in international public health from Humboldt University in Germany. While at Emory, he was a recipient of the Global Health Scholarship and a training grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Mekonnen has presented at several national Cardiology conferences and meetings and authored multiple scientific publications in peer-reviewed medical journals.
In addition to his passion for clinical cardiology, he has interests in cardiovascular prevention, clinical research, health disparities and global health.
Dr. Mekonnen has been an advisory board member of Making The Grade (MTG) since 2013. In 2014, Dr. Mekonnen traveled to Ethiopia with the MTG board members to visit the project sites. During the month-long visit, he collaborated with the cardiology team at Black Lion Hospital (main medical campus for Addis Ababa University), provided lectures to internal medicine residents and medical students and participated in bedside teaching during clinical rounds.
Dr. Helen Wolday currently resides in St. Paul, MN. She is the mother of two beautiful girls, Eliana and Liora. She currently works for CVS Health as a pharmacist/pharmacy manager.
Helen was born in Shashemene, Oromiya region of Ethiopia in 1984 and has spent much of her life visiting the different regions of the country, learning and admiring the different cultures and speaking fluent Amharic and some Tigrigna.
She attended school in Shashemene, Addis Ababa and Awassa. Her middle school years were spent at the Awassa SOS Hermann Gmeiner School, which is an open-community school helping abandoned and neglected children. While commuting 50 miles each way to Awassa in order to attend, Helen received multiple awards and scored some of the highest test results for all girls in the region, even receiving a financial award from the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, who was the president of the Sidamo region at the time.
After completing and Associate Degree in Minnesota she moved to Henderson, Nevada to pursue a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree, graduating in 2011. She officially moved to America in November 2014.
Helen says, “I am so excited to be joining your organization as it will give me the
opportunity to serve people in need by using my qualifications, strength and skills to develop the new generation."
Rabbi Waqshum Dhugasa is a nurse who has a passion for helping people in need and the sick. She graduated from Adama General Hospital and Medical College, School of Nursing in 2023. She believes that nursing is more than just a job - it is a calling to serve others and make a difference in their lives. Rabbi is particularly interested in public health, community service and hopes to use her nursing skills to improve the health and wellbeing of her community. Through her dedication and commitment to nursing, she hopes to inspire others to pursue careers in healthcare and make a positive impact in the world.
Making The Grade: Hope For African Youth was founded in 2005 by a group of mental health professionals who saw a need for more accessible mental health resources in our community.