YEP founders, Mesfin Getaneh and Shimeles Mekonnen witnessed the incredible power behind networking and community-based activities through member-based organizations during the various events they attended. They were inspired by the connections and opportunities created on these events and eagerly looking for a similar platform to meet and network with fellow Ethiopian professionals. They found many Ethiopian organizations that create opportunities and connections for specific trades or interests, yet there was still a gap for a broader platform for young Ethiopians across all professions to connect, share experiences, learn from one another, and pursue community development initiatives. Inspired to fulfill a need for the ever-growing Ethiopian professionals in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area, they began working to establish a foundation for what is YEP on November 2010. During the early stages of planning, Lulit Tesfaye joined them, bringing firsthand experience in grassroots organizational development.
YEP began by featuring inspirational speakers, hosting educational sessions and providing networking opportunities to support our mission. Today, YEP convene more than 5,000 members with the primary focus on developing and maximizing the Ethiopian community. As YEP grows, we continue to update our benefits and offerings to support our members in the best ways possible.