Food News

The City of Ate Interview: Atti Worku, a Former Miss Ethiopia and Host of a Benefit Dinner at Bolsa Mercado Next Week

Page 2 of 3

Did you move to NYC for work or school? Both. I did sign a modeling contract in New York City, but also always knew I wanted to go back to school. When I was in Ethiopia I studied computer science, but then I got into modeling and beauty pageants and that sort of took on its own life. I wasn't expecting it to go to the level that it did. Finally in 2010, I decided it was time, so I applied to Columbia and started in 2011.

What are you studying? Sustainable Development.

Are you studying for finals right now? Yes, and trying to finish a paper.

What's it about? Then Harlem Renaissance.

After beauty pageants and modeling, how do you like being back in school? I love being a student. It was difficult at first to adjust and have the discipline to be in a library for 8 to 10 hours at a time, but I really enjoy it now because it's directly related to my work in Ethiopia. My work and school blend into each other, so it makes it more interesting.

What made you want to start Seeds? Growing up in Ethiopia, early on I understood the differences between the education I was receiving at a private catholic school versus the children in the public school system. I always knew change had to be permanent. Unfortunately aid doesn't always provide a permanent solution. People talk about the vicious cycle of poverty because it really is a complex issue. I understood that there are multiple things that need to be done. One of those things is building human capital and providing education can do that.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lauren Drewes Daniels is the Dallas Observer's food editor. She started writing about local restaurants, chefs, beer and kouign-amanns in 2011. She's driven through two dirt devils and is certain they were both some type of cosmic force.