Welcome to the 300 leaders Class of 2022. 

እንኳን ደህና መጡ!

“The 300 Leaders” is a program established to empower and equip young leaders with intellectual and developmental disabilities from local community. The program aims to provide a free leadership training for uniquely abled youths of immigrant ancestry.

The program will focus on creating mature and competent citizens who will be able to make a significant contribution to the community. The 300 Leadership is planned to be completed in a 4 months’ time span. The project run from June 6, 2022, to September 30, 2022. The program is led by special education professionals 

እድሜአቸው ከ 14 ዓመት እስከ 25 ዓመት የሆኑ ማንኛውንም አይነት የአካል ጉዳት ያለባቸውን ወጣቶች በማስመዝገብ የዚህ ነጻ የትምህርት እድል ተሳታፊ ይሁኑ፡፡ ተጨማሪ ማብራሪያ በሚከተለው ስልክ ማግኘት ይቻላል (301)-7285345፡

What are the activities of the 300 Leaders?

We provide job coaching, on-the-job mentoring, and assistance looking for the right job for all students we support. We will focus on youths with IDD to increase their knowledge of tools and techniques to develop personal skills specific to leadership, social skills, and self-esteem. Tsinat Institute envisions creating safe environments where students with IDD can learn basic skills: 1—cooling off when upset, 2—speaking directly to each other, 3— Speaking assertively, honestly, and kindly, 4— Listening carefully to others and accurately paraphrasing their words, and 5— Proposing solutions and agreeing on a solution to try. Appendix C shows the training topics and detailed curriculum. 

Once students have completed the training and are ready to work, we help them find a job that they will be happy to have. We plan to work with local business owners, church leaders, and community members to facilitate our students' volunteer, internship, or summer job opportunities. Our training emphasizes the importance of ensuring that youth with IDD have access to the same range of opportunities available to their peers without disabilities and are provided the opportunities to make their own choices and set their own goals regardless of their disability.

We had successfully launched the in-person session of the 300 Leaders Training on June 25, 2022. Thank you, all volunteers and parents, for your support.

The 300 leaders' class of summer 2022 students and volunteers after training party

FAQ about the 300 Leaders program

What is “The 300 Leaders” Training?

Tsinat youth training, called “The 300 Leaders” is a program established to empower and equip young leaders with intellectual and developmental disabilities from Ethiopian community. The “300 Leaders” is a program established with the aim of providing a free leadership training for Ethiopian ancestry youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program will focus on creating mature and competent citizens who will be able to make a significant contribution to the community. The 300 Leadership is planned to be completed in a 4 months’ time span. The project will run from January 7, 2021 to April 10, 2021. 

Why is the leadership training needed?

The Washington Metropolitan region is home to the largest number of Ethiopian migrants in the world. Today, Ethiopians are the largest African immigrant groups in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, making up one-fifth of the region’s African diaspora. Due to the highest number of Ethiopian immigrants in the DC area, in 2004 DC Mayor signed the DC Language Access Act. This Act provided government services in Ethiopian native language, called Amharic. Montgomery County is the first jurisdiction in the nation to name September African Heritage Month and host annual Ethiopian Festival in Silver Spring, MD.

Based on a joint report presented by World Health Organization, there is an estimated 15 million people with disabilities in Ethiopia. This number represent 17.6 % of the population. Traditionally, families with disabled children, especially intellectual and developmental disability, are considered to be punished as a consequence of the anger of God or an ancestral spirit. As a result, only 3% of the country's estimated children with disabilities go to school.

 Ethiopian immigrants in the U.S. are a direct reflection of persons with disabilities in Ethiopia. In the Ethiopian community people with disabilities face negative stereotypes. They face different barrios such us communication, physical, social, and other barriers that prevent them from learning, living, working, and playing in their communities. With a concern of negative stereotype labeling, most people with disabilities are not willing to identify themselves in the community. In the U.S., estimated 98 % of Ethiopian persons with disabilities are depend on government assistance or family support. People with disabilities can and want to be productive members of the society. Providing training opportunities for youth with disabilities are our top priorities for the reduction of poverty and removal of barriers of attitude, stereotypes, and communications in the Ethiopian community.

What are the activities of the 300 Leaders?

The present leadership training opts to focus specifically on leadership development of youth group with disabilities. Selected participants will participate in leadership development training that prepares them for future employment and increased community engagement. We will focus on students to increase their knowledge of tools and techniques to develop personal skills specific to leadership, social skills and self-esteem. As a result, youth with disabilities from Ethiopian Communities will be empowered to achieve their goals both in the community and in the workplace. 

What are method of teachings?

The spread of the coronavirus has resulted in unprecedented changes in a way that the world functions and has set limitations on how we interact with each other. We realize these changes may be particularly challenging for individuals with disability, especially children with intellectual disability. Tsinat Institute compiled autism-specific resources for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families as they navigate remote learning.

As we continue to navigate uncertainties due to the coronavirus, our top priorities are the health and safety of students and families. It is our hope we can help and support families as they develop new routines within their homes. Tsinat Institute plan to address restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing virtual and personal meetings alternatively.  Our virtual materials include specific adaptations fitted with Ethiopians’ culture and can be used across ages and skills.

 When face to face contact is implemented, Tsinat Institute will follow all social distancing guideline set forth by the state of Maryland and limit the number of participants as directed. We will implement the use Personal Protective Equipment and cleaning guidance and provide the training in a safe environment for the trainees and the trainers.

Who work on the grant activities & how can we help?

The grant of this project is obtained from Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. The project will pilot specific interventions aiming to reach out with support services for youth with disabilities. We also partnered with SupAbilities LLC to get training specialist and professional special need teachers. We also using volunteers who are qualified to teach youth leadership, social skill and personal development for youth with disabilities.

For the success of this training, we need financial and volunteers support. We are looking volunteers who are qualified to teach youth leadership, social skill and personal development for youth with disabilities. Part of the training expense is covered by Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. We ask groups and individuals to support with the matching financial support for the cost of teaching materials. Tsinat Institute is run by volunteers and 100% of your donation goes to the training. 




Meet the teaching team

Barbara Delsak

Primary Teacher 

Barbara S. Delsack is the Communication Specialist for SupAbilities.  She has been with Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools (MCPS) since 1993, as a member of the Assistive Technology team InterACT and as a speech-language pathologist. Ms. Delsack has served the public special education community, specifically the population with autism, for over thirty years. 

Azeb Ataro Adere 

Prgrogram Consultant

Azeb Ataro has expertise in the fields of autism and Applied Behavior Analysis. Azeb Adere has worked with with uniquely abled children for over 15 years in both Maryland and Virginia. Mrs. Adere is a founding member of the board and the president for the Ethiopian Eritrean Special Needs community,  an organization to share information, provide support to one another, educate, and guide families raising uniquely abled children so they can become effective advocates for their children.

Ayantu Degefa

Program coordinator        Ayantu have been working for a Nonprofit that works with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as an Operations Manager. She have gained a lot of experience and I want to share all I've learnt. Ayantu believe that we all have the ability to do what we want to do as long as we have the opportunity! 

Dr. Richa Mudwari: Program Director

Foreign Medical Doctor
I have worked at many pediatric clinics and will be applying for a pediatric medical residency this year. I have worked as an English teacher for 5 years, teaching kids from the age of 3-25 y/o English. I have worked at a nonprofit hospital in India for the past 5 years, where we treat impoverished patients from the village free of charge. I will be bringing my medical and teaching experience to do the volunteering at Tsinat Institute.

Dr. Adam W. Tulu
President of Tsinat Institute
Program Director
Dr.Chetana Pasam: Volunteer Teacher

I am Dr. Chetana Pasam, from India. My love for kids and my passion for healthcare made me choose pediatrics as my career choice. Striving hard to free them from illnesses gives me the utmost professional satisfaction. This volunteering has given me an opportunity to be a part of this divine project which is dedicated to help Autistic kids. Currently, I am working my way to get into pediatric residency in the USA. I look forward to more opportunities to use my healthcare abilities and services for the welfare of kids.

Azeb Araya
Program consultant

Azeb Araya  is a Special Education teacher with 24+ years of experience.

Azeb began her career in  DC public schools where she taught for six years and has been teaching in the Montgomery County Public School System for the past 18 years. Mrs. Araya works with students diagnosed with a variety of disabilities, including Autism, ADHD, Learning and Emotional disabilities. 

Azeb is also a Board Member of EESNC (Ethiopian Eritrean Special Need Community).


This project was supported, in part by the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council - CFDA #93.630 – ACL – Administration on Disabilities – Developmental Disabilities Basic Supports. Grant number 22-LD-02.

Grant Period: May 19, 2022 – November 30, 2022. Grant Title: The 300 Leaders.


Tsinat Institute
EIN: 82-4884869
State of MD ID #: D18645168

An inclusive workplace doesn’t happen overnight. Tsinat Institute actively work to make it inclusive for differently abled people. Leaders, in particular, must create an inclusive work culture that recognizes unique talents, traits and the expertise of people with disabilities.

Main Contact

Dr. Adam Tulu 

Mengistu Badelew
Ayantu Degefa
Edlawit Yared