Prize Recipient

Yonas Yemane

Yonas Yemane


Yonas Yemane is a junior at Harvard University studying Chemistry and Physics. He was born in Columbia, Missouri, to Yemane Ghebreiyessus and Ghenet Ghebretatios, but currently resides with his family in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His parents immigrated to the United States from Eritrea to provide a safe environment for their children. At the time, Eritrea was fighting a civil war with Ethiopia that lasted over thirty years.

From a young age, Yonas loved numbers and puzzles. His fascination with math grew as he excelled in advanced courses and was a Mu Alpha State Champion all four years of high school. His interest in physics began in high school with Katy Parkers Honors and AP Physics courses. He was drawn to physics because it sought to provide a mathematical explanation of the world around us. Yonas won several awards at the state and national levels of Science Olympiad and Science Bowl. He was the State President of Mu Alpha Theta, a Presidential Scholar Semi-Finalist, a National Achievement Finalist, and a National Merit Finalist. Also Yonas was recognized in EBONY magazine for his achievements.

Now at Harvard University, Yonas enjoys being part of the Harvard Physics Department because of its excellent professors and devotion to students. His extracurricular activities include the Black Mens Forum, Model Congress, and tutoring. He is currently working in a research lab in Switzerland. However, his most meaningful experience at Harvard was a volunteer trip to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Yonas has three loving siblings: Dawit, 28, Walta, 27, and Ruth, 23.