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“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove... but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”Forest E. Witcraft

Here at Empower Family Focused Services (EFFS) , we are driven by a single goal: to contribute our best to make a difference in raising the next generation, specifically the under-served population.

In  America, this land of opportunities, we can tap the resources and raise our children to become the next responsible leaders who will play key roles in transforming themselves, their community, and the world.

Our Values

Serve the community with integrity, accountability and transparency.

Our Mission

Our Mission

Empower Family Focused Services (EFFS)  has evolved over many years and aims to play a key role to holistically improve the social, educational, physical, cultural, spiritual and civic life of the underserved communities in general, and the East African population in particular.

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Our Vision

EFFS envisions raising up vibrant and active community members by investing resources, specifically on the second generation of immigrants.

  • Helping mold, guide and mentor the next generation of immigrants (East African origin in particular) to be educated, become responsible law-abiding and respectable citizens of society.

  • Extending advocacy services which focus on critical basic needs in our community, particularly in equitable education, and health care services. This will be achieved by establishing close partnership with schools, government agencies, healthcare providers, and other non-profit organizations.

  • Work on initiatives to support long term challenges in education, healthcare and housing disparities for the undeserved communities of color.

  • Empowering the immigrant community members to lead meaningful and dignified lives.


Founder & Executive Director: Worku Negussie

BS in Mechanical engineering and Master of Arts in Counseling (MA, LMHCA).

Worku always had passion for the helping profession, specially making a difference in the lives of the younger generation.

Beside his over 23 years' experience working in semiconductor industry, Worku has been actively involved with children, youth, adult and family ministries in a church setting since 2002.

He had also experience working with high school and college students and their families with a holistic approach. Besides teaching Sunday school and organizing youth programs, he has helped students in preparing them academically for SAT/ACT college entrance exams, and life planning. Based on their ability, aptitude, and interest, he collaborated to find their unique pathway in college. As a result, he was fortunate enough to guide a number of students from various multicultural backgrounds and watched them flourish as young adults. Worku has also been helping diverse   clients at his private mental health practice office, focusing primarily on members of underserved communities.

Programs Director: Marefia Yisak 

MA in civic media from Columbia college, Chicago and BA in African Studies from The University of North Carolina.

Over 15 years of experience in youth development and fostering relationships mainly in the immigrant communities. Passionate about leveraging creativity and second-generation youth development expertise with innovative strategies and building impactful relationships in diverse settings. Wide range of experiences in public speaking, youth development, community relationships, events coordinator, project management, mentoring and social media management. 

Marefia is bringing a wealth of experience and unwavering passion for community development, and here is an excerpt in her own words: 

"From an early age, I bore witness to the profound impact of community programs akin to the compassionate heart of EFFS. These experiences, as integral threads woven into the tapestry of my life, have shaped my ethos and imbued me with an unwavering dedication to fostering unity and empowerment in community development in all aspects".

Worku Negussie

Executive Director


Marefia Yisak

Programs Director 

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 Team / volunteers

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Hiwot Beyene

Youth leader, RN, business owner

Eyasu Asrat

business owner, youth leader 

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Teketay Wassie

PhD, Medical Sciences (post-doctoral scholar @OHSU)

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Sintayehu Gurmessa

PhD, Medical Sciences (post-doctoral scholar @OHSU)

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Eden Kidane 

Business owner , youth leader 

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Mihretu Desalegne 


What We Do

How do we work towards our mission and values? 

Check out our services to our community here:

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