ROCHESTER, NY (ABC) — The valedictorian at an upstate New York high school says her father has kept a close eye on her education as head janitor at her school.

Biiftu Duresso’s parents emigrated from Ethiopia decades ago. Her father escaped life as a teenage soldier. He didn’t know how to read when he arrived in the U.S., but he taught himself. He also recently earned a bachelor’s degree.

Now his daughter is headed off to college at Barnard. She says she couldn’t have done it without inspiration from her parents.

Biiftu said in her valedictorian speech, “They had the audacity to imagine something better for me and my siblings.”

Most of Biiftu’s classmates also know her father.


  1. Biiftu inspired by her loving father will inspire thousands and thousands of youngsters. I wish you success and all the best in your future.

  2. Biftuukenya, amallee nufi.Jabaadhu, Barnootni, furtu, malajirenyaati.Jabaadhu Lafa,ademsa fago, tarkaanfii tokkon calqabutii, kanaaf, lafa fago , heduutu, siegataa, jabaadhu.Ayyaanii,Oromoo, siwajjiin, haata’u.
    kaayyookee, hindagatiin.

  3. Reading and hearing such news is energizing and make us very proud. Obbo Duresso raised one brilliant young lady. Visionary people don’t cry and complain about where they are 24/7. They envision a better tomorrow-where they can reach as individuals and families. Obbo Duresso is one of them. There are a number of people who love and live on complaining without vision.

    And this also marks the best side of the civilized world. Try your best; you can make it.

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