Hanna Teklu is so many things: courageous, driven, compassionate, intelligent, warm…just to name a few. Ultimately, she’s impossible not to be drawn to. And that is a gift she is using to transform the lives of dozens of women.
Hanna works as workforce development and alumni engagement specialist for Together We Bake. It’s a job training program near Washington D.C. for women who have been recently incarcerated, unhoused, or otherwise disadvantaged. During the program, the participants gain skills in a commercial kitchen, learn business practices, and develop various life skills through baking and other classes.
Hanna herself graduated from Together We Bake’s program following a 10-year federal prison stint. She understands all too well what struggle and loss are like, from a tumultuous childhood home to having to give up her newborn son to serve her prison sentence. Now, as she helps the women of Together We Bake find employment and stay connected after they graduate, she’s a beacon of hope personified in someone who knows where they are coming from. She was born to lead, to inspire. That was obvious to the staff when she was still a program participant, prompting them to offer her a job shortly after she finished, and it’s obvious to everyone who crosses her path to this day.
Hanna Teklu is “The Overcomer,” and she’s just getting started.