Beth Gebreyohannes escaped with her family from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, after the military government the Derg, came to power in 1979. She was 14 years old. They travelled on foot across the cruel Danakil Desert for 17 days before arriving in Djibouti with just the clothes on their backs. She lived in Djibouti as a refugee for 14 months before coming to Canada in November 1981. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto majoring in Psychology and Sociology. Beth lives in Toronto with her husband and two children, where she is a front-line public worker in the city government, serving its most underprivileged residents.