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Accomplished, young Valley woman dies unexpectedly while in pursuit of law degree

Saron Berhe, 28, was in her last year of law school at Howard University. She immigrated to the Valley from Eritrea at 3 years old.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — At just 28 years old Saron Berhe had accomplished more than a lot of people. 

She had immigrated to the United States as a child before graduating from Arizona State University. She was nearly done with law school at Howard University when she passed away unexpectedly on Monday.

Her family said that her cause of death was a pulmonary embolism, a condition caused by a blood clot traveling into the lungs. Hundreds of people mourned her death in Scottsdale on Thursday evening.

“These are not just her family and her friends but just a community of people here that have been supportive of her and she’s been supportive of them,” said Berhe’s longtime friend Milena Andebrhan.

At 3 years old, Berhe came to Arizona from Eritrea, a country in East Africa.

After her family's arrival, Berhe formed a tight bond with other east Africans sharing a similar story.

“When people immigrate here they hold on to each other, these relationships. It’s the only version of family we know,” said Andebrhan.

Both Andebrhan and Lydia Tesfay considered Berhe a member of their family.

She’s a natural-born leader. She’s funny, hilarious, loving, kind. Every great attribute she has it,” said Tesfay.

They, along with many others, were cheering Berhe on as she pursued her law degree. Berhe's family will receive her degree from Howard University. 

She had just accepted a job at a law firm in New York City.

“That passion and fire in her it’s everything that she stands by,” said Andebrhan.

As an undergrad, Berhe studied political science and business.

She was president of Howard’s African Law Student Association at the time of her death. The organization expressed their love for her in an Instagram post saying “she brought the most genuine kindness to every room she graced.”

The warmth described by all of her friends was reflected by her nickname 'Sweet'.

She’s one of those types of people that will turn your life around for the good,” said Tesfay.

Berhe has left a legacy that anyone would be proud of.

“These people here, they have all been inspired and touched by Sweet because she is a blessing,” said Andebrhan.

Her family is raising money for her funeral expenses.

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