The real story of my life is summarized through an analogy of Roots, Shoots, Branches, Leaves, and Fruit. See the overview below then follow the R.E.A.L links above for a fuller story.
The roots of a marvelous education are seeded in the promise of the future. My life journey began in the Western part of Kenya in East Africa. I was born in Kisumu, about 30 miles from my family’s home of origin in Maragoli, not too far from the border with Uganda. I had my primary, secondary, and undergraduate education in Kenya, graduating from The University of Nairobi with a Bachelor’s degree in Education (major in Economics and minor in Commerce) in December 2000. I had my teaching practice in the city of Mombasa, Kenya – teaching accountancy and management at Mombasa Polytechnic and later Business education and mathematics at Mombasa Baptist High School. These were rewarding practicums.
The shoots of a flourishing education system are a gateway to purpose. In 1999, I signed up for a short-term trip to Kakuma Refugee Camp near Lake Turkana in Northern Kenya where we served locals and refugees from Ethiopia, Sudan, and Uganda. There, I met a couple from Ames, Iowa who had retired, sold their possessions, and moved to serve in Kenya. They gave him a magazine detailing the work of a youth ministry in Garden Valley, TX – Teen Mania Ministries. On heading back home, I applied for Teen Mania’s Honor Academy Internship and was accepted. He arrived in Dallas, TX on August 21, 2001 with one hundred forty dollars ($140) in his pocket, a small twenty-one (21) inch suitcase, and a dream for higher education.
The branches of a vibrant education provide broad benefits for all. Coming to the US was the key to branching out my academic development. After the internship in Texas, I proceeded to Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA for my first masters degree. In 2004, I earned a Masters in Organizational Leadership. I served as a Family Teacher at a youth organization in Omaha then moved to Cincinnati in 2007 to facilitate my pursuit of another masters degree in Advanced Leadership studies at Indiana Wesleyan University, which I completed in 2009. I decided to proceed with Doctor of Education (Ed. D.) classes, completing my dissertation in 2012 on the correlations between Wisdom and Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) in leaders.
Public Servant in Education and Nonprofit Sectors
In the education sector, I have served as a high school teacher in Gypsum, CO; a family teacher in Omaha, NE; and a university professor in Cincinnati, OH. At Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum, Father Flanagan Boys Home in Omaha, and both National College and Indiana Wesleyan University campuses in the Greater Cincinnati area, I sharpened a love for educating. As stated above, this passion prompted my pursuit of a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership. Download your copy of my dissertation from ProQuest Open Access here: Wisdom and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Leaders.
In the non-profit sector, I have served as a youth development specialist in Garden Valley, TX; a program specialist in Springfield, MA; a program manager in Nashville, TN; and a case management leader in Cincinnati, OH. As a non-profit leader my motivation is to model servanthood. My passion for service was highlighted when I was named a winner of the Forty Under 40 Award by the Cincinnati Business Courier in September 2015 for my work in helping homeless men get off the street, enter shelters, and rapidly find housing. This work was highlighted in my recent book Public Servants in Government, Education, and Nonprofit Sectors.
Character, Excellence, and Optimism
Herbert Spencer stated, ‘Education has for it’s object the formation of character’. For me, my passion as an educator is to see the growth and development of students and adult learners into excellent intellectuals who have the capacity and optimism to make impact in their communities.
The fruit of my personal development is to offer character, excellence, and optimism to all. That is why I have sought wisdom as a study.
With my wife L. Danyetta Najoli at a local community celebration.
In all my leadership exploits and volunteer engagements, my singular quest is to bring a touch of prudence and wisdom to the task at hand.
With my wife L. Danyetta Najoli at the Forty Under 40 Awards luncheon.
We need higher R.O.I from educational leaders
It is time for a higher return on investment (R.O.I.) from educational leaders. Public service is about the greater good – particularly in all aspects of academia. Hence, my dedicated goal is to consistently unleash the highest return on investment. This begins with being a great teacher in my home and then extending it out to my community.
Dr. Herman J. Najoli
PO Box 7112
Cincinnati, OH 45205
This magnificent lady from Harlem, N.Y., Mrs. L. Danyetta Najoli (formerly Dawson), is the reason for this season of my life. I never envisioned accomplishing many of the things that I have but she is a champion for me and for our family. She is a champion for individuals with different abilities, a champion for women, a champion for community, and a champion for people from all walks of life.
My children are the absolute joy of my life. My son is passionate about all sports and will outlast any competitor on the field or court. My daughter is passionate about the arts and loves telling stories. My gratitude knows no bounds.
Dr. Herman J. Najoli, REAL Educator, PO BOX 7112, Cincinnati, OH 45205