The story of my life is summarized through a unique analogy that is captured in the symbolism of a tree: Uncommon roots, Normal trunk, Inspiring branches, Quality twigs, U Leaves, and Evident fruit (UNIQUE). Here’s the UNIQUE story:
The roots of a marvelous life are seeded in uncommon beginnings:
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 and enlivening practicums.
The trunk of a flourishing life is established in normal 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 me 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 life provide broad inspiration 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.
The twigs of a growing life bloom are crowned in quality instruction and teaching:
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 earlier, 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.
The leaves of an audacious life remain unflappable even in the most trying of times:
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.
The fruit of a life of character is evident in all seasons through human passions:
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 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 my service.
With my wife L. Danyetta Najoli at the Forty Under 40 Awards luncheon.
Dr. Herman J. Najoli, PO BOX 7112, Cincinnati, OH 45205