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Walden Magazine // Mar 01, 2012

Why I Returned to Walden

NAME: John Barnette

PROGRAM: PhD in Public Policy and Administration

STARTED: December 2011, after graduating from the MS in Nonprofit Management and Leadership program in August 2011.

WHERE I WORK: Agape Housing Development in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, a nonprofit supportive housing corporation where my wife and I strive to create permanent, affordable housing solutions for working families and the homeless.

WHAT I DO: As the co-founder and executive director, my goal is to support families, empower self-sufficiency and promote stable, productive living on the island of Oahu for people who are plagued by homelessness and have multiple barriers to employment and housing stability.

WHY I WANT TO EARN A PH.D.: I often tell my children that they can do anything they put their minds to and that they should take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. By pursuing my Ph.D., I am practicing what I preach. My second degree will help me create effective solutions to shared issues within the nonprofit sector, such as complex IRS and state regulations. I believe that public policy has a significant impact on the ever-expanding epidemic of homelessness. Addressing such concerns will prove vital to the health and longevity of the nonprofit community as a whole.

HOW I STUDY: I constantly remind myself of why I study—to advance the mission of Agape and help reduce homelessness. I also break my assignments into sections and place time constraints on each task. This helps me avoid procrastination.

HOW I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE: I believe that every person has the responsibility for making a positive impact on someone’s life, whether it is a family member, friend, colleague or total stranger. When this purpose goes unfulfilled, we all suffer. I want to make a difference by being that positive impact in someone’s life—one step, one policy, one day at a time.

—Jennifer Rosowski