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Walden Magazine // Jan 01, 2015

Why I Refer: Pursuing a New Passion

An alumnus explains how he’s helped his family find a passion for education.

Dr. Samuel O. Ijoma

Dr. Samuel O. Ijoma

NAME: Dr. Samuel O. Ijoma ’13, ’10

DEGREES EARNED: PhD in Public Health and Master of Public Health (MPH)

CURRENT JOB: Independent Healthcare Advisory Consultant for Mobile Healthcare Services in Washington, D.C., and Maryland Health Connection in the capital region

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE ADVANCED DEGREES AT WALDEN? I was making a good living in the hospitality industry, but I wanted to make a difference for African immigrants. Many find it difficult to access healthcare in the U.S. because of money, legal status, pre-existing conditions, or fear. Walden’s programs steered me toward social change.

HOW DID YOUR CAREER CHANGE? After completing my Ph.D., I got a job with Maryland Health Connection to enroll people in the Affordable Care Act, with a focus on Nigerian and African immigrants, who often think they are ineligible for care. What a delight for me to explain that they are eligible! My degrees give me status in my community. People trust me when I say, “You deserve to be insured, and I can help.”

WHY DO YOU REFER OTHERS TO WALDEN? I have referred two family members, both of whom have enrolled. For me the motivation was the social change concept, the idea that you help others who, in turn, help their communities. Walden’s rigor and the accreditation of the programs my family members are enrolled in make it a great fit for them; they found a passion for education they didn’t have before.

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