Patrick Odongo now with Iwata Bolts Inc. has been a big part of Ugali Youth since its inception in 2001. His passion to serve and love for humanity together with widespread connections with religious figures, earned him a presidential scholarship to study Psychology at Xavier University, Cincinnati Ohio. Upon graduation, Patrick worked with various social services agencies across the Tri-state, gathering a wealth of knowledge that he now deems very useful in supporting the youth in his home country of Kenya.
Patrick is a product of humble beginnings compounded with dysfunctional family dynamics. He understands what it means by going without, food, shelter, clothing, and love firsthand. He has not forgotten where he came from and the plight of the youth facing the same hardships. Having supported twenty students through Ugali high school sponsorship over the years, Patrick believes its time to speak to the spiritual, psychological and emotions challenges of these kids using the tools learned from Xavier University. His life challenges as a troubled youth himself offer him a beautiful platform with a clear panoramic view on how to tackle and navigate life challenges with ease.
Daniel Goleman’s best-selling book, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, (Bantam, 1995), challenged him to critically try to study and understand emotional intelligence as a key factor in predicting success or failure in all aspects of his relationships – school, work, family, friendships – and in the well-being and optimism that is the consequence of self-esteem. He concluded that Emotional literacy is the ability to identify, manage, and express his emotions maturely and conscientiously.
Patrick understands first hand the consequences resulting from a lack of social-emotional literacy and from his experience it can be staggering… abusive behavior toward others or oneself; high levels of frustration, anger, sadness, and personal suffering; inept parenting, addictions of all sorts, and much physical dis-ease. Social-emotional illiteracy is a pivotal factor underlying most youth in his native country Kenya.
Patrick believes that the good news is that emotional literacy skills can be learned at any time in life. Social-emotional learning results in the ability to read one’s feelings as well as the feelings of others. When the youth develop emotional literacy skills, they are better able to identify, express, and manage their feelings. There are greater options for effectively dealing with stress and tension. There is greater impulse control. There is heightened self-awareness and self-understanding. Social skills and the ability to communicate effectively are enhanced. Consequently, behaviors and attitudes that arise from emotional literacy skills support and reflect self-esteem, empathy toward others, and appropriate action in our world today.
The cultivation of emotional intelligence nurtures and elicits the best in youth. Knowing this, it surely makes good sense to offer the necessary resources to support emotional literacy for every youth at risk. Patrick believes that the Kenyan youth could significantly benefit from the heightened emotional intelligence and resulting confidence gained through specific education in this domain.
With a big heart and tons of funny and crazy stories to share, Patrick sees his life as an adventure full of tears and laughter. He loves life so much and has no regret and neither does he feel sorry for himself. Instead, he sees his struggles as beautiful teaching moments, life lessons that strengthened him and made him who he is today. All he can say is that God’s grace is sufficient for us and He cannot put you through what you cannot handle. Despite all, Patrick has discovered spirituality, love and deep forgiveness, changing his life tremendously. So please join him in counting our blessings! Because God promises us that even though weeping may endure for a night, joy will sure come in the morning.
Together in our loving father’s embrace-
Your servant Patrick