Living the Strathmore Spirit: Jonathan Otieno

|By Jonathan Otieno|

No one goes to Strathmore University and leaves with the same perception of life. The values are instilled right from the moment you start interacting with the University; stepping foot into the lush vicinity or that e-meet through an email or a video online. It is typical for any organization to have a mission, vision and even values. Their manifestation is ensuring that there are enough structures in place to ensure they are lived and maintained. Not only does Strathmore thrive through this, the University strides on four key strategic pillars: A transformative student experience, Research and Innovation, Service to Society, and the latest one: a transformative staff experience. The harmony in the value system, motto: “Ut omnes unum sint” , which is Latin for “That all may be one”, mission, vision, and the pillars have made the University a model institution that guarantees a special and transformative experience.

The personalized experience

Everyone has a story to tell based on their encounters and experiences: academic, social and so much more. Jonathan, a beneficiary of the Strathmore University Scholarship (service to society wing of the University’s strategic pillars) tells his story of how this wing transformed his approach to life.

Jonathan joined Strathmore University in 2016 under the Strathmore University Scholarship Scheme. He has since participated generously in all the Christmas bucket challenges from First year through to Fourth year. As he puts it, “There was no other better way to extend my sincerest gratitude to humanity by giving back to the community”.

This inspired him to go ahead and create an extended version of the bucket challenge, an initiative by Strathmore to help students give back to the community.  “Heart to Heart Aims”, an initiative by Jonathan, has the main agenda of sharing the Christmas joy with people in the society that do not have the privilege to have a decent Christmas experience. Jonathan, raises funds from friends, family and support from the Church and other organizations to help spread the Christmas cheer to the less privileged in the society. This, he hopes, will gather momentum and get more people into the spirit of giving at any time of the year. “We have now extended these charity events to take place occasionally through the year and not just Christmas”, he adds.

Just as many other Stratizens, Jonathan takes home some very important lessons to help transform the society in his capacity and in whatever little way. He believes this is what the Strathmore spirit is all about.

He concludes in the words of Frank Guzzetta, “There is nothing more rewarding than giving back and making a difference in the lives of people in this great community”.


Jonathan Otieno is a Strathmore University alumnus and staff at the Career Development Services.