Wanja Ogongi

Wanja Ogongi, a native of Kenya, grew up with a strong conviction that all human beings are equally entitled to the same human rights. She was drawn to social work because the profession's fundamental values mirrored perfectly her own personal values and aspirations, providing her the perfect platform to pursue social justice and human rights for all.

During her time at WCU, Wanja completed her MSW field education in child welfare and pediatric medical care. She went on to work as a foster care social worker in Philadelphia and is currently Assistant Professor of Social Work at Millersville University of PA.

Wanja’s work in foster care prepared her for the highly regarded Stoneleigh Emerging Leader Fellowship Program for which she was selected in 2009. Partnering with Community Legal Services (CLS), Wanja conducted qualitative research to identify the factors contributing to high rates of re-entry of families to the foster care. Her work led to a statewide (PA) adoption of a new policy on post reunification planning for all children exiting the Pennsylvania child welfare system and reunifying with their families.


Barriers to Successful Reunification of Children With Their Families After Foster Care


About her experience in WCU’s MSW program, Wanja says,

“The mentoring I received from my professors and the relationships that have continued to date inspired me, as a first generation black woman, to reach to heights in my career that I'd never have imagined. They encouraged and challenged me to be the best me that I possibly can be. I owe my career and accomplishments in America to Dr. Nadine Bean!”

Wanja has also used her skills and expertise to advocate for child and family rights in her home country. She encourages others interested in social work to pursue their goals, saying:

“The social work degree is one of the most versatile degrees one can acquire. A degree in social work opens many avenues for you, the sky is really the limit!”


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