In October 2010, I was profiled by the University of Southern Maine. Here is what they wrote about me.
"Josephine Okot came to Portland from Sudan. She enrolled in USM with a goal “to work very hard, become a social worker…” and help others in the refugee community. “Everybody has different goals,” she told us, “but we all have the same dream. We want to be out there helping our community…so we can live a better life in Portland. I feel like I belong here.”
Today, I work for the Community Counseling Center as a social worker. I am very proud to be helping all kinds of people get the support they need during periods of grief and other traumas. I feel that my experience working with distressed people has prepared me well to serve all of Portland on the School Board.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
On September 27, Josephine was endorsed by the Maine League of Young Voters. She was endorsed over the incumbent. Josephine, who is 29 and grew up in Portland, is honored by the endorsement, "I am the candidate for all voters concerned with improving our public schools and making the real changes needed for our children. My time in Portland schools prepared me for life and I want to make sure all of our students can attend schools without fear of bullying, have caring mentors who can prepare them for life after graduation and can get to and from school safely and quickly using as much public transportation as possible".
Monday, September 19, 2011
Hello and welcome to my campaign's webpage! My name is Josephine Okot and I am a longtime Portland resident and a first time candidate for office. I am running for Portland School Board At-Large. My family and I immigrated to the Maine from Sudan in 1996 and attended Portland schools, including King Middle School and Portland High School. I'm 29 years old, have two children, one of whom attends the Ocean Avenue School. I graduated from University of Southern Maine with a degree in social work. Since graduating, I have worked for United Somali Women of Maine advocating as a multicultural youth educator. In my spare time, I teach African dance and volunteer on the boards of the Maine Center for African Heritage and other organizations. My top issues are:
- Working to prevent school violence, particularly bullying. Our children need to feel safe in schools and we need a holistic approach to the issue. As a parent, I take this issue very personally.
- Our schools need stronger ties for mentoring programs. There is a direct link between having a mentor in a child's life and graduating from high school. Incorporating and supporting both programs and mentors will increase our graduation rate and help fulfill our city's promise to our children.
- We need low or no cost public transportation for middle and high school students to save money. Incorporating more and more of our teenagers into the public transportation system will save us money by eliminating some busing. It will also encourage all students to explore our city and love the city as I do.