Get to Know Emmanuel Osemota
“Together, we can change the world by lifting people out of poverty and empowering them to be self-sustaining.”
For years, Emmanuel has followed his dream to change the world one community at a time by breaking down barriers in the public health sector. With each organization that he partners with, his work has led to constituents getting better services and care in less time.
With a background in government service and Public Health, Emmanuel is hyper-focused on working with clients whose programs have a direct effect on community members’ well-being.
Emmanuel grew up in the diverse small town of Auchi, Edo State in Nigeria. There he was taught the importance of hard work from his parents, who always encouraged him to show respect for those around him.
During his adolescence, Emmanuel discovered that the best way to help the world around him was to start making change in his own community. At 15 years old, he began volunteering with local groups to help kids receive life-saving polo vaccines. During this time, he was stricken with a bought of malaria and almost lost his life.
While being cared for at the hospital, Emmanuel met an inspirational and compassionate doctor who treated the malaria. The experience became the catalyst for Emmanuel’s eventual career in public health and service.
The circumstances he experienced in that hospital bed forged a man determined to provide care for those in need. Today, Emmanuel looks back at that early experience as his first realization of the importance of having efficient systems in place for organizations to effectively treat, provide security for, and implement foreign and local aid programs. He has worked ever since to remove barriers that prevent people from receiving the care they need.
CAREER & EDUCATION
Emmanuel came to the United States to improve his own understanding of the complicated world of public health. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Florida International University and, while at FIU, began to understand the advantages of building a robust network of like-minded individuals through his work as Senator at Large in the Student Government Association. There he was able to directly meet the concerns of the general student body, coordinate efforts for improvement, write bills, and work closely with members of the Florida State House.
Emmanuel was instrumental in the efforts to grant students free student software services such as Microsoft Office. This empowered those students with fewer resources to complete their fields of study and become contributing members of society with the benefits of higher education. Emmanuel is a firm believer that education is a cornerstone in improving the lives of any community.
From all these pursuits, Emmanuel garnered many relationships and friendships that continue today, including with the President of FIU, Dr. Mark B. Rosenberg.
After college Emmanuel interned with the Florida Department of Health, serving as a member of the Healthiest Weight Florida Initiative. There he worked closely with the State Surgeon General to tackle the obesity epidemic.
He was also given the opportunity to work as both a Health Educator and a Health Policy Analyst on the Smoke-Free Environments Initiative led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Partnership to Improve Community Health (PICH).
Also, Emmanuel assisted county commissioners and housing authorities in the crafting, adopting, and implementation of smoke-free policies in public housing throughout Miami-Dade County.
During this time, Emmanuel decided to pursue a Masters in Public Health at Florida State University. He was quickly singled out as a community leader and selected as a Class X Fellow to the state’s most prestigious public leadership opportunity, The Florida Gubernatorial Fellows Program.
Through this elite Fellows program, Emmanuel saw the inner workings of the Florida government from the vantage point of the staff from the Executive Office of the Governor. He would attend weekly events and policy seminars led by state leaders, including the then Governor now Senator Scott, Chief Inspector General of Florida, the Honorable Melinda Miguel, State Surgeon General, and various other heads of state agencies.
During and after this program, Emmanuel worked closely with other leaders to improve specific public health programs to operate more efficiently and help create a strategic plan outlining recommendations. He was placed in the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, where he reviewed the Statewide Public Guardianship Office plans and policies identifying how the $3 million approved budget by Florida’s FY 2014-15 should be utilized.
The success of this strategic plan has led other states across the USA to implement the same measures for their own State Public Guardianship Office, further cementing his personal goal of improving the lives of those who need help at the foundational level.
As an immigrant from Nigeria, Emmanuel understands the disparity in regions that do not have infrastructure like in the USA. For years, he’s worked in the service of thousands of people in South Florida, Nigeria, and Africa through his organization, The Emmanuel Osemota Foundation.
Emmanuel believes in Philanthropy Redefined, which is empowering people from the ground up with common-sense solutions that address the needs of their geographic regions. As a consultant, he works with organizations to teach them how best to implement their aid programs by working with the existing systems in their target areas.
Sometimes government and non-profits help can unintentionally cause more harm than good if there is no authentic experience with the infrastructure of a developing nation. This can lead to local businesses being overlooked in favor of vendors that are not familiar with local problems and needs.
Emmanuel helps aid programs focus more on sustainability with their philanthropy. His work empowers better communication between the distributors and the community in need. He fosters a level of collaboration where everyone is being heard clearly, and real progress can be made.
We live in a dangerous world, and Sub-Saharan Africa is not immune from those people who wish to do harm. Those people who call Africa their home are exposed to many dangers such as human trafficking, kidnapping, and unimaginable horrors.
Emmanuel’s volunteer work through his foundation has led him to be a trusted advisor who the community calls on to conduct negotiations and provide funds to families impacted by these kidnappings by the Nigerian underworld.
The Nigerian community knows that no matter the time of day, Emmanuel will be there to answer the calls and messages he receives from distressed families to offer help.
“We do this because tomorrow needs her”– Emmanuel
Emmanuel is passionate and driven by his dream of changing the world for the next generations to come. Emmanuel lives in Florida and is making a difference in the lives of Floridians.