Class of 2014 Success Stories: A sacrifice for education

Marvin Njoroge makes the most out of his time at BGSU

Marvin Njoroge

By Amy West

From a very young age, Marvin Njoroge’s parents instilled in him the importance of education. Njoroge, who is from Kenya, credits his success to the sacrifices made by his parents. He will graduate from the College of Business Administration on Dec. 19 with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics as well as a Master of Arts in Economics.

“My mum was both a mother and a father to my younger brother and me. Not because she was widowed or a single parent, but because my parents chose to make a sacrifice to provide resources for our education,” Njoroge said.

His father, a civil engineer, earned a competitive salary that enabled the family to set aside education funds for their children. However, this career forced his father to spend an enormous amount of time traveling to other countries, which resulted in time away from his family.

“It took me awhile to realize the magnitude of the sacrifice my parents made for us,” admitted Njoroge. “But once I did, I aligned my goals and objectives towards repaying them by working hard in school and making the most of every opportunity provided to me.”

Njoroge’s high school counselor recommended he work with the American Education Advising Center in Nairobi to find a compatible study abroad opportunity in the United States. They helped match him with an appropriate university based on his preferences regarding programs of interest, school size and tuition costs. Njoroge selected BGSU based on these criteria.

During his five years in Bowling Green, Njoroge has served as president of the African Peoples Association, is an honorary member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, a member of the National Association of Black Accountants and a member of the World Student Association.

“From the first time I met Marvin, I was impressed with his maturity and ability,” said Distinguished Teacher Professor Mary Ellen Benedict, chair of the economics department. “My economics faculty members share my impression. Marvin has been an excellent addition to our majors and has served many students as one of our department tutors. I will be sad to see him go, but I know he will excel at whatever he does.”

In some ways, Njoroge’s and his father’s sacrifices were similar. Njoroge spent a significant amount of time at a Kenyan boarding school, and while he was accustomed to being on his own, he had never been out of the country. He considered studying abroad a dream, but going to the U.S. brought out mixed emotions. He knew leaving his family behind in Africa would be the absolute test in his pursuit of success.

Although leaving was hard, Njoroge said BGSU helped ease his transition.

“I may have left behind my family in Kenya years ago, but I was welcomed with open arms to a second family, my Falcon family,” he said. “The highly diverse Falcon family has seen me through the thickest of winters and the muggiest of summers. This family has provided me with a support system built on love, acceptance, appreciation, recognition and most importantly, a sense of belonging.”

Njoroge has some promising job opportunities on the horizon and plans to gain work experience in the United States. However, his ultimate goal is to head back to Kenya and settle closer to his family. His mother will be among the crowd in the Stroh Center watching proudly as her son receives his diploma.

“I may have come to the United States, and BGSU in particular, in search of a higher education, but I get to leave with more. Instead of just a degree, I gained an experience. Instead of being detached from my family, I gained an additional one. And most importantly, I was able to validate my parents’ sacrifices by making something out of my life,” he said.