Though she was not in healthcare for most of her career, Josephine Okolie has been taking care of people for most of her life. The oldest child in her family in Nigeria, Josephine grew up with three siblings. Her family was Catholic, and Josephine wanted to be a nun. As she began the early stages of the journey to becoming a nun, she began working for American Life Insurance as an executive assistant. When the time came to take her vows, Josephine decided against becoming one because it would require her leaving her job which was helping to pay the school fees for all of her siblings.
Josephine married a Nigerian prince (son of the chief) in 1974 and together, they had three beautiful children: two daughters and one son. Josephine began working for a Canadian engineering company, which she stayed working with for 36 years, and eventually moved into the position of payroll manager. As an additional benefit, her company offered to pay for her daughter’s schooling in Florida. When her daughter finished school, she married and moved to Florida, and Josephine moved with her to help care for soon-to-be grandchildren.
Josephine has always had a heart for learning, and when she made the transition to the United States, her move to Atlanta was to fulfill her desire to serve in ministry. She had given her life to Jesus in 1985 and became a member of the Pentecostal church. The pastor of her church in Atlanta encouraged her to pursue further ministry education and through this community, she received her GED at age 66, further moving to obtain her bachelors, masters, and PhD in theology.
Josephine was drawn to ministry because she deeply loves serving others, and she became interested in healthcare because of its tangible application of service in her community. Knowing that it would take far too long for her to become an RN, she enrolled in an LPN program and got her CNA certification.
Josephine has been working with CaraVita for over a year now. She loves being a part of the CaraVita team.
“I love serving people. I like to see people happy—it fills me up! To know that I am contributing, even if it’s only a little, to their well-being, is a rewarding thing for me.”
It is easy to see how passionate Josephine is about providing quality care for her clients. She can often be found singing and dancing with them to old familiar tunes and has a particular knack in caring for those living with dementia. Her last client would always tell her with a huge smile on her face, “I just love you. Will you come live with me?”
Her kindness, compassion, love of learning, and desire to provide the best quality care to those she works with is why Josephine is November’s Caregiver of the Month. When asked about her three greatest accomplishments in life, Josephine said, “Giving my life to Jesus, caring for my four grandchildren, and…”—with a big grin on her face—”being caregiver of the month!”