Desire to serve brings presidential opportunities to Amram
08 Dec. 2016
As Amram continued his education, schoolchildren were required to have a uniform and a pair of shoes. He had six brothers and two sisters, so his parents did not have extra money to buy the clothing needed. People in his village stepped in to help support him, impressed by his resolve. Little did they know he would eventually run for President in Kenya hoping to serve those who had served him.
Amram studied for years and met missionaries four months after Kenya registered The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Africa. He began listening to the discussions and was converted. One week after his baptism, he was called to be a branch mission leader.
Three years later, at very young age, Amram was called to serve a full-time mission in the Kenya-Nairobi Mission. He was given only one day to prepare. “It taught me that you can go anyplace the Lord wants you to go,” he said. “I plan things out, but Heavenly Father sometimes has other ideas. I rely on the Spirit to direct my life.”
After his mission, Amram was determined to come to America to further his education. His family and friends sacrificed to help him obtain a student visa and airfare. He applied to LDS Business College and was accepted.
Amram will never forget his first day of school at the College. As he had never touched a computer before, he had enrolled in a beginning class in computers. “The professor walked in and said, ‘I’ll teach you to log in,’ ” he said. “I thought, ‘Log in? What does that mean?’ ”
After two years at LDSBC, Amram earned three degrees: accounting, computer information technology and an associate of science. He also earned an accounting certificate. His love of learning led him to study financial and medical classes that would enable him to better serve his countrymen in Africa when he returned.
“I came to America with no skills in business,” he said. “LDS Business College prepared me for so many things and opened a lot of doors. I’m so glad I chose to attend. I’m grateful for the wonderful people and professors that made it possible for me to succeed, that made me what I am today.”
Amram’s education, service and learning experiences did not stop there. He went on to receive a Masters of Accountancy from Westminster College receiving The Graduate Student Outstanding Award in Salt Lake City, Utah.
He has since worked for the Church in its finance department, worked part-time teaching Swahili at BYU, and is the founder and president of Musungu HIV-AIDS Support Organization. He volunteered for the Salt Lake Winter Olympics in 2002, sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and has translated Swahili for LDS General Conference and publications when needed.
Amram baptized Noelle Olenga when studying at the University of Utah in 2003. They were married in 2006 and have two children.
Amram currently does auditing work for KPMG and other companies. He volunteers to help Swahili-speaking refugees integrate into American culture and receive the restored Gospel. He is also on the board for Shamba Foundation, a non-profit organization doing work in Kenya.
One year ago, Amram was approached by Kenya politicians to represent them as a Presidential nominee in the upcoming 2017 election. Their trust and confidence in his leadership potential, as well as his integrity and his vision for the citizens there, are among the many reasons he was chosen.
“When I arrived at LDSBC, I promised everyone that I would get an education, train well and return to Kenya to provide better leadership to my people,” said Amram. “I have lived that dream. I agreed to run for President as my family and I feel very strongly that this is what our Heavenly Father wants us to do.”
Amram has a vision to give citizens in Kenya a better future full of hope. He plans to establish government that is transparent and openly discusses issues with citizens for the best resolution. He also wants to establish better relationships with neighboring countries.
“I have always dreamed of returning to Kenya to render honest and loving service and compassion for my people,” Amram said.
Throughout his life of learning and service, Amram’s advice to LDSBC students specifically is to “Dream big, be kind, and serve others. Follow the honor code, prepare to lead, and be prayerful. Put God first in all your endeavors, and you will make a positive difference in this complex world.”