Bolton Hill welcomed a new resident, Oge Okoli, in December 2022. Originally from southeastern Virginia and a Nigerian-American family, Oge was drawn to our neighborhood’s rich history and the unique character of the homes. ”Row homes are not common where I am from, so getting to live in one has been a new and enjoyable experience,” she shared.
Oge, 23, is currently pursuing her master’s degree in biotechnology at Johns Hopkins University. She has five high-achieving brothers “scattered all over the United States.” Her parents arrived in the U.S. in the 1980s.
“I am currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins; however, I am not a medical student, yet. Medical school is my goal, but for now, I am getting my M.S. in biotechnology with a concentration in regenerative and stem cell technologies. I love my program because it has helped me review the basic sciences while keeping me informed on cutting-edge research and developments in the biotechnology sphere, especially as it relates to gene therapy and stem cells.”
Her goal is to become a psychiatrist so she can support people’s mental health journeys. ”I am very passionate about mental health and would love to be in a position to help people navigate it,” Oge explained. In addition to her studies, she works as a surgical technician, pharmacy technician, and art teacher. “I get to work with a local nonprofit to provide art classes to people experiencing homelessness. My students are brilliant, and it is truly my privilege to get to work with them.”
Oge has enjoyed exploring Bolton Hill and getting to know community members in her limited free time. “I absolutely loved the Arts in the Parks series. Through that I was able to discover the variety of outdoor spaces in the neighborhood as well as meet more of my neighbors,” she said. Local eateries like Llama’s Corner, On the Hill and Brass Tap have become her go-to spots.
“When I want to relax, I enjoy playing board games with friends, roller skating and practicing my juggling. I also enjoy learning new skills, like sewing, and reading scientific articles.” With a background working in greenhouses, Oge has appreciated our proximity to Rawlings Conservatory and the greenery in Druid Hill Park. You may catch her crocheting in one of our neighborhood parks or playing her violin on nice days.
Oge’s parting advice? “Please talk to your neighbors when you can! We live in such a colorful community with people of many different backgrounds, perspectives, and values. I am so grateful to constantly be learning from the people of Bolton Hill, whether it is a conversation with an encouraging and insightful Hopkins professor at Llama’s Corner or twirling streamers with a friend in Arnold Sumpter Park while live music plays. There is so much love to be felt throughout this community and always something new to experience.”