Founder and Executive Director
Vitendo 4 Africa
Location: St. Louis, MO
A winner of America’s diversity visa lottery, which randomly selects 50,000 green card recipients from an applicant pool of 23 million annually, Geoffrey Soyiantet picked St. Louis to settle in because he knew someone here from his native Kenya. But life wasn’t easy when he arrived in 2004. Although he held a B.A. in economics, his lack of American education, experience or references made it hard to find a job.
After supporting himself in housekeeping at Holiday Inn while earning an MBA from Lindenwood University, he found his footing. Determined to help other Africans avoid the struggles he went through, Soyiantet founded Vitendo 4 Africa.
The mission of Vitendo 4 Africa, a non-profit firm, is to welcome, connect and empower healthier immigrant individuals and families through the provision of support and services and by coordinating resources.
“The African community contributes significantly to the general economic growth of our region but unfortunately, some individuals believe immigrants come to take away resources,” Soyiantet said. “Thus, there was and is a great need to educate the local community about immigrant contributions through allowing immigrants to share their stories regarding their unique journeys.”
Vitendo 4 Africa provides this forum for discussion while providing immigrant and refugee families with direct services and interconnected resources to improve their quality of life.
“Geoffrey has done a great job of impacting many immigrant families by connecting them to opportunities and resources,” said his staff. “Many young people are living successful lives through the help of V4A mentorship programs that help students with college readiness, scholarships and employment.”
As the founder, president and executive director of Vitendo 4 Africa, Soyiantet also started a refugee children’s mental health program that is now dubbed “Helping Hands Champions.” Through his leadership, the organization has helped more than 22,000 immigrants from 27 nationalities.
“Geoffrey is a people person and very good at public relations, allowing him to create partnerships in a very smooth way,” said his staff.
His efforts have not gone unnoticed. Soyiantet was named the Diversity and Inclusion Champion by the St. Louis Business Journal and received the Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Award from North County.
As a leader, he’s always been focused on doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. “Great leaders build intentional-learning cultures around them and see opportunity in diversity,” Soyiantet said. “Great leadership is when you recruit and promote from diverse pools of candidates.”
For his commitment to diversity and inclusion as a leader, Soyiantet has been named a Titan.
Geoffrey is a community organizer who has been able to unite the African Immigrant community, pastors, and Imams.