wo years ago, Josh was homeless. Today, he’s on track to graduate from the Olympic College welding program and pursue a career in a field he loves.
That’s an amazing transformation and it’s why Josh is a 2018 winner of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges Transforming Lives Award.
It hasn’t been easy. “I have good days and bad days, but what keeps me going is that I have a community of people who believe in me,” he said.
“Believe in yourself and know there are people there for you and you can succeed.”
Supporters include his caseworker at Coffee Oasis, who helped him find housing and direction, and the OC Foundation and Students in Need Group, which provided a scholarship, school supplies and welding safety equipment.
The result is extraordinary – a student who barely graduated from high school started to believe in himself and to excel.
“The difference between high school and community college is that this program is something I’m passionate about,” he said.
His advice to others considering enrolling at OC?
“Believe in yourself and know there are people there for you and you can succeed,” he said. “Be willing to ask for help. See what’s out there. I did and it changed my life.”