From Inglewood, meet California student leader Joshua, Be Strong’s October 2021 Student of the Month!
“The most important thing to me is being a light and showing strength in my community. Giving people hope through compassion and kindness, no matter the circumstances, inspires them to do the same for others.”
Joshua is a wunderkind of exceptional merit — not only has he excelled academically with astonishing accomplishments at age 16, but he’s also been committed to spreading kindness, positivity and friendship for over five years as a Be Strong Student State Representative.
Joshua now serves as President of the Be Strong Student State Representative program, leading over 3,900 students across the country. In fact, the program’s very creation was sparked when Joshua met Be Strong’s Executive Director, Ashleigh Cromer, in 2016. His journey with Be Strong started when he experienced bullying at school.
“At first, I didn’t have a light there for me in my corner when I was being bullied,” Joshua said. “Be Strong and its leaders were able to comfort me, opening doors for me spiritually, emotionally and physically.
With the support he received from Be Strong, Joshua learned the importance of positive peer influences through the program. He quickly got involved with the organization and stepped up as a leader to inspire strength and resiliency in those around him.
“Be Strong brought a light and was able to support me in many ways early on in my life,” Joshua said. “I’ve been able to be a light and provide that support to students and even people older than me now. Many people have very limited access to important mental health resources because of their circumstances, and Be Strong is able to be a bridge to those resources.”
Now well into his college education at a comparatively young age, Joshua continues to serve as a resource for his classmates and peers — he’s even found new ways to serve during shutdowns due to Coronavirus. Connecting and speaking virtually offers Joshua the comfort of home along with the opportunity to reach a wide audience with his messages.
“It’s more comfortable for me, being home and not having to have anxious feelings about going into certain environments that I’m not very comfortable in,” Joshua said. “Normally, I would get these flashbacks of my time in school being tormented. Virtual communication has allowed me to teach these important life skills in the same way but without the stress. I’m able to see that growth in the people I speak with both online and offline.”
Empathetic, well-spoken and always gracious, Joshua is a friend to anyone and everyone. As he looks forward to graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education next year, Joshua’s bound to make an impact wherever life takes him next.
“I want to expand my reach to the entire globe of students who might be suffering,” Joshua said. “I feel that is what my personal mission is. I go into situations knowing that greater difficulty leads to more glory in surmounting it. You’ve always got to hold onto hope as you continue to dream more. It provides me with the confidence to move forward and keep striving for my goals and beyond.”