POSITIVE CHANGE

 

At the end of 2013, Josh successfully completed his GED. Since then, he has not stopped furthering his education. 

In a place that is not intellectually stimulating, Josh creates academic opportunities for himself on a daily basis. He works at the prison library, signs up for educational programs whenever they are available to him, and continues his education through other sources, such as Blackstone and Stratford Career Institute. Here's a picture of Josh's official GED diploma:

When Josh learned about the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program that Xavier University offered at the Warren Correctional Institution, he immediately applied to it. Several weeks later, he was admitted into the program. Over the course of an entire semester, Josh -together with a select few inmates- participated in discussions surrounding crime and punishment, rehabilitation, and many other issues that relate to incarceration. He completed the course with an A-, and received this certificate for his efforts in class. 

While completing the Inside-Out course, Josh also continued his education through Blackstone Career Institute. He wanted to become a paralegal, so he could help himself and others with their cases. 

In 2016, Josh graduated with honors from Blackstone Career Institute where he received a certificate in Paralegal Studies.

 

Josh has since completed a Psychology and Social Work program with honors, and he is currently enrolled in a Canine Specialist program through Stratford Career Institute. Eventually, he would like to get his Associate's and Bachelor's Degree through either Adams State or Ohio University.

Find out more about Josh's positive change behind bars by clicking on any of the green buttons below. 

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For prisoners, family bonds are extremely important. Josh has participated in The Family is First Project for two years. This program helps inmates establish strong relationships with their families. Furthermore, Josh and Steff have completed a pre-marital correspondence course. After more than 8 years of being together, the two have plans to get married. Steff is a teacher in Cincinnati, Ohio, and owns a home that Josh could come home to. 

So far, Josh has trained more than 40 dogs for 4 Paws for Ability, a non-profit organization in Xenia, Ohio. 4 Paws places service dogs with both veterans and children with special needs. Josh is responsible for potty training and basic obedience. He teaches the dogs to sit, lay down, give paw, etc. He also makes sure that the puppies get plenty of play time. In addition, Josh took care of several staff members' dogs when he was incarcerated at Warren Correctional.

Besides furthering his education, building strong relationships with his loved ones, and training service dogs for children with special needs, Josh also participates in a wide variety of programs. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, Josh signs up for classes and programs that help him learn from and with others. Josh loves to engage with people who, like him, try to lead meaningful and productive lives from behind bars. 

In his free time, Josh likes to draw and create things out of a variety of materials (such as oil pastels, wood, etc.). He enjoys building jewelry boxes and other items out of popsicle sticks and cedar wood.

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