Josh's path to academic success was long and arduous. In ninth grade, Josh's reading and writing skills ranged from a 2nd to 4th grade level. Eventually, he dropped out of high school. Since his incarceration in 2005, however, he has received his GED, completed a Paralegal Program, as well as a Psychology and Social Work Program. And he currently works on his Associates Degree through Sinclair Community College.
So far, Josh has trained 55 dogs for 4 Paws For Ability, a non-profit organization in Xenia, Ohio. 4 Paws places service dogs with 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. When incarcerated at Warren Correctional Institution, Josh also took care of several staff members' dogs through the Doggy Daycare Program.
For incarcerated individuals, having a support network is extremely important. At Warren Correctional Institution, Joshua and Stefanie participated in The Family is First Project for two years. They also completed a pre-marital course together that helped them strengthen the foundation of their relationship. Through Stefanie, Joshua has gotten to know a lot of compassionate and caring people that are looking forward to embracing him once he comes home. Stefanie owns a home in Cincinnati that she hopes to share with Josh soon.
Besides furthering his education, training service dogs for children with special needs, and building strong relationships for a life outside prison, Josh likes to participate in a variety of programs. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, he signs up for classes and programs that allow him to learn from and with others. Josh likes to engage with people who, like him, try to lead meaningful and productive lives from behind bars.