MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Founder, President and Chief Change Maker
As I start my senior year, I look back on my past experiences in both middle and high school. I think about how much I’ve grown and changed, as well as the amount of growth the foundation has experienced. Senior year is a transition period where the young adult begins a new journey in his life. I also realize that the foundation is in its own transition period. We are at a point where we must reevaluate our values and update our mission statement.
Joshua’s Heart Foundation (JHF) began because I had a vision to change the world. This vision has come to fruition over the years, but it has also evolved as I too have grown. I started with a vision that focused solely on stomping out world hunger. Although this is still one of my goals, I’ve learned about other global issues. Specifically, the need for clean water, shelter, and education are all global issues that we must resolve. Joshua’s Heart has impacted people in a variety of ways, including through food distributions, book distributions, or overseeing relief efforts. Our youth members also target various issues of which they are passionate. Clearly, Joshua’s Heart is much more than stomping out hunger. We tackle numerous global issues and try to make the world a better place.
Before I started Joshua’s Heart, I searched for a youth-powered organization to join, but instead found limited options. After all, many organizations require a minimum age of 16 or 18 to become involved. So, when I incorporated into a 501(c)3 organization, I made sure there was no age limit. As long as you had a desire to change the world, you could join. One of our core values is empowering youth to assume leadership roles with Joshua’s Heart, powering the engine that drives the organization. We have kept true to this value and it is one that will always stay with us. The development of the Junior Advisor Board and their continued success has strengthened youth leadership in the organization and the future of Joshua’s Heart.
Furthermore, senior year also means that many of our older kids will be graduating and leaving for college, myself included. With this in mind, I have thought deeply about legacy throughout the last three years. Someone once shared this quote by Myles Monroe with me:
“True leaders don’t invest in buildings. Jesus never built a building. They invest in people. Why? Because success without a successor is failure. So, your legacy should not be in buildings, programs, or projects; your legacy must be in people.”
This quote has helped me understand the direction in which I must lead JHF next. I need to further build upon the youth volunteers in my organization and invest in my volunteers. Although I will be actively involved with the organization and different communities as I go to college, it’s important to pass the torch onto another passionate young leader. This is necessary, as the next generation of leadership will also introduce new ideas, innovation, and energies to the foundation. And we, the alumni, will always be there as mentors, aids, and supporters for the new generation who will now power the engine that drives the organization forward.
Reflecting on JHF’s growth over the past 6 years has helped me to reestablish a new mission statement for the foundation. This is a statement that maintains the core values of the organization, while promoting the new paths to which we are committed.
“To inspire and empower youth to tackle global issues and change the world through kindness, teamwork, and determination.”
I also must thank God for showing me one of my passions. He allowed me to be able to help others and to learn the value of giving. Everything I am and everything I have experienced is because of God’s will and his plan for me. Every day I wake up I’m grateful to be in the position that I am in.