MAKING A DIFFERENCE

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Josh Galloway is not your average teenager. He is a young man who knows what he wants in life and who knows that his life has a purpose. His journey toward gaining that knowledge is filled with people who have guided him and who have made all the difference in the path he has chosen to take.

 Born the oldest of three boys, Josh moved to Walton Reserve nine years ago when he was in 4th grade. Being raised by his grandmother, he was taught to have respect for others, but he was a very quiet, shy child. “Everything changed when we moved to Walton Reserve,” said Josh. He started attending the Adventure Center as soon as they moved to the community, and continued through the 5th grade, when he “aged out” of the program. He did not, however, let that stop him. He began volunteering in the 6th grade and continued to do so on and off all the way through high school. This was largely because of the relationships he had with his teachers there – Mr. Van Dyke, Mr. Corey Harris and Ms. Shante Hambrick. When he got off the bus each day after school, he could have gone home to his grandmother, whom he loves, but chose instead to participate at the Adventure Center because of the family feel there. It was fun. They learned a lot there and did a lot of crazy things, like Freaky Fridays, but they also motivated each other. This is something that he hopes kids now will remember about the Center and his involvement there now that he is older. “Without the Adventure Center,” he said, “I would have been home doing nothing. Instead, I was able to do something that meant something to me and something where I was also able to make a difference to another kid.”

 “The Adventure Center helped me get out of my shyness and helped me to mature. I had male teachers there – something I’d never had before. They were role models to me, they spoke truth to me and told me the things I needed to do to grow as a young man. I looked up to them.”

 When asked about his favorite memory of the Adventure Center, he quickly responded, “Every Wednesday night we had a guys’ meeting. Mr. Van Dyke taught scriptures and taught us how to draw. We talked and played games and had some really personal conversations. It was just for guys and it was something I really needed.” Josh remembers the name of every boy who participated in that group, even though they have all now moved away. That was a golden time in his young life, and a real turning point.

 Josh successfully graduated from Pebblebrook High School in May 2016. That same summer, he started working as a Property Monitor at Walton Reserve – a job he enjoys because he takes pride in his work and gets to meet more people in the community. He is well thought of by other folks in the community. He is still very respectful and he is still quiet, but it is a quiet confidence that he now has. His future plans include joining the military. He has a strong desire to serve his country. He would also like to attend college, majoring in Political Science. We know that whatever he decides to do in the future, he will be successful, since he makes it a point to surround himself with positive role models. We know we will be hearing lots of good things about Josh in the years to come.

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