Joseph J is more than a Hurricane Katrina survivor; he is a thriver. Although, his family was displaced by the hurricane and his educational plans disrupted, Joseph found a new home in the Valley and started rebuilding his young life.”When I first arrived in Arizona, I almost immediately enrolled at Glendale Community College and they worked with me to make this transition as seamless as possible. They ensured that the inability to pay would not be an obstacle for me and immediately focused on getting me Foundation general scholarships to assist me with my studies,” says a visibly grateful Joseph.Joseph has a wonderful smile and he has a lot to smile about since making Arizona his home. “For me and my parents, Hurricane Katrina ended up being a blessing in disguise. After the hurricane my parents split up under the stress of losing our home. My mom came to Arizona to stay with relatives and see if we could possibly start a new life here. She encouraged me to come live with her, and eventually she and my dad reconciled. It’s great to have us all back together again!” Now in the nursing program at GCC, Joseph has a 3.5 GPA. “My parents didn’t go to college and it was difficult for them to understand my educational goals, although now that they see how much I have achieved, they are my biggest supporters.” Joseph goes on to say that he always dreamed of going to college out of state and through undeniably difficult circumstances here he is, in college out of his home state. “I know it sounds strange to say that Katrina was a blessing, but right after the hurricane, I was very depressed and I couldn’t even imagine what my next step was going to be. But coming to Arizona, enrolling at GCC, having the immense help of scholarships, making new friends and forming study groups, it was a life that I could never have imagined back home. And what makes it even better is to have my parents together and all of us in our new home.”
"My parents didn’t go to college and it was difficult for them to understand my educational goals. Now they see how much I have achieved."