Year Joined MKLM: 2021
Country: El Salvador
Town: Planes de Renderos/El Cedro
Ministry: Teaching and tutoring at Roberto & Marziano Marzari Community Center in El Cedro; and catechetics at San Antonio Parish in Planes de Renderos
MINISTRY AREA: Education and Leadership Training
GOAL OF MINISTRY: To increase educational and eventually employment opportunities for young people in this underserved area.
Young people in El Salvador, particularly in poor, rural communities, have trouble finding the opportunities, resources and support they need to dream big dreams and envision a better future for themselves. The public school system is lacking and there are few examples for them of people finding a way to rise above their circumstances. Most students from these communities don’t graduate from high school, let alone university,
Josh’s work focuses on serving El Cedro’s children and youth through a variety of educational projects. His work ranges from academics to catechesis and reaches students from 3 to 18 years of age, as well as adults.
Two mornings a week, he works with El Cedro’s youngest students at a local kindergarten run by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul. He assists the teachers in the 3- to 4-year-old, 5-year-old, and 6-year-old classrooms as well as leading his own English and physical education classes.
He serves a similar role in assisting the teachers at the local primary school, which houses grades 1 to 9. Along with supporting the school’s English teachers, he also gives individual tutoring sessions to students who need extra support learning to read, write and perform basic mathematic functions.
Along with his work in the local schools, Josh has begun his own academic support programs in the community. These include English and math enrichment classes for primary school students, an advanced English class for adults, and a growing weekend program for high school students.
Outside of academics, Josh also serves as a catechist for the Catholic church in El Cedro, working specifically with confirmation candidates.
Before joining Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Josh spent two years working with students from fourth to 12th grade as part of the Steel City Squash program in Pittsburgh. He previously worked at a similar program, Racquet Up Detroit, as a Jesuit Volunteer in Detroit. For six years prior, he was a sports information director in college athletics. Josh graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism. His hobbies include sports, playing the drums, photography, videography and graphic design.