Joseph is a co-founder of The Proving Groundz, a company geared to train the next generation of esports champs. He invites Grafton students to compete in his weekly gaming events and hopes to start workshops in esports broadcasting and online etiquette. Joseph said he wanted to do something for Job Corps since “They essentially saved my life.”
He recently shared his journey with Grafton students.
“As a young boy I was raised by my grandmother until she passed when I was 12. After her death, I bounced around the foster care systems for three years until the state located my mother and forced her to take me back into custody. She was not a willing participate, and I was eventually sent to live with my dad. By 17, I was a runaway and high school dropout. My life was spiraling downwards fast; I was homeless and traveling from state to state and couch to couch.
“When I was 24, Job Corps found me and has played a major role in my personal and business success. During my time in Job Corps I took up culinary arts. I learned my trade at a rampant pace and I graduated in just over four months.
“You might ask how this was possible; it was possible with a dream and drive. I was good at my trade and staff helped keep me on task and focused on my goals and dreams while also making me feel as part of a family, a team and a person with future independent of my past. I went on to earn my GED and trade diploma and through it all, the values I left Job Corps with are still with me today, ‘No one left behind.’
“The Proving Groundz was fostered and developed around the same principles. We accept gamers, streamers, broadcasters, fans and players of any level of interest or skill.
“I want to say to each and every student walking through the doors of Job Corps, ‘Do not give up on yourself, I will never give up on you, even if we never meet. You will forever be part of my family and I am proud to have faith in each of you.'”
Joseph’s uplifting story was featured in This Week in Worcester.