Mid-Missouri Superhero

1 decade 3 months 6 days ago June 20, 2006 Jun 20, 2006 Tuesday, June 20 2006 Tuesday, June 20, 2006 9:42:23 AM CDT in News

"Josh has a reputation of doing very well in tough situations."

But, you won't find this Superman's life story in a comic book. Although Josh is surrounded by lots of people now, he had no one just two years ago.

"It was sudden for me because I didn't think she would go that quick," he recalled.

In 2004, when Josh was 16, his mother died from a heart attack. He was an only child, with no family to take care of him, so he went into what the state calls emergency care.

Josh found a new family at Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, a residential treatment center that helps youngsters 11-18 years old.

"Given the obstacles that he's had, graduating high school is just huge," said Resident Director Rebecca Nowlin. "A lot of kids in his position just wouldn't get that far."

Youth Care Specialist J.P. Patten continued, "Oftentimes, kids are going through emotional distractions that distract them from their education duties, so for a kid to have this much success like this is just really a time for us to celebrate."

Regional Vice President Paula Fleming added, "A lot of kids are dealing with behavioral and emotional issues that really take priority in their life and often are distracting to classroom-like activities. So, for someone to reach this point and have the success that Josh has had is really a time to celebrate for us."

Josh graduated from Rock Bridge High School, surrounded by friends and cheered on by his Boys and Girls Town family.

"Family support and everything, they helped me out," he said.

Josh plans to move to his own apartment and to start college.

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