Joshua Loy – mrW Scholarship Recipient & All-Around Good Guy
Meet Joshua Loy. Josh has two degrees, a BA in History from Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia, and an MA in English as a second language from the University of Birmingham in England. So why is Josh now studying HVAC at Manchester Community College? Well, at 36 he’s in the process of reinventing himself.
In 2008 Josh was living a comfortable life in Japan. He was teaching English as a second language. He’d only intended to do this for 1 year but he was in his fourth year there when he earned his Master’s degree in ESL online. That’s when he got the call that changed his life. His dad told him that doctors had found something on his mom’s pancreas. It turned out to be cancer.
Within a month Josh left his job and moved back home to be with his mother in Thompson, Connecticut. Josh was able to work part time teaching at a local college but always around his mom’s schedule. On November 8, 2008 he became his mother’s full-time caregiver. That’s when he met Gregg Aubin. Mom’s house was over 200 years old and had an oil boiler that was prone to breaking. This was a life threatening situation for a woman going through chemo in the cold Connecticut winter. Gregg owned Aubin & Son Plumbing HTG and he got the call from Josh whenever the furnace went down.
“He was always prompt, courteous and professional. He was also very sensitive to our situation and understood the sense of urgency in restoring our heat. He would drop everything and come right over.” Josh was impressed with Gregg, and grateful for his strong work ethic and understanding.
In June of 2010, Josh’s mom lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.
Josh was devastated. He wasn’t sure what to do next. So, he wrote about it. And that writing became a book called Hug Your Mom: The Memoir of a Caregiver. You can get it on Amazon. But what was next for Josh? He briefly thought about going back to Japan, but ultimately realized whatever direction he was going to go in, he would be starting over – starting from zero. He had a degree to teach so maybe it was time to do that full-time again. But this was 2010 and all he could find was part-time work.
Years later, Josh was working two jobs that kept him busy all day and well into the evening. It was when he was preparing his taxes that he had his epiphany. “I realized I was working two jobs and making a grand total of $28,000.” It didn’t make any sense to keep going in this direction. This is when he remembered Gregg, the helpful plumber who was always there when Josh called.
“This guy has a good thing going. He owns his own business. He’s doing quite well. He’s in a field that thrives no matter how poor the economy is. People always need running water and heat. It just made sense. This is something I should pursue.”
So Josh called Gregg for advice. “He was very encouraging.” He helped Josh start down a new path – one that didn’t require his BA or MA. But it did require training. And that’s how Josh landed at Manchester CC and began reinventing himself. “If only someone had told me this at 18…”
Josh found the mikeroweWORKS work ethic scholarship in an interesting way – it showed up in his news feed on Facebook. He applied and was accepted.
Today, Josh is a newlywed – married to his wife Jennifer for just 7 months. He’s working as an HVAC tech during the day and attending classes at night. His adviser at Manchester is just 24 years old, owns his own house, car and motorcycle. “Nobody I went to college with owned a house at 24.”
If you, or someone you know, would like to reinvent themselves, why not #GetSkilledWithMRW at mikeroweworks.org but hurry, our Work Ethic Scholarship Program ends this Sunday! Also check out – findskilledjobs.com