Meet Josie

An educator, an advocate, and a mother.

I have dedicated my career to creating opportunities, particularly pathways to education, for people in poverty. That's because I know the value of a good education. It's what took me from tearing up my mom's driveway with a pogo stick behind the old K-Mart on Breckenridge Lane to earning my bachelor's and master's degrees at Columbia University in New York City. It's what took me across the country to create programs and educate young people. Finally, it's what brought me home to a cul-de-sac in Hikes Point, where service feels even more meaningful.

Just out of college, I started writing about poverty and homelessness and lifted up the voices of people in poverty by recruiting them to write about their experiences firsthand. Seeking a deeper impact, I became a middle school reading and writing teacher with Teach For America, where I saw 16-year-olds begin to use paragraphs and get published in the Sunday newspaper.

Later, as a nonprofit manager, I designed programs that pushed hundreds of students of color to record GPA and ACT growth before becoming the first in their families to go to college. As a small business coach in Louisville I helped dozens of entrepreneurs, many of them women and immigrants, access the microloans they needed to pursue their dreams.

In each role, my mission was the same: lift up people seeking to build better lives for themselves and their children. Now, as a Student Success Coach at the University of Louisville, I hear harrowing stories of the obstacles faced by young people, and every day I'm encouraged by the resilience they show in overcoming them. I wrote about my work, and some of the stories that touched me most, in the Courier-Journal.

My husband, Adam, a writer, took me to duPont Manual High School's junior prom on our first date. Our kids, Pippy and Kurt, love their daycare, their library, and their dog.