For Josh MacKinnon, serving his community not only runs in his family but is part of his school as well.
Josh, a Senior at PPHS North, will be awarded the Gold Award for Community Service from the Hispanic Heritage Fund on March 16. In addition to the scholarship award, he’s excited for the opportunity to shine a light on the organizations that have inspired his love for community service.
Josh, who has now been accepted to Purdue University for the upcoming year, initially started volunteering with The PourHouse, a local organization dedicated to addressing homelessness, as a way to get community service hours for his future college applications. What he didn’t anticipate was how much The PourHouse, would become a part of his life. Once Josh started volunteering, he was hooked. He spends Saturdays loading furniture in and out of a moving truck, both collecting donated furniture and moving people into accommodations secured in partnership with The PourHouse.
His experience with The PourHouse was so moving that during the PPHS Service Learning Day he invited the entire basketball team to join him in volunteering. Giving back to the community that PPHS serves was an exciting experience for Josh and the team. The social-emotional learning aspect, including the built-in Service Learning Days, of the PPHS model is what really drew him to the school. Josh believes the focus on whole-student education is crucial. He lists PPHS Coach Ronni Moore as someone who has inspired him to continue to reflect and improve in his personal life. “Our school is really diverse, which is awesome, and Coach Ronni is so interested in understanding everyone’s story and really modeling how to use empathy in every interaction.”Josh has found that empathy has been a critical component to both problem-solving and working as a group.“Someone might be really going through something outside of school and you may never know if you don’t ask and try to understand. So if you’re trying to motivate people or encourage them, it would be really different depending on their circumstances,” says Josh.
In addition to Josh’s work with The PourHouse, his family is involved with Bethany, an organization that finds safe temporary placements for children who have immigrated to the US. His family enjoys the opportunity to help children in need of a temporary home while they are reconnected with their families or guardians. He really enjoys that his whole family can get involved and support someone through a challenging time and says this experience has taught him that, a person is not defined by their circumstances and they can change at any moment so its a really good reminder to be grateful for what you have.”
The entire PPHS team is so incredibly proud of Josh’s commitment to serving our community and his recognition from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation! We know he will continue to do amazing things at Purdue and beyond!
If you are interested in learning more about either Bethany or The PourHouse information is included below.
The PourHouse assists individuals experiencing homelessness in overcoming barriers to housing, treatment, and healthcare. Through community-style street outreach and a unique peer advocacy approach, we help people define and achieve their goals and reestablish vision for their lives.
Bethany is a global nonprofit that supports children and families with world-class social services, all designed to help families thrive.
Published on 3/19/2021