Joe grew up in Austin, Texas due to his father’s, a New Bedford native, Air Force commitments in Texas. During his time at the University of Texas Austin, he traveled to Massachusetts to work as a beach worker at Horseneck beach for the summer. Because Joe was an out of state employee, he got bumped off the list and with the help of his cousin, ended up working as a counselor at Camp Massasoit.
Originally an accounting major, he had no desire to work with children, but that changed during the summer he was at Camp Massasoit. Joe returned to Texas to finish up his last year in school and moved back to New Bedford to pursue a career in childcare. He quickly rose the ranks working for the YMCA and YWCA, before landing the position of Daycare Program Director for Dennison Memorial’s daycare program.
Dennison Memorial is located in the south end of New Bedford and offers two programs. A free walk in program, where kids in the city can go after school to stay off the streets and get involved in sports, academic tutoring, work on their homework, and be in a safe haven from crime and violence they could be involved in on the street. It also offers a daycare through PACE for parents who are in school, training, or receiving subsidized daycare through the state.
Joe hopes that during his time at the community center that he has been able to push kids to strive above their situations. Leading by example, he wants to show the kids that visit the center daily that no matter your background, race, education, or circumstances, that you can rise and beat the odds in life.
“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, You are right.” – Henry Ford
Faces of New Bedford is a project by Colton Simmons. If you are interested in booking a shoot or getting prints from the series email all inquiries to email@example.com.
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