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Alumnus inspired by Providence faculty

Feb 6, 2018 | Alumni Stories, News

“For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.” – 1 Corinthians 3:9

As one grows and matures, dreams can often change from hoping to become a superhero or astronaut to a professor or psychologist. This level of decision-making is often framed by the influences that surround a person as they develop. In many ways, this was the story for Josh Doerksen (’14 UC) who arrived at Providence with a desire to simply play volleyball but left with an even greater desire to impact his community.

Josh began a degree in Youth Leadership at Providence and spent two semesters in courses and playing the sport he loved. After one year, Josh lost interest and chose to take time away from school to go backpacking in Brazil. During his travels, he said, “I saw a lot of hurting people living in slums and I honestly felt terrified. This made me want to do something about it so I decided to return to Providence and get a sociology degree.”

Back at Providence, Josh notes the professors who inspired and motivated him to excel in his academics. Val Hiebert, Assistant Professor of Sociology, “was great at taking major concepts and making them more practical for students to understand.” Concerning Cameron McKenzie, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Old Testament, he says, “I had a lot of respect for him because I knew he was so smart, yet, he was able to teach at a level that undergraduates could understand.” Josh jokes, “I believe it not only takes a village to raise a child but a village to get a degree!” Because of relationships like these, Josh can see how Providence’s continued belief that “everyone bears the image of Christ” has positively influenced the man he is today.

While studying, Josh participated in a program called “Service Learning” where he was able to volunteer in an organization and gain experience outside the classroom. It was during this time that Josh discovered Eden Healthcare, which is where he currently works. He felt that it was through the positive learning environment and hands on experiences at Providence along with the continued support from his former professor, Val Hiebert, Josh was able to attain this job. He now works as a caretaker for adults with mental disabilities and assists individuals to function well in society.

When asked what he would tell new students, Josh says, “They should approach their time at Providence as an investment. Regardless of where you end up, you will be able to use what you learned in the world around you.”