Joseph Ward: Driving the Future of Our Youth with Stories of Our Past
You can call Joseph Ward many things, but certainly not lazy or uninvolved. With a growing resume focused on uplifting and positively impacting others, he is steadily becoming a leader in both his local community and the Black community at large.
The multi-faceted Ward has spent the last 10+ years providing mentorship, coaching and training to those in his home town of Tallahassee, Florida. As a Life Skills Trainer, with his company Live Skilled Live Fulfilled, he regularly works with various organizations in and around his community to provide life skills and combat negative issues–such as rape, violence and bullying—through trainings, seminars and his weekly motivational YouTube series. For Ward helping others to improve themselves is a very personal issue and he shares his own experience: “Coming out of high school and entering into college, I was able to participate in a life skills program and be around men who had the skills that I was seeking. [It] gave me the tools to build my own life skills.”
Beyond basic classes, seminars and pamphlets Ward uses history to educate teens and young adults about the positive impact and contributions of the Black and African diaspora—citing the stories of well-known and the very little known Black history makers—in hopes that the youth will also realize their own potential. In fact, he believes so much in the power of historical education to encourage youth that he wrote a book that features Blacks in history. Ward was inspired to write On the Shoulders of Giants Volume 1: North America after learning that many of those that he trains and mentors were unaware of their history. “I would use historic figures in my lessons, but the kids didn’t know who these people were; all they knew was Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks,” he shares. So, in late 2014, Ward began researching the historical figures that he wanted to profile. Not long after, in 2015, he had completed the first installment of the series. He admits that his knowledge of Black history as a youth, was pretty similar to those that he mentors today. “I wanted to focus on unsung heroes. I want the readers to know that people of African descent are great.” While he focused on North America in his first book, Ward plans to cover the world with future volumes featuring Blacks across the globe.
If you think that’s all, think again. In addition to being a public servant, life skills trainer and author, Ward co-hosts a weekly radio talk show, called Freedom Train. Each week the show features entrepreneurs, community leaders and others people making history. For him, the show provides another venue to positively impact the community.
Although Ward can now recognize his own accomplishments, as well as the potential of what is yet to come, he admits that hasn’t always been the case. Like too many of our youth today, Ward says growing up, he didn’t have the confidence to believe he could succeed. It was only after he began to read more and expose himself to new experiences that he finally began to see the possibilities that lay before him. “I’m proud to say I put in the time to build and better myself, instead of ignoring the problem,” he says.
When it comes to Minding Your Black Business, Ward is true to his passion for uplifting and encouraging others: “I want people to do for themselves, no matter what their situation. Give 100-percent to whatever your pursuit is and be willing to humble yourself to your journey. Live with fond memories of achievement rather than regret–be relentless and fearless!”
To learn more about Joseph Ward and his book On the Shoulders of Giants Volume 1: North America visit his website.