Joycelynn Joshua

Ill Wind Blows Good – Joycelynn Joshua

When Joycelynn Joshua first went to school as a kid in New Orleans, what she encountered was not exactly leading-edge stuff.

“You know how you joke about technology in school during your parents’ time? That’s what we had in school [in New Orleans],” she said. “Technology was blackboards. I didn’t get my first computer until I came to Georgia.”

Hurricane Katrina struck her hometown when Joshua was 10, forcing her family to relocate to Lawrenceville, Georgia. That particular ill wind blew her right into better educational opportunities. In addition to having access to tools like computers in classrooms, in high school she entered a dual enrollment program that helped her begin to focus on college and a possible career in nursing.

The new schools also encouraged her reading. In middle and high school, she was regularly part of Reader’s Rally, a quiz show-style competition on book trivia for Gwinnett County schools’ students in grades 4 through 12. She ripped through favorite titles from the Harry Potter and “the Mortal Instruments” series as well as the Georgia Peach Award books for teen readers. At Brenau,
she discovered the Trustee Library and its collections of black history, other nonfiction and literature.

Her reading regimen also included books from home. With an aunt who works as a nurse practitioner and a mother who practices nursing in a gynecology office, there always was a plethora of health and medical books around. Since she grew up in a large family with enough younger siblings and cousins to ensure the presence of lots of babies and toddlers, she harbors a career interest in obstetrics.

For Joshua, career interests and family may well feed one another, just as long one does not overpower the other.

“For me, it is not about the amount of money to be made,” she said. “It’s about the quality of your life.”

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