Joshua Hall: 2010 Honoree
Born and raised in Brooklyn and the youngest of four kids, Joshua loves music, basketball, and The Fresh Prince. As part of a close-knit family that has always emphasized the value of education, hard work, and community service, Joshua has spent holidays volunteering with his family from a very young age -- working at food pantries or visiting the sick. He's a firm believer that, in his words, "If there's a need, you have to help meet it."
Already actively involved with his parents' organization, Clothed with Love -- among other things, they distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to neighborhood children who need them -- Joshua learned of another organization his freshman year in high school: Journey for Change . After being accepted to the program, Joshua traveled with the group to South Africa in August 2008, assisting residents of the country's shantytowns with their basic needs of food, water, and clothing. (Click here for more info about Journey for Change.)
The following year, Joshua learned of the epidemic of human trafficking -- and child slavery -- in Ghana. Upon hearing that Ghanaian children as young as three were being sold into slavery by their desperate parents -- thereby depriving them of a childhood, an education, basic needs, and self-worth -- Joshua applied and was accepted to be one of five young people to travel to Ghana with Journey for Change. In Ghana, he became close friends with a former child slave named Donald. While it was hard to hear about what Donald had endured, it increased Joshua's resolve to raise awareness about child slavery.
During the trip, Joshua represented his group to the US Ambassador to Ghana. And since his return, he's continued his advocacy, making presentations at universities and the United Nations, all in the hopes of educating the public that slavery is not yet over.