Written by Charlie Palmer, CHS 2024
Joshua King was awarded the Omaha Central High School Male Student of the Year as a graduate of the class of 2023. He was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Prince George’s County, Maryland before moving to Omaha. Joshua is a very bright and motivated student who excels inside and outside of the classroom. Joshua succeeded in academics at Central by challenging himself with IB courses and participating in DECA. Outside of the classroom, he participates in a wide variety of activities including Habitat for Humanity, kung fu, public speaking, church volunteering, community service, leading and mentoring, reading business books, studying business and finance, running track, and lifting weights.
Family plays a major role in Joshua King’s life, and he has lived with his grandparents for a large part of his life. He credits his mother for guiding him in his faith and academics along with his uncle who teaches him what it means to be a man.
“My uncle and mother taught me the importance of education. One of the quotes they told me all the time was from Frederick Douglass, ‘Education means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.’ So just understanding that if I get an education and succeed, I can better bring myself up, my family up, and then others in the community as well.”
Religion and faith also play a great role in Joshua’s motivation to succeed, “I think the main thing that inspires me to succeed is definitely the Bible. It speaks about giving back to others. I want to succeed so I can give back to others.”
Joshua expressed his gratitude for the doors Central opened for him in the academic realm. “The IB Program opened up opportunities for me being able to grow in my worldview, understanding culture, and help me to understand that I have a love for education and exploring new ideas. It also helped challenge me deeper because in previous classes I didn’t feel challenged enough, but Central allowed for me to go into a program where I felt challenged enough to be able to compete against top students.” He also shared his deep appreciation for DECA in helping him envision a future in business. “DECA helped me to understand my love for business and allowed me to be able to compete and understand that I truly have a place in this world for business. The competitions allowed me to grow, meet new people, and form connections because connections are the biggest thing you need in this world.”
Joshua is grateful for all of his teachers and the relationships formed throughout his time at Central. He especially wanted to give recognition to his counselor, Angela Meyer.
“Ms. Meyer has been there for me throughout my journey at Central. She has always been a person I can contact whether it was about scholarships or any problem I had within the classroom. She’s just always been there to guide me as a counselor and even sometimes just to talk when I needed it.”
Joshua’s favorite part about Central is the supportive environment and community. From his first interaction with former principal, Dr. Ed Bennett at Central during an open house, he knew that he was going to soar as an eagle. Joshua recalls, “In middle school, I got bullied, people made fun of me, and I got pushed to the side. But the first time I ever walked into Omaha Central, Dr. Bennett looked right into my eyes and said, ‘What’s your ID? We’re getting you to Central.’ He didn’t ask me about my past or view me differently based on the color of my skin but rather truly saw a potential in me. Just him seeing the potential in me definitely brought up great feelings and helped form my love for Central.” Four years later, Joshua undoubtably lived up to and exceeded the potential that Dr. Bennett saw in him.
Joshua King has a bright future ahead of him and will be attending Iowa State University to prepare for a career in business. He has great aspirations to succeed so he can give back to others.