If you want to soar with the eagles, you can’t jive with the turkeys,” says Josh Ferguson, assistant school-age childcare director at the Jefferson City Area YMCA.
Knowing the value of a strong network, Josh has built some life-learning lessons from mentors around him, finding teachers at church and within his family. Serving as a life group leader at Freshwater Church, Josh facilitates meetings that foster true, heartfelt biblical community and spiritual foundation. That’s where he met his friend and mentor Mark Brinkmann.
“Mark is a great businessman, but more importantly, a man of faith,” Josh says. “Mark and his wife, Linda, have a heart for kids.”
After graduating from Lincoln University in 2012 with a bachelor’s in marketing, Josh spent time substitute teaching, realizing along the way that he too had a passion for working with children. He was later hired by the Jefferson City YMCA to oversee the nurseries and kids centers across three locations.
“Mark and Linda’s desire to invest in the kids in our community and share God’s love with them aligns with who I want to be and how I want to be remembered,” Josh explains.
Additionally, Josh’s father, Michael Ferguson, and cousin, Leandra Hulett, have been steadfast in their support for Josh’s development.
“Both of these individuals have seen me at my lowest lows and my highest highs,” he says. “They have a strong work ethic that is worthy to be imitated. They push me to work harder and be the best version of me.”
Working hard and bettering himself are tenets of Josh’s core values. Pursuing his own formal education and earning a master’s in teaching from Columbia College, Josh’s goal is to make a difference for each child he encounters at work and in the community. In addition to his role at the YMCA, Josh serves as a board member for The Sneaker Project, a nonprofit with the mission to provide shoes for Central Missouri youth who couldn’t otherwise afford footwear.
He also recently participated in the second annual Haunted Hustle, a family-oriented 5K that provides families and friends the opportunity to come out, have a great time, and raise money to support the cause of The Sneaker Project.
“Community involvement allows for one to experience what it’s like to serve someone other than themselves. It is a greater blessing to serve than to be served,” says Josh. You will find him embracing this blessing often.
Along with working with youth at his job and The Sneaker Project, Josh is active in the community, serving as a Jay Pride Alive board member and planning committee member for Serve Jeff City, a community-wide day of service organized by a partnership among the United Way of Central Missouri, Jefferson City Parks and Recreation, and the Jefferson City Area YMCA.
Josh was also chosen as a panelist for the 2020 Committee for Education Funding Congressional Briefing earlier this year, speaking to congressional staffers and key education influencers advocating for more educational funding to better serve America’s youth.
Succinct and true to form, when asked if there was anything our community could do to help Josh meet his next professional and personal goals, his answer was simply, “Be kind to one another.”
Assistant school-age childcare director with Jefferson City YMCA
Bachelor of Marketing from Lincoln University, Master of Teaching from Columbia College
Michael and Sylvia Furguson (parents); Jennifer (sister); Osiris, Leora, and Ava (nieces and nephew)
SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES
Facebook – Joshua M. Ferguson
Twitter – @JTIME07
Instagram – @joshferguson07
FAVORITE PLACE IN JEFFERSON CITY
The Katy Trail.
MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW
I am a very picky eater.
MOST USED SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBER OR YOUTUBE CHANNEL?
I’m not much of a YouTuber. I do enjoy podcasts. My favorite is How I Built This with Guy Raz. I love hearing the backstories of successful businesses, struggles they faced, and how they overcame the odds.
FAVORITE MUSICIAN OF THE MOMENT
Leslie Odom Jr. and Allen Stone.
WHAT THREE WORDS BEST DESCRIBE YOU?
Fun, devout, and enthusiastic.