At its April 23 meeting, The Greater Newtown Exchange Club (GNEC) was pleased to honor Council Rock student Joshua (Josh) Hoelper with the Club’s coveted A.C.E. (Achievement Through Excellence) award. The award recognizes high school students who have overcome challenges to make dramatic changes in their attitudes and academic performances that have enabled them to redirect their lives.
When Josh came to live with the Hoelper family at eight months of age he weighed just three pounds and was addicted to cocaine. After adoption, he faced substantial problems including a diagnosis of developmental language and coordination disorders. Early intervention and occupational therapy helped, but at 6 years old Josh was diagnosed with Autism. Josh feels that people with autism have the capability to accomplish their dreams and hopes just like anyone else. He says, “Although I have autism I am not defined by the label.” Although he was a non-reader through the 2nd grade, Josh overcame this hurdle and loves reading now.
Currently, Josh is a hard-working, respected, independent senior at Council Rock North High School. He is successful academically, well-liked by his peers and faculty, and is on the road to a successful future. While at Council Rock North, Joshua has been involved in his school and his community as well as participating in sports activities including serving an active member of the Council Rock Bowling Team
When you meet Josh, it’s easy to recognize that he’s a caring and sensitive young man. He has participated in multiple youth group activities including working at soup kitchens and hosting events for his parish. Josh has always enjoyed animals and his science classes and hopes to further his education in those fields. He has had practical experience working at a farm in Doylestown taking care of horses and he also does seasonal landscaping work.
Josh’s academic achievements include being named student of the month in his junior year and science student of the month in his junior and senior years. He also received an outstanding achievement award for showing consistent effort and hard work. This year, Josh made the distinguished honor roll for the first two sessions. Josh plans to attend Delaware Valley College in the fall of 2015.
The Greater Newtown Exchange Club is a Bucks County service club dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and family services. For information, check out their website at www.newtownexchangeclub.org or leave a message at their phone mailbox 215-469-1466
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