Pursuing his passion to help others
When Joshua Hage arrived at Minneapolis College during the spring semester of 2019, he was fresh out of Teen Challenge, early in recovery and living at BSM Sober Housing. One of his peers had recently graduated from the College as a Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Machinist and Joshua, recognizing the opportunity, followed this path. He did well in the program, however, realized it wasn’t his calling. Encouraged by family and colleagues at the College who knew what he is passionate about, he transferred to the Addiction Counseling Program in the spring of 2020 and quickly felt at peace.
“The amount of change and hope I’ve experienced in my life has been amazing,” said Joshua Hage who will be celebrating three years of recovery next month after 20 years of addiction. “I didn’t think it was possible to get sober or go to school, but I’ve come to recognize you should never give up because you can always work on yourself and start fresh. I am doing just that, focusing on the present and the future.“
“Joshua shows his determination and motivation in all of his school affairs,” said faculty member Jonathan Lofgren, Ph.D., LACD, CCP-D, who commends Joshua for his path of long-term recovery. “He is a leader among his colleagues and interacts with students, staff and faculty with compassion, diligence and focus. As his instructor, I would highlight his work ethic, his commitment and his exceptional scholarship and critical thinking competency.”
Hage has been recognized for his steadfast pursuit of his dreams. He recently received a Workforce Development Scholarship, provided by the Minnesota Legislature for students at Minneapolis College enrolled in a range of specific fields. Historically, Hage also received a Lions Heart Scholarship, a Kopp Presidential Scholarship and an Alice Grant from Minneapolis College. Further supporting his education, the Ammon Foundation, who offers a nationwide scholarship program for people in recovery, provided him financial support.
“The financial support I’ve received from the College and its generous donors has allowed my family and me to move forward in many ways,” said Joshua who is balancing going to school full-time, working 25 hours a week as a peer recovery support specialist at Teen Challenge and spending time with his wife and two children. “Once I graduate, my wife is planning to enroll in the Addiction Counseling Program to pursue her degree. We believe in the restoration of the family and have a dream of creating accountable recovery opportunities for families in sober living.
“Without the support of my family, recovery partners like Teen Challenge and my faith in God, I wouldn’t be here,” said Joshua who will graduate from Minneapolis College at the end of fall the 2021 semester and transfer to Metro State to pursue his bachelor’s degree in Addiction Counseling. “I am grateful for the second, sometimes third chances that have provided me the opportunity to move forward as I pursue my passion to help others.”