Personal Story

Impact Feature Issue on Fostering Success in School and Beyond for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disorders

Meet Josh

Hi, my name is Josh Goldner. I am 19 years old and a senior at PEP’s Midtown Center for Youth in Transition. At Midtown, I have been able to focus on my vocational and transitional skills while earning my high school credit.

Since I was eight years old I bounced from one foster home to another. My behaviors in school prevented me from experiencing any success and led to my placement at many different schools. After several unsuccessful placements, I was enrolled in PEP’s Midtown. Here, I learned to manage my behaviors so that I can work towards my goal of becoming an independent adult.

I believe I have been successful at Midtown because my teacher-counselors took the time to listen and understand me. Trust in adults has always been an issue with me, but I quickly realized that the staff had my best interest in mind, even when I didn’t see it that way. I learned to work my program and fully participate in my education, which mainly focused on my strengths. My academic workload was tough but manageable. My teacher-counselors stood by me, always reinforcing their belief that I could be successful. After a while, I just started believing it.

I am set to graduate this year and enroll in a post-graduate auto body-tech training program. Also, my former foster dad recently adopted me. Overall, my experience at PEP has been life changing. My goals that once seemed impossible are now within my reach.