About Josh Born.
Josh grew up in rural Northern Indiana. As a kid he lived to sneak off into the woods and watch wildlife. His family background, father was a blue collar worker and stepmother worked in healthcare. His biological mother was artist, painter, and sculptor. He had a step brother and half sister in his home growing up and another half brother in Ohio by his biological mother. Josh was extremely close to his great grand parents growing up as the lived next door to his childhood home.
Early years school was difficult for Josh. He almost fit in but the fact he had moved several times in elementary school made him experience some difficulties that come along with moving to different schools. Josh enjoyed to go home and visit the woods where he felt comfortable. Eventually in middle school he found a group of peers he would be friends with for long after high school.
Occasional peer pressure to be class clown became a problem with his early education. As a kid Josh realized the power of humor was the one thing that connected all social groups. He was daring enough to do what most kids wouldn’t do. His quest to be acknowledged clashed with school policies often ending him up in a Saturday school or detention. Even though he was intelligent he had no interest to conform with the group. Following directions was difficult because of the lack of interest in most subjects. Josh still had a keen interest in science and literature. Even though his test scores on most standardize tests were low in comprehension he did well in science related areas.
In 1995 Josh obtained his GED and began working on a paving crew doing driveways and parking lots. The hard work didn’t bother him, but the mind numbing repetitiveness stifled his ability to stick out. Older more experienced workers were impossible to out do and the time and effort it would take to be more noticeable than them was unacceptable to Josh.
He signed up for the army in Plymouth, IN where he entered the artillery MOS 13-M and flew to Ft. Sill, OK. During basic training he learned the value of be part of the group and not to be noticed as different. Quick at noticing others mistakes he avoided many hard lessons, but unfortunately he had his moment in the spotlight when he was made a squad leader and learned the art of management. The first lesson Josh learned was the leader is responsible for his soldiers and the things they don’t do correctly fall on the leaders shoulders. A fact reinforced each night holding his combat boots up in the air to his sides in the Drill Sgt.’s office with the other squad leaders and platoon guide. AIT was easier than basic but still a very strict sense of integrity and responsibility was instilled in us.
Josh went on to Ft. Bragg, NC. where he was actively involved in MLRS Battery. Josh’s army experience was a rollercoaster in the way he attempted to excel joining solider of the month and quarter boards, participating in Robin Sage with the Green Berets learning guerrilla tactics, and worked hard to improve his physical ability all to stick out. His plans in the army were cut short when he received news that his beloved great grandfather had passed away and there were complications getting back to Indiana for the funeral. Three months later his great grandmother passed. The realization home was where your loved ones were was a sobering fact of life to learn for Josh.
Understanding he needed to be closer to Indiana he made his next chapter in life back in Indiana where he moved to South Bend, IN. He joined a union shop working in the steel industry processing steel at Steel Warehouse. The union experience was comfortable reminding him of the unique brotherly bond soldiers share. Josh saw and experienced both giving to and taking from the workers. At times the company seemed amazingly generous and unacceptably inconsiderate, but all in all Steel Warehouse was a fair company to work for even thought they weren’t perfect.
As Josh matured and moved on in life to another union job in the trades he also experienced a discomforting type of sickness that seemed to hinder him. Coming from a family were going to the doctor for less than blood was a crime he pushed through. Eventually symptoms lead to difficulty concentrating, irritability, lack of energy, accompanied by physical symptoms of headache, nausea, sensitivity to loud noises, and panic attacks. Finally he went to the doctor understanding his problems were more than he was able to deal with. The symptoms cross categorized too many illnesses to be 100% which one it was, but most of the treatments were typically the same. For a long period of time he experience routinely disappointing results from prescribed medications. Doctors missed the mark so many times he felt like a lab rat being tested on. Eventually a counselor named Rita Mitcheff explained the difficulty in treating chemical types of problems. She was able to help with dealing with some of his symptoms and gave him advice to start keeping track in a log book of symptoms, times and dates. That was the start of managing a chemical problem that occasionally popped up with devastating effects. The ability to convey better information to doctors lead to better treatments that lead to the reality he had a fighting chance to find a balance , cope, and live with it.
Josh decided to learn more about the things that happened to him. After reading books on the way chemicals affect a person mind and body he wanted to know more about how the body worked. This lead him to the field of science where he earned an AAS degree in Biotechnology from Ivy Tech South Bend, IN. His love and interest for science aided in his concentration and study of the subject. His desire to understand more about how biological chemicals were produced and used in living organisms gave him the motivation and positive attitude to apply himself.
Science would be the foundation for all other endeavors in Josh’s life. Even though he had only received an AAS in Biotechnology he had an excellent instructors. Tom Beaven (currently Southwestern Michigan College) and George Twaddle resided over the Biotechnology program and Dr. Jamielle Jojo a brilliant chemistry Professor spent extra hours with the biotech students at Ivy Tech. The Professors were very hands on in the lab. They encouraged thought, brainstorming, creativity, and learning from mistakes. Josh enjoyed these hands on activities applying his math skills determining, predicting microorganism culture numbers, growth curves, and ratios. The thought process behind analyzing these outcomes developed into a major paradigm in Josh Born’s life. The idea of looking at an experiment and consider its worthiness of repeating, deciding what the most efficient way to get the desired outcome, and realizing what that would cost in the way of materials, time, and energy presented a new way of thinking. That thought process can be applied to every subject as a foundation or major consideration to compare idea’s.
Josh went on to Bethel College in Mishawaka, IN to study Organizational Management. Interested in human perspectives and the dynamic mechanics of decision making he focused on classes in leadership, communication, human resources management, economics, marketing, statistics and accounting. All the subjects were degrees in there own right. Exactly the reason he picked the Organizational Management study because of its coverage of so many subjects in society. Applying to every subject a foundation learned earlier in his science degree he categorized and observed traits and characteristics of the field and people involved in that workforce.
While working on that part of his education he sought to experience different types of work in life. He explains it as “Trying different food in life and sampling all the flavors.” He noticed a many of his teachers encouraged to go out and experience life in their areas of expertise, sociology, psychology, philosophy, communications, and many other subjects teachers gave the advise to live life. It is a unique person that endeavors to tastes all the flavors of the rainbow because there is much risk associated with being different. Josh understood it wasn’t as easy to accomplish as it was to dream, but “No dream will ever be accomplished without the process of applying effort.” he thought.
The world had changed from the 1990’s a golden period of Josh’s life. He had moved on to an era of job loss, loss privacy, mediocre economy, and offense. The war in Afghanistan after 9/11 lead to the 2nd Iraq war which both equaled a money pit for the United States. In 2001 Eron one of America’s biggest company’s filed for bankruptcy which wasn’t good for the economy and several years later the housing bubble popped in 2007. The unemployment rate was at a scary high and companies seemed to be routinely laying off day after day. Graduating school May of 2007 the prospects were bad for employment in the biotech industry. Indianapolis biotech companies had laid off and wouldn’t be hiring for some time.
The 1990’s vibe Josh experienced turned into a completely different cultural feeling. People were afraid and the government was threatening privacy while trying to protect the country from another attack. Gradually on into the decade civil issues at home became more of an issue the word of a generation changed from tolerance to offense. Business was changing the internet had completely revolutionized how business was done. No more the days of showing up to fill out an application and the willingness to work. The internet had provided a way for everyone to create a resume full of smoke and mirrors like a magician to a crowd. Temp services and staffing agencies became the new go to place and the unemployment agency out sourced to a state funded organization. Josh like a lot of people didn’t find what he hoped to find. The workforce seemed to be flooded with people who had the same degrees. At times it seemed the effort he did put forth to stand out whether it be a uniqueness of character or an attempt to convince an employer he would be a good fit for the unconventional position such as consultant or analyst just barely missed its mark. So many times Josh made it to the 3rd interview only to get thanked for applying but they went with the other guy.
Josh remembered something his 1st Sgt. said to him one time when they were doing a run during the hottest part of the day. It was a surprise run and everyone had gone out the night before for $1 beer night. The whole Battery was hurting in the North Carolina humidity and noon sun. He lost count of at 6 miles because they circled around and back tracked running a way they had never gone before. It seemed like forever after the 6 mile mark and the thirst was getting to him. He had a cramp in his side making a full breath nearly impossible and his muscles felt like pins and needles. When the formation began running up hill the difficulty of picking his legs up and forcing them forward became a fight with every step. He made it up that hill and he thought he could finish no problem after that, but then the formation wagon wheeled again turning around going away from the Battalion headquarters. That was it mentally, the heat, dehydration, hangover, and distance was going to make him fall to the rear of the formation. He gave it all he had and there was no more to give. He started to run wide right falling out to the side of the formation to make his move to the rear when Top came running up next to him, “Hey Born where you going?” Josh looked at Top, he was in his 60’s skinny and tall with the kindest face you could hope to see in the military. Josh smiled at him and fell back in line as Top ran next to him, “You can do this I’m an old man and I’m making it.” He smiled at Josh and as he ran next to him for the next mile. All in all it was about 7 minutes till we got back to the parade field and completed our run. They said Top was an old Delta guy who came to finish out his last few years in Artillery. Top didn’t teach anything to Josh that day he just lead by example. He showed him it was mental. He reminded Josh he was a strong guy who ran harder and faster many times. Josh realized he was defeating himself by adding up all the circumstances against him. Then his leader came by and said run with me and he did.
While in college Josh wrote science reports, sociology, psychology, communications and English literature papers. As time went on he honed his skills of deduction and brainstorming to work in a way he could put almost any situation in a cost analysis frame work. What is the goal and how much will cost you to get to it or keep it the way you want it? He dabbled in creative writing and then became interested in blogging. Josh never gave up on moving forward. He went back to school in the medical field getting certified as Electrocardiogram Technician and writing on the side every chance he had. Josh recounted how 1st Sgt. inspired him to push through and make it to the end even when the reason to fail were stacking up.
Josh recounts some of the best memories and experiences, but his best memory is of his daughter Isabella. He became a father November 14th 2013. Josh had two step children he was close with, but because of the way things go in divorces step children and fathers seldom continue having the close relationship they shared the divorce. Josh never forgot about his two step children and eventually wrote a children’s book with them as main characters. Isabella was an inspiration to him to add a bit more emphasis on his future. Josh was quoted as saying “Its not what you become in front of your children’s eyes it’s what you try to become in front of your children’s eyes that will ultimately matter.” His point was eventually children grow up and understand the challenges of adulthood and realize things their parents did for them they didn’t see at the time. Showing an intent to be what it is you love, enjoy, or you are good at, is leading by example. It was his intent, perseverance, and dedication that would decide if he’d make it or not. We’ve heard the saying many times its all bout getting up after you’re knocked down. Isabella was another reason in his life having the right attitude was important.
Josh enjoys the company of his dog Greg, a 16lb brown and white Shih Tzu with black spots round his neck. Josh and Greg have been bestfriends since 2008. The two often travel together Greg being the adventurous type loves to accompany Josh for rides in the car and investigating new places. Greg has been called a one person dog showing no one else the courtesy or loyalty he gives his bestfriend Josh.
Josh has many inspirations varying from great religious leaders to philosophers to mathematicians. When asked to name a few off the top of his head he listed:
Socrates, Plato, Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Carl Marx, Alan Watts, Peter Alexeyevich the Great, Alexander III of Macedon the Great, Ajahn Brahm, 14th Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Nikola Tesla, Nickolas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, Max Plank, Michael Faraday, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Colin Powell, Norman Schwartzkopf Jr, and Sun Tzu for beginners.
Biography by Jason Wolf