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The Hero's Journey... Josh Mosley, '99
The concept called a Hero’s Journey by writer Joseph Campbell, and the speeches and correspondence
of former South Kent Headmaster George Bartlett inspired South Kent to approach boys’ education in a new way. We have embodied the Hero’s Journey in a four- stage, four-year process reflecting adolescent growth and maturing, making each step the theme of a student’s school year. In South Kent terms, the stages of this journey are “A Sense of Place: Community and Belonging,” “The Quest: Coming of Age,” “Responsibility and Commitment,” and “Service and Moving On.”These themes define the Form Program.
Launched in the fall of 1999, the Form Program is an innovative and balanced program for boys that guides their quest and provides tools to prepare them not only for college, but for lives as men of quality.
South Kent’s goal in blending its founding principles of Simplicity of Life, Self- Reliance, and Directness of Purpose with the new curriculum is to provide a school experience for the 21st century world that gives boys the intellectual, moral, physical, and social foundation for scholastic achieve- ment in college and productive citizenship in adulthood.
Each year, boys embark on a focused jour- ney that intertwines classroom curriculum with age-appropriate and challenging field experiences. Our boys grow in confidence and knowledge as they explore, interpret, and employ the lessons they learn.
What follows is the first of four stories of recent graduates, where their roads have taken them after South Kent and how their lives have been shaped by the recurring themes of the Hero’s Journey.
Joshua Mosley ’99 grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, NY during the 1980s and 90s. At that time, Crown Heights was an area imbued with racial tension and poverty. However, Josh wasn’t pulled into that morass.
Raised by his godparents from the age of two, Josh was encouraged to expand his horizons and capture new experiences. His godmother, a highly educated, motivated woman ensured that he participated in numerous enrichment programs. She guided him with purpose.
“My childhood was very interesting – I was
blessed to have two people who were not blood members of my family raise me since I was two years old. They were my motivation to succeed and to go to South Kent as well.
“I’d always been in several enrichment programs,” said Josh. One was the competitive Wadleigh Scholars Program founded by Edouard Plummer. “Every Saturday we learned about entrance exams, how to study and write essays – that was my first exposure to boarding schools.” Through Wadleigh, he got involved in A Better Chance, a program that exposes inner city youth to boarding schools across the country.
“I visited Hotchkiss and Berkshire, but South Kent was willing to take a chance on me. When I got there I thought, where am I? The ultimate shock! I had never been in a situation where I’d been with a lot of people that didn’t look like me. I grew up in a place where African Americans lived. When I got to South Kent, there where people from all walks of life.”
In fact, two Korean classmates – one of them his roommate spent a week at his house during one spring break. “I got exposed to kimchi...it was very interesting.”
Josh was a ‘4-year boy’, graduating in the spring of 1999. He became the student activities prefect and did many other things on the Hillside. “I came to deeply believe in the SKS values of simplicity of life, self-reliance and di- rectness of purpose. Those things actually live with me today.”
“I wasn’t always the best student; I made mistakes, but I had different people to talk to. Believe it or not, Mr. Vadnais – he came in my senior year – was the Dean of Students, and he always had an open-door policy. He always talked to me. My senior year was my toughest year – I had a lot of responsibility to go with the fear of going off to college. If it wasn’t for his talks with me...I probably would never have lived the life that I do now.”
Josh went on to major in history at Morehouse College in Atlanta and is an Operations Manager with Strayer University – where he oversees two campuses dedicated to working with Verizon Wireless, meeting the training needs of their employees at their Atlanta and Tampa call centers.
What do the next five or ten years hold for Josh Mosley? “I’m a dad of a 3-year-old and I want to focus on him and establish my family.” He’s also concerned that males across all cultural lines have become less engaged in education.
“I will also explore the opportunity to establish my own education consulting firm. I want to help families to make the proper decision for their sons to go to the right school."