Along with 54 other youth ages 7 to 17, the 13-year-old has been acquiring life skills through the game of golf.
Every time Joshua, a Lithonia Middle School sixth-grader, pulls out his driver or putter, he said he is reminded of the lessons he is learning in the H&J Junior Golf program.
"You learn to be respectful, kind to people and to have integrity," he said. "Golf is just a very honest game."
H&J Junior Golf is a non-profit organization that uses golf to teach life skills, education, employment and business ownership. Jerome Brown, the executive director and founder of the Lithonia-based group, started the program along with his wife, Helen Brown, in 2000 after he retired from being a hospital administrator with the Department of Veteran's Affairs.
"We target youth who have no golf experience and we try to get them to the point that they can at least play nine holes of golf," he said. "Our ultimate goal is to get these juniors to be able to hit a golf ball 150 yards."
The third Sunday of each month, the group meets at Mystery Valley Golf Club in Lithonia. There, the youth take part in clinics that focus on golf basics and skills. Instructors like Billy Balmer and John Crumbley from Mystery Valley conduct the clinics from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the youth learn life skills until 7:30 p.m.
To celebrate the success the program and its participants have had, H&J Junior golf will be having their third annual Awards Banquet on Oct. 28 at the Marriot Atlanta Century Hotel. Every youth in the program will receive a reward and some individual prizes will also be given at the 12:30 p.m. event.
LaJean Gould, president of the Women in Golf Foundation, will be the guest speaker.
Joshua said the awards ceremony is not the biggest reward the program offers.
"We get life lessons and lots of time on the course to practice," he said.
He spent the summer playing in golf tournaments, including a tournament last Friday Oct. 6 at Southland Golf Course, which was sponsored by his church, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit.
He also has been to several tournaments such as the BellSouth Classic to see professional golfers.
Brown said the program is just a starter program that allows youth to step up to bigger programs like Project One and the Women in Golf Foundation.
He also noted that the program already works with youth from Shadow Rock Elementary in Lithonia and is in talks with other schools.
"We are going to have around 100 kids next year," he said. "Golf is a game that shows character. You can learn a lot about a person if you play golf with them."