Morgan Hill, CA | 18
2014 Award Recipient
Joshua Toch experienced significant bullying in his youth as a result of his disability. One day Joshua decided to talk about his experience living with cerebral palsy, and was surprised and excited by how receptive others were to his message and the conversation. This led Joshua to participate in a local speech competition, speaking on how bullying impacted his life. He knew he’d had an impact when a self-identified bully told him after the speech that he’d been inspired to change his ways. This experience empowered Joshua to launch Mind Before Mouth, a student-run initiative through which young people speak candidly and powerfully about the challenges they face from bullying, and our collective responsibility to speak up and speak out against it. Speakers share diverse perspectives on what it means to be a teen, transforming perceived weaknesses into strengths and building bridges to help teens better understand one another. Through Mind Before Mouth, Joshua has sparked conversations and helped generate empathy among more than 7,000 teens in seven schools.