A simple ball game with a friend who was a Chicago police officer changed Joshua Johnson’s life. The friend asked Joshua if he’d ever thought about becoming a police officer himself.

“It was a lightbulb moment for me,” Joshua said. “I thought, ‘Yes, I want to do that.’”

Joshua’s friend told him about Olive-Harvey College’s One Year and Out program. The program would offer Joshua an opportunity to earn an associate degree in as little as 12 months and put him on a pathway to the Chicago Police Academy.

Joshua’s childhood in Englewood wasn’t always easy. He made some mistakes, but a Chicago police officer talked to him about his choices and explained what could happen if he didn’t make changes.

“I might not be here if it wasn’t for Chicago police officers who took the time to talk to me and guide me,” he said.

Now, Joshua is grateful for those conversations, those police officers, and that ball game. He is a proud graduate of Olive-Harvey’s One Year and Out program and feels prepared to begin the process of becoming a Chicago police officer. He’s up to challenge thanks to his instructors and his support system.

“This program is changing my life,” Joshua said. “I’m going to help others change theirs.”