It started with a passion for bringing healing to our city.
By July 2006, Mission: St. Louis’ Founder and Executive Director, Josh Wilson, had worked with inner-city kids and had seen first hand the effects of poverty; he had seen need. With a dedicated vision to restore St. Louis, Josh started several conversations with his church, The Journey. His conversations led to an internship, which eventually developed into a full-fledge mercy ministry designed to connect The Journey with residents in at-risk neighborhoods.
After a three-month flurry of unfocused volunteer activity, Josh realized that we were doing harm rather than good. Volunteers did not have personal relationships with any of the people they were serving. Everyone involved was burned out. It was time for a change.
His responsibility as the President/Executive Director at Mission: St. Louis is to lead our organization towards transforming at-risk communities. This includes fundraising, vision casting, strategy, and program development.
Josh is married to Leigh. They have two children: Morgan and Emmett. He also serves as an elder at “The Journey” in St. Louis.
The turning point came in the form of a relationship with a local school.
Mission: St. Louis organized a school supply drive for a local school, Adams Elementary. This began a relationship between Mission: St. Louis, Adams Elementary and the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood. We narrowed our focus, guided our volunteers, and put all our resources into one specific community. We built relationships in this community and were able to get to know the people and their needs.
Since our start in Forest Park Southeast, we have built deeper relationships with schools, businesses, neighborhoods, churches and organizations. We’ve created and grown life-changing programs for youth to older adults in order to empower people in our city with the tools needed to work their way out of poverty. Our two core programs, Beyond School and Beyond Jobs, are transforming lives. Kids in our Beyond School program are making 3 months reading and math growth for every month in our program. Men in our Beyond Jobs programs have a 75% chance of being employed within five months of graduation.
As the Diretor of Beyond Jobs Jason is in charge of the Job & Leadership Training program. When not teaching the men how to become better leaders in the community, he loves spending time with his wife and kids.