Message From Our Founder
I started the Joshua Tree Community in 2014 with the passion and the drive to improve the lives of intellectually disabled individuals who have aged out of the public schools. I spent twenty-three years working in the public school system, and I was disheartened to learn that many of my students were in danger of losing the skills they had acquired after they aged out of the school. I decided to leave to pursue building a community of volunteers, members, and donors, all of whom are committed to enriching the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities.
When I first had the idea for the Joshua Tree, I knew I needed a name, and I wanted the name to carry all of the meaning of which I’ve spent years trying to express. The Joshua Tree Community is named after my brother, Joshua Sherman, who passed away in 2003 from cancer. My brother was a beloved father, brother, uncle, and friend. He was creative, he was magnetic, and he lived every moment to the fullest. His legacy is the one I want to pass on to the members of the Joshua Tree Community. And that is to make an impact, to live and to be loved—by others, by the community, and by ourselves.
The Joshua Tree became our symbol because of my brother, Joshua, but also because of the meaning of the tree itself. It grows at a slower pace than other trees, but it has an extensive root system that stretches far underground. It is the roots that make it an unfaltering and steadfast part of its environment. We are the Joshua Tree Community: the members may grow at a different pace than others, but they are strongly rooted in the community.
Come grow with us. Today, the Joshua Tree Community thrives from the work of volunteers. If you’d like to volunteer your time, we’d love to have you. If you are a person with an intellectual disability and the Joshua Tree Community interests you, come check us out. What we accomplish today can lead to a better tomorrow.