Born and raised in northeastern Pennsylvania Joe always had a strong connection with physical activity and the outdoors. Along with his five siblings he participated in several sports growing up and was active in all stages of scouting, ultimately attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. Upon graduating from Bishop O’Hara in Dunmore he pursued a career in residential construction which offered him a way to explore his creative nature for the better part of nine years. It was in this capacity that a fall in 2004 resulted in a C5 – C6 spinal cord injury.
Once stabilized from the initial physical trauma Joe begin rehab in Mount Sinai hospital in New York before coming back home where he continued both inpatient and outpatient therapy at Allied Services in Scranton PA. Eventually, with time, effort, and support he was able to regain his independence, along the way meeting new friends and experiencing many things never viewed as possible in those early days. It was through these experiences and connections, along with the understanding that, sadly, not everyone has access to the same opportunities or support, which led to his becoming one of the founding members of Individual Abilities in Motion (I AM).
Serving as a member of the Lackawanna County Disability Action Committee and in his role as president of I AM, Joe has a strong desire to provide support for individuals as they discover, develop, and celebrate abilities. In an effort to continue his own personal development, while simultaneously helping develop the organization, he has recently completed a year-long certificate program in Nonprofit Leadership at the University of Scranton. Utilizing this training, together with the drive of his fellow board members, volunteers, and supporters, he will work towards continued growth of the organization in its ability to enrich lives.