'I'll always be a work in progress'
By Joshua Budik '21
With Julie Riddle '92
I come from a broken family – my mother struggled a lot, and I didn't really know my father. I moved a lot. I went to around 26 schools. So there was no stability and I didn't really agree with the lifestyle. But being a kid, you're kind of stuck.
All that instability led to low-paying jobs. I worked a lot of construction. I was an iron worker and I worked in a foundry, pouring molten metal, for almost 10 years. I never thought I would pursue anything in academia or be a college graduate.
Then I got a phone call from the state and ended up adopting my niece and nephew. I brought them home as infants from the hospital. I wanted to give them as many chances as possible. I was looking at my life and I'm like, "Man, I'm working general labor, I'm busting my butt and breaking my body. What can I do?" And that's when I came across Whitworth.
After a shift one day, I went to Whitworth and signed up [in the School of Continuing Studies]. We were looking at a five-year plan to get my B.A. degree, and I told myself that date was going to come one way or another: I'm either going to have that experience and education or not.