On Saturday, student Joshua Keck will be recognized as the Outstanding Graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Orlando campus during the fall commencement ceremony. But come January, he’ll be right back in class picking up where he left off.
Keck is receiving his bachelor’s degree in organizational management, and he already has begun working toward his master’s degree in leadership from PBA. He completed his undergraduate coursework in mid-August.
A full-time sales consultant who attends classes in the evenings, Keck’s goal in life is to become a nonprofit consultant. “I want to help people do good things better,” he said.
Keck enrolled at PBA last year. He had an associate’s degree from Valencia Community College and was going through a significant life change at the time, he said.
Keck said he had a good feeling about PBA the first time he visited the campus. Not only was it located just a short distance from where he was living at the time, but he also recalls walking into the lobby and feeling that that it was the place where he needed to be.
The faculty and staff were extremely welcoming, he said. “They helped me through the process.”
Through the relationships he has built at PBA, he said, he is making great strides toward achieving his goal. He recently became involved in the Christian Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida, and he is joining forces with one of his classmates, Gwyn Picerne, who runs the nonprofit Embraced by Grace with her husband, Bob. Keck is now serving as vice president of development for the organization, which offers services to adoptive parents and birth mothers.
In addition to working collaboratively with his fellow students, “I’ve established some really great relationships with some of my professors,” Keck said.
In fact, one of them will officiate at Keck’s wedding to his fiancée Julie Crawford, who is a student in the graduate counseling psychology program. He said Crawford is the one who first introduced him to PBA.
The couple co-lead a small Bible study group, and Keck says they enjoy learning, serving and worshiping together.
Keck, who has traveled extensively for missions and for pleasure, has visited more than 15 countries. He said he loves to serve worthwhile organizations and he encourages them to dream big.
That goes for himself as well. Thanks to his experiences and the connections he’s made, he said, “I’m now able to better live out my dream.”