Joel's Open Road


    TEACH Roadtrip


Director of Programs
New England Center for Arts & Technology (NECAT)

“When I allowed myself the enjoyment of the journey without the fear of reaching a dead end, it was fun.”


Art Education


Self-Reflection Failure Struggle Exploration Experience Individualism Societal Pressures Perseverance


Teaching / Mentoring


  • Grew up in a poor area of New York with a “dysfunctional” family; his parents separated four times when he was young.
  • Says that emotional pain can be a positive thing; he thinks that experiencing hardships as a child helped him build resiliency.
  • He majored in geology in college, then switched over to art and communications; he says cameras were his life.
  • His first job was at a workshop for developmentally disabled adults; that inspired him to go back to school and get his Master of Social Work degree at Hunter College.
  • Years later, after he’d tried many different things, he got into community education and the passion hit him like a “lightning bolt.”
  • Now he works at NECAT, where he helps to train Boston’s inner-city community members in the culinary arts.
  • He’s never stayed at the same job for more than seven years at a time, which he says has given him the opportunity to explore different paths.
  • Says it’s a lifelong process to “figure one’s self out,” but he feels like he’s just about reached that point.

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