Joel was only a freshman when he co-founded and became the president of Hugs for Ghana, a student-led nonprofit organization dedicated to giving gifts of hope to children in Ghanaian schools and hospitals. In that time, he hand-delivered more than 6,000 school supplies, 6,000 stuffed animals and $2,000 in medical supplies. Joel has been a consummate leader, being elected class president in his eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh grade years. As a senior, he was elected Associated Student Body President for his school of 2,400 students. Joel also managed to earn the title of Key Club Student of the Year while also serving as president of the National Honor Society. From Snohomish, Washington, with plans to study medicine, Joel will attend Yale University in the fall.