Headshot Photo of Joshua Toch
2014 Award Recipient


Project Mind Before Mouth

Location Morgan Hill, CA

Issue Area Mental Health & Emotional Support

Joshua experienced significant bullying in his youth as a result of his disability. One day Joshua decided to talk about his experience living with cerebral palsy and was surprised and excited by how receptive others were to his message and the conversation. This led Joshua to participate in a local speech competition, speaking on how bullying impacted his life. He knew he’d had an impact when a student told him after the speech that he’d been inspired to change his ways.

This experience empowered Joshua to launch Mind Before Mouth, a student-run initiative through which young people speak candidly and powerfully about the challenges they face from bullying. Speakers share diverse perspectives on what it means to be a teen, transforming perceived weaknesses into strengths and building bridges to help teens better understand one another.

What is exciting to me is the difference I see in the people I speak with. I know I made a difference because I still hear people talking about that first speech I made several years ago.

Joshua Toch
“It is never too late, too early, or too often TO GIVE BACK AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE”
Helen Diller