Who I am and why I am

My name is Joseph Koch I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and admittingly I grew up sheltered. However, my family (7 sister and my parents) helped develop a curiosity of the world around me. They also were strong Catholics and encouraged me to help others.

The curiosity of the world around me was amplified when I attended college at UW-Madison. I was hooked after I student taught in Australia (picture above). The Aussies showed me the backpack lifestyle, another world I never knew existed. This led me to travel to over 150 countries largely during summer breaks from teaching.

My UW-Madison lifestyle helped with my curiosity of the world but not so much with my faith formation. I continued with my education, earning two masters degrees, an online mini MBA and the equivalent to an associates degree in IT. After a stint in PR and IT, I did return to teaching which included teaching at Catholic schools. This reacquainted me with helping others.

Some ask me if the trips I was on were mission trips. When I was young, I was on a mission but not a religious mission. I was a mission many young men are on, going out and having fun. But I began to tire of these nights out and began to find them meaningless and shifted to more meaningful ways to help my fellow human beings. The education received through my upbringing, books/universities and travel, has given me a unique perspective on problems that we face.