Langley resident Joseph Roberts earned one of eighteen Medal of Good Citizenship awards. (Skid Row CEO/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Provincial award proves that local motivational speaker is not your average Joe

Langley resident Joe Roberts earns Medal of Good Citizenship, one of 18 recipients in B.C.

Joseph “Joe” Roberts, a Willoughby resident, is one of 18 people from throughout B.C. who will receive the province’s Medal of Good Citizenship.

Launched in 2015, the Medal of Good Citizenship recognizes individuals who, through exceptional long-term service, have made outstanding contributions to their communities without expectation of remuneration or reward.

Roberts overcame a homeless youth on the streets of East Vancouver and drug addiction in the 1980s to make the Dean’s List as an Honour Roll graduate at Loyalist College in Belleville – earning two diplomas in business.

After leaving the business world in the early 2000s, he began his career as a motivational speaker under the name Skid Row CEO.

“In 1989, I made a promise to pay it forward if I got off the streets,” Roberts said. “Our most important work is done in schools so we can inspire, educate, and empower students so they can see what they can do to create change.”

In 2016/2017, he made national headlines by pushing a shopping cart across Canada over a 17 month period for a campaign called The Push for Change.

Robert’s aim was to raise funds and awareness to prevent youth homelessness; a mission that still continues to this day.

“We are now leveraging an inspirational story to empower the local community,” Roberts explained. “The walking is over but the reason why we did it continues – it can be used as a backstory to fight youth homelessness.”

READ MORE: Have shopping cart, will travel

The walk raised $570,000 which was donated to charitable partners and organizations such as Raising the Roof.

In September of 2017, weeks after the Push for Change ended, Roberts and his wife began looking for a new home.

“We were driving through Langley and my wife Marie said ‘I love this place – this is where I want to live’,” he said.

Roberts has received many award including The Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal in 2018, the Senate 150 Anniversary Medal in 2017, and a nomination by Maclean’s Magazine as one of 10 Canadians that make a difference in 2003.

The motivational speaker has also published several books including Don’t Buy the Lie About Getting High, Fred the Cat, and his best-seller 7 Secrets to Profit from Adversity.

The Medal of Good Citizenship is meant to reflect the generosity, service, acts of selflessness and contributions of the recipient to community life.

Roberts stressed that people don’t have to do something extraordinary to make a difference.

“You don’t have to push a shopping cart across the country to create change. It’s as simple as finding what you are passionate about and making one small promise to do something,” Roberts explained.

“Each one of us has something we are passionate about… senior care… the environment… anti-bulling… we can change our community, our country, our world by following that passion.”

He added that his organization, The Push for Change, will launch The Promise Project next year in hopes of getting youth engaged in their passions to make a difference through $5,000 charitable grants.

Recipients were nominated by members of their communities.

Roberts will receive his medal in January at the Legislature in Victoria.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Scavenger hunt sends residents around Langley City to locate landmarks

Family-friendly activity held throughout July instead of Community Day due to COVID-19 precautions

LETTER: Langley man concerned about cross-border ditch meetings

A local resident says he sees people not social distancing along Zero Avenue

Popular Thanksgiving festival cancelled by COVID

Fort Langley’s 25th annual October street festivities are put off until 2021 to avoid spread of virus

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read