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Joe Richards

Class of 2009

Joe Richards began attending King’s in 2003 as a seventh grade student in the Junior High. Throughout his time at King’s, Joe was an athlete in the football, basketball and track programs. He was also a Link Crew leader his senior year. While in high school, Joe remembers Ms. Amble as having really influenced him. “Ms. Amble was the best,” he said. “She was a huge mentor for me and I’ve learned so much from her which shaped the person I am today.”

After graduating in 2009, Joe went on to Central Washington University and graduated with a BS in Kinesiology. He became a personal trainer while living in Kirkland with his wife, Victoria. Now both Joe and Victoria live in Terrace Heights outside of Yakima where Joe works as a Structural Firefighter/EMT.

Joe’s experience at King’s has shaped his life significantly since graduation. “King’s taught me to trust God in all that I do. Many believe this is easy to do, but I strongly disagree. We always have expectations and plans on how life should go for us and when we feel that our expectations have not been met, we typically experience negative emotions,” Joe said. “To have faith in God means everything is part of the plan; the good, the bad, and the ugly. I haven’t had too much ugly but God has put me in a place that I had no plans for and I am extremely thankful.”

When asked what advice he would give to this year’s seniors at King’s, Joe would encourage students to trust God, have faith, and love unconditionally. “Have faith and understand that God has a plan for you. Sometimes, it will go against what you had planned but we should always trust the process,” he said.

“I thought I always wanted to wear a suit every day, get into the corporate world and live in a big condo downtown. I was working my hardest to make this happen and it never felt right once I was in it. Then God opened up some doors for me that led me to become a firefighter, which was very daunting at first because 99% of people who try to become one will never make it due to its competitive state. Because I had faith, I’m in a fulfilling career that I was always meant to be in. God has lead me towards a life that was almost polar opposite of what I thought I wanted. I now make an impact and I get to contribute to my community.”