UofL Student Making a Difference



By Stuart Esrock, Ph.D.

Meet Josh Osborne, yet another Cardinal doing great work in our community during the COVID-19 crisis while simultaneously benefiting his career development. Josh is from Louisville and is graduating with an English major and Spanish minor.  Most important, he is making an important contribution now to the Backside Learning Center at Churchill Downs.


Josh Osborne

Intern Josh Osborne 

The Backside Learning Center is a non-profit that works with and assists equine workers at the racetrack, many of whom speak little English, as well as their families. Josh had been teaching English-as-a-second language courses to kids and families at the Center but that changed when the coronavirus hit. “We have shifted our focus from offering adult and children English classes to focusing on getting the families that are in need the food, diapers, and encouragement that is needed to survive in these troubling times.”

Osborne has experienced professional and personal growth through this work. “It’s helped me understand that I can overcome any adversity. It has been difficult to adjust to the rapid changing semester to be able to adjust to the changing workspaces, classes, and home life. Doing homework and being productive has proven challenging but I am pleased with the outcomes of my efforts.”

Gaining confidence that he could teach and advancing that skill set has been an important benefit for Osborne.  Beyond that, his selfless service to the Backside Learning Center carried a far  more important lesson. “After the virus, I was taught that even though things are falling apart for me, I can still do something to help the community and it makes me feel good in a time of the stressful unknown…If I can take one thing away from my time at the Backside Learning Center, it is that I, as one person, can team up with other individuals and make a major difference in the community. It doesn’t take money or a lot of time and effort to help people, all it takes is initiative and the desire to do good. Everyone who works at the center is so dedicated to their work that it is impossible to not be inspired to merely be in their presence, especially when you have a hand in helping the community as well.”  

It is hard for any member of the UofL family to not be proud of the work that students like Josh Osborne are doing for our community - well done Josh and congratulations on your graduation!  If you know of a Cardinal doing important work, drop an email to so we can tell that story.