Building a dream: Bronx native and KIPP school grad helping create new school in his old neighborhood

By Larry McShane

Engineer Joshua Ojo’s latest construction project rises five subway stops from his childhood Bronx apartment — and far closer to his heart.

The 24-year-old Ojo, the son of a single-parent Nigerian immigrant, is working hard in his home borough to erect a new middle school for the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP), where his dreams of a future in engineering were nurtured as young student.

“Honestly, it’s one of the best feelings in the world,” Ojo told the Daily News. “Programs like this, opportunities like this, are really, really what KIPP sought to do: Building leaders and individuals to positively impact their own communities. Power is knowledge.”

Ojo, who grew up in Highbridge, is part of the Suffolk Construction team building one of two new schools in the Bronx for the non-profit program.

His success, as Ojo is quick to acknowledge, was a family affair. His mother and older sister Cordelia were both role models and cheerleaders for education and advancement throughout his childhood. And Cordelia, eight years older than Joshua, preceded him as a KIPP student while mom returned to school and became a nurse.

“Those two paved the way and instilled how important education was to me,” he said. “The values at home were working hard, staying humble, and not only pursuing certain opportunities for yourself but looking out for the individual next to you.”

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