By Josh Eilola
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” That question is usually difficult for kids and teenagers to answer, but it was not for University of Findlay junior Joshua Verhoff. Verhoff knew he wanted to go into healthcare, in part, because of his specific pediatric healthcare needs. “I’m a rare [example], because nobody really knows what they want to do,” he said. “But since sixth grade, I’ve really wanted to help kids with diabetes, like myself.” It was during that time that Verhoff was diagnosed with type one diabetes and his whole world flipped upside down. He couldn’t eat like the other kids, but he was able to adapt to the new lifestyle pretty quickly. Counting carbs and constantly monitoring his insulin levels became part of his daily life. This setback wasn’t going to stop him from achieving what he wanted to accomplish, however; in fact, during his senior track season, he broke the state record in the 200-meter dash.
Because he knew what he wanted to study, Verhoff was on the lookout for a university that would allow him to pursue his passion for both track and nursing. When he made his visit to UF to meet with the Nursing Program and the track coaching staff, he was sure it was where he wanted to be. “UF gave me the opportunity to compete at a high level and still allowed me to do my program,” he said. He runs the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash as an Oiler athlete, while also excelling in his nursing classes as a student, yet, according to Verhoff, most of his life has been a balancing act, so the adjustment to college life, as a student-athlete, comes naturally to him. During the last indoor track season, his natural ability was on display as he qualified for indoor track nationals in the 200-meter dash.
Finding a way to pursue one’s passions isn’t an easy task, but with hard work, determination, and a solid support system, one can accomplish their goals. Joshua Verhoff is immediate proof of that as an Oiler student-athlete, and he plans to take it even further. His goal after graduating with his degree in nursing, he said, is to become a nurse practitioner and specialize in endocrinology, the branch of physiology and medicine concerned with endocrine glands and hormones.
It’s clear that what Verhoff wants to be now and “when he grows up” is someone who makes a big difference in others’ lives through understanding and knowledge. It’s a finish line he’s sure to cross successfully, and Oilers everywhere are just as certain to be cheering him on.